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realclearworld

Urban Outfitters: Hypocrites, Communists or Just Plain Old Dumbasses?

Reader Carlos C sent me the following photo from the tshirt section of a local Urban Outfitters:

Urban Outfiters Tshirts

Right there on the top shelf:

COMMUNISM
CHE GUEVARA Image
JOHN F. KENNEDY Image
SOCIALISM

12 comments to Urban Outfitters: Hypocrites, Communists or Just Plain Old Dumbasses?

  • David Sandoval

    This isn't the first time that Urban Outfitters has done something like this, and I believe that a group of us put together a nice letter writing campaign discussing the darker side of Che, etc. At least I remember when it was Target and that Che lunchbox.

    So, here you go, everybody:
    http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/help/contactus.jsp

  • drillanwr

    {SIGHHHHHHHH!!!}

    Thanks for the link, David.

    {SIGHHHHHHHH!!!}

    {SIGHHHHHHHH!!!}

  • David Sandoval

    And here's a nice one with investor relations:
    http://investor.urbn.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=115825&p=irol-irhome

    Enjoy.

  • caballerodeparis1

    I can't help but think that there is such an abject lack of knowledge among young people about communism, socialism, Che, Mao, etc. that these images exist almost apart from the historical record for each. Urban Outfitters and others know this and exploit it. I remember some years ago asking an intern at my company about who the beret-wearing man who graced his t-shirt was. He answered, "Che." I asked him what Che had done and he said with all the sincerity that a teenager who believes himself an intellectual could muster: "He freed the Cuban people." I told him he was an imbecile and then realized that this teenager--I think he was a college freshman--had been terribly wronged by the education system. He wasn't Cuban so I couldn't blame his parents. Anyway, just very sad all around.

  • Not Communists. Capitalists.

    And the stuff sells because these guys aren't taught as villians anymore.

  • theCardinal

    why single out the youth? if you were to ask most adults the same question about the Che the answere would not be any different.

  • "Hypocrites, Communists or Just Plain Old Dumbasses?"

    I'd say simply, "capitalists."

    "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
    H.L. Mencken

    Actually, on this issue, the intelligence of the American public TOWERS over the European public's. And let's not even get into the Latin American public's.

    The box office from "Che" provides ample proof.
    $1,400,000 stateside, $30 million worldwide--biggest proceeds from Spain.

  • Mr. Mojito

    1. As a capitalist I support the right of any company to sell whatever images on shirt that they like, regardless of how dumb, ironic, or distasteful.

    2. I can maybe understand if Urban outfitters had a more romantic view of Che, as many people do, however they are basically saying F#CK it and just printing shorts saying "Communism". In that regard, they seem to be saying "we are well aware who this guy is and kiss our asses".

    3. The best solution in the situations I believe is for exiles and anti-communists not to shop there. I usually stray from hounding company, because to me that is too close to what leftists do when they have fake "moral outrage" - realizing that for many exiles Che and communism induces an outrage that is real.

    4. Hell a boycott, would probably sell more of these shirts, as Commies would now know where to buy them. In America, any publicity is good publicity. Hell Wacko Jacko jerked off 2 little boys, and became the "King of Pop" (no pun intended).

  • chris0

    The truth is, Urban Outfitters exploits lefties and panders to the yuppie/hipster "progressive" crowd when their president and founder (Richard Hayne) is completely counter to their demographic - a staunch conservative who has made a $1.8 billion fortune out of it and regularly donates money to Republican politicians including the famously anti-gay Sen. Rick Santorum. So, the joke is on them [http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/opinion/article.html?in_article_id=441974&in_page_id=19&in_author_id=2266&position=moretopstories]

  • Mr. Mojito

    If Hipster Outfitters really wants to rake in the cash, they'll start carrying this "top seller" ...

    http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/uploads/ObamaCheTShirtuntitled.bmp

    I've seen about 4 of these "hope" shirts on the streets in the last month.

  • asombra

    I expect this is simply about the quest for filthy lucre. I also expect these people, if it were legal and profitable enough, would put practically anyone or anything on a T-shirt. It's about money, obviously, but it may also be about so-called radical chic, fashionable leftism, and the sophomoric but still effective posture of youthful defiance of propriety. Basically, it's whatever sells the damn (who cares if it's damnable) merchandise.