Don’t Shoot Officer, I’m White!

April 5, 2011

If you were to ask me what it is that makes a funny t-shirt, my answer would be pretty simple. Does the t-shirt make people laugh? Bingo, you’ve got a funny t-shirt on your hands. However, if you were to ask me what makes a great funny t-shirt then my answer would be slightly different. We’ve already established that the t-shirt makes people laugh, but does the t-shirt say something? I know the stupid thing has words on it, but does it deal with social issues? Does it make the viewer laugh…and then think?

That’s exactly what our t-shirt of the month does. This t-shirt is titled, “Don’t Shoot Officer, I’m White” and can be found here for purchase at a website called http://www.foulmouthshirts.com. These guys are notorious for pushing the envelope, even when it isn’t in their best interest to do so. They make offensive and funny t-shirts no matter whose feathers they decide to ruffle, and I have crazy amounts of respect for them because of that.

This t-shirt they released is no exception. It does everything a great funny t-shirt should because it invokes an immediate laugh and then the social commentary of the shirt sinks in and you realize that there is something much deeper going on here. There is a social stigma that the police profile blacks over whites when it comes to enforcing the law, and this t-shirt throws that stigma in the face of anyone who sees it. This shirt tells us that it shouldn’t be normal for the black population of America to be looked at with any more disdain than any other race. Making a joke out of the issue lessens the impact of such a statement so that it is much easier to take. If the medicine is taken with a smile, it tastes a lot less bitter going down.

The design is spare and the use of color quite absent. I think this aids in the deliver of the joke because the viewer doesn’t get too distracted by flashy print or bright colors. The words are given with a starkness that emphasizes the severity of the message.

Because this t-shirt has gotten me involved with some really excellent conversation with complete strangers, the daring nature of this t-shirt, and the fact that it’s gotten a belly laugh every time I’ve worn it out in public; this t-shirt is getting honored with the T-Shirt of the Week Award from me…as if anything I think or write really matters that much. YET!

Don't Shoot Officer!

Don't Shoot Officer, I'm White!

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