A clothing brand supposedly inspired by "modern beach culture" looks like it took a time machine back to the Jim Crow South for a recent T-shirt design.
Tavik, a clothing and accessory company, caught serious heat on Monday when an offended T.J. Maxx customer tweeted a picture of a less-than-appropriate piece of merchandise.
— BrownBlaze (@brownblaze) March 17, 2015
You can't put a noose next to words that mean "relax." You just can't.
The shirt doesn't include an explicit reference to racially motivated lynching, but for a lot of people, the association is hard to miss. (Not that the other connotations of "noose" -- basically, suicide and capital punishment -- are all that great either.) Needless to say, more than a few people took offense to what looks like the juxtaposition of one of the darkest corners of America’s racial history with a nonchalant surfer saying.
Twitter erupted with bewildered, angry responses, and the criticism prompted an apology from Tavik, in what has become a familiar cycle of brands doing something racially tone-deaf and then being called out on it.
We are deeply sorry to anyone who may have been offended. The shirt is being pulled from stores immediately.
— TAVIK (@tavik) March 17, 2015
Tavik did not respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
The company's apology didn’t stanch the outrage of some very offended people. Nor did T.J. Maxx make it through the Twittersphere unscathed.
Even without the obvious racial overtones, how is a noose w/ the caption "hang loose" okay, @tavik? What were you going for there?
— April (@ReignOfApril) March 17, 2015
— deray mckesson (@deray) March 17, 2015
— . (@illiam_william) March 17, 2015