Update (11:12pm Central): Apparently, they already took the offending shirts down. I'm just sorry I didn't have screen capture software.
Update (12:24am Central): Okay, I leave for a while to figure out how to get the images to post in the diary and I come back and I'm on the rec list! First time, so thanks to those who recommended for the support. Also, despite the fact that they seem to have taken down the specific shirts about which I complained, I have not received any sort of e-mail response.
Update (1:00am Central): One of the commenters pointed out that we shouldn't be showing these images here on this site. I'm always torn about whether images like the ones on those shirts should get wide distribution. On one hand, exposing it is a good thing because it helps to illustrate how far we have to go in terms of race relations. On the other hand, we shouldn't be getting all up in arms anytime someone creates something disgusting. As a compromise, I've decided that you shouldn't have to see the images in the diary if you don't want to, so I replaced the embedded images with links.
Also, just for further clarity, if there are people who want to wear these types of shirts, I guess that's their right under the first amendment. I'm not saying the message should be banned, just that a business should be made aware of how its products/services are viewed by the people it was trying to reach with the ad. Further, a business advertising on a progressive website should know that sort of message is not acceptable to most people.
Update 1:21 Central: I received a response from the t-shirt site. I'm adding it at the end of the diary.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael James
Date: Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 10:29 PM
Subject: Are you f***ing kidding me? A noose?
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
So, I was looking around the main page on huffingtonpost.com when I spotted an ad for some funny t-shirts from www.roadkilltshirts.com and I decided to go and take a look.
All was well for a few minutes until I decided to check out the "political" t-shirts. I have to say, I was shocked and appalled by the blatant racism displayed by several of the shirts offered.
What kind of lowlife tries to sell a t-shirt with a graphic of the White House and the saying "They call it the White House for a reason?"
By the way, as anyone who cares to find out should know, it is called the White House not because of the skin color of the occupants, but because it was finished with a lime-based whitewash in 1798 when its walls were finished and was subsequently painted white. Explanation for why it's called the White House
But wait, it gets much, much worse. What kind of lowlife asshole tries to sell a t-shirt with a graphic of Ku Klux Klan members chasing Barack Obama with the saying "run Obama run?"
But wait, if you can believe it, it gets much, much, much worse. What kind of fucking lowlife racist motherfucking collie-molesting fucking loser asshole tries to sell a t-shirt with a graphic of a noose and the saying "swing state?"
I normally don't use profanity in e-mail, but these shirts are outrageous and call for an unusual response. These products are offensive and should not be offered for sale by or to anyone. Thank heavens I didn't venture further into the site to look at the "politically incorrect" section.
If someone's intellectual, cultural and spiritual development is so impaired that they would use their right to freedom of speech to wear any of these garments, then they should be forced to produce them on their own. Quite simply, no business entity should enable this kind of racism by making these sorts of products available.
I hope that www.roadkilltshirts.com rectifies this situation and quickly. Do you seriously think it's a good idea to encourage racists by helping them to visualize the death of the most inspiring public figure we have seen in at least a generation? I know it would probably take more than a t-shirt to inspire such a sick individual to act, but why encourage them? How, in good conscience, can any decent person attempt to make a profit on this sort of pandering to the worst elements of our society?
Please remove these offensive products and any others like them from your inventory.
Michael "Hussein" James
Here was the response I received
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike - RoadKillTShirts.com
Date: Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 12:48 AM
Subject: RE: Are you f***ing kidding me? A noose?
To: Michael James
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The items have been removed. We recently hired a freelancer to create designs and post them on our site. We have teams of them and, unfortunately, these were put up in the last couple of days without approval.
While the site can be edgy...I can guarantee you this is not the type of stuff we approve of.