• author
    • Kelvin Wade

      Columnist
    • February 23, 2017 in Columnists

    Eeny meeny miny moe, the shirt’s not racist, bro!

    A Sheffield, England Methodist minister named Ian Lucraft recently walked into a Primark store to buy a present for his grandson when he saw a “Walking Dead” shirt with the words, “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe” surrounding a picture of a baseball bat with barbed wire around it. Walking Dead fans would know the bat in question is Lucille and was used by the character Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to kill two characters, Abraham and Glenn. Negan says the words on the shirt before bludgeoning Abraham with the bat.

    Lucraft found the words and image “fantastically offensive.” He wrote to Primark and told the media that the eeny meeny miny moe rhyme goes on to say, “catch a nigger by his toe.” Though in the Walking Dead episode Negan said the more well known, “catch a tiger by the toe.” Lucraft added that “This image (of the bat) relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America.”

    Lucraft is white.

    Primark removed the shirt from all of its stores and issued an apology.

    What the hell is going on? I’m a fan of the Walking Dead but even if I weren’t, I wouldn’t find the shirt to be racially offensive. The shirt’s tag clearly says “The Walking Dead” on it so a reasonable person would assume the saying came from the show. Any fan of the show would know what the line coupled with the bat meant. And certainly no fan of the show would’ve seen any racism in the shirt whatsoever. The shirt isn’t some hateful garment put out by some soulless company catering to the alt-right or white nationalists. It’s a bad ass Walking Dead shirt that I’d like to own.

    The eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe rhyme is one that I often said as a child. In fact, I didn’t find out that there was a version that used the N-word until I was thirty years old. So I can imagine that many younger Walking Dead fans have never heard this offensive version of the rhyme. But it’s beside the point. The N-word isn’t used in the show. The saying on the shirt refers to one of the most shocking moments in the show’s history and that’s all any Walking Dead fan would care about.

    “The Walking Dead” is about the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse where a group of survivors find that surviving other humans is even more challenging than the zombies. If Lucraft watched the show he’d see that through its multicultural cast race is a concept that loses it’s meaning when people have to depend on others to survive. Survivors can’t afford the luxury of being racist or sexist or homophobic when you need all hands on deck just to live in this new environment.

    But context isn’t important to a self-appointed member of the PC police like Ian Lucraft. Methinks he’s someone who tiptoes through life fearful of being offended or triggered and quick to take offense on behalf of others for some imagined slight. .

    I’m offended by the fact that the United Methodist Church doesn’t support the LGBT community. That’s a real issue.

    Now there are many variations of the Lucille shirt that can be purchased from a variety of locations and websites but that’s not the issue. It’s sad that one man can walk into a store, be offended by a shirt that he obviously knows nothing about, write a letter and get a store to pull the shirt off the market. Because one man got his knickers in a bunch, Walking Dead fans cannot purchase this awesome shirt at Primark. Shame on Primark for having no balls.

    Lucraft said, “It is directly threatening of a racist assault and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.”

    Well I am black and if I were faced by a wearer of this shirt I’d know where I stood: face to face with another Walking Dead fan.

    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
    the shirt isn’t racist,
    let it go.



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