The hubbub in Dearborn

dearborntowersI’m trying my damndest to get worked up over this sweatshirt designed by Arab-American kids in the class of 2011 at Dearborn’s Edsel Ford High School, but I’m just not feeling it. Then again, it didn’t really bother me all that much when Ron Asheton and the Sex Pistols used to dress up like Nazis, so maybe I’m not the right guy to judge. I just think that, over time, powerful images get appropriated and used. And the image of the Twin Towers, with the planes crashing into them, like it or not, is the most powerful image of our generation since the wall came down between East and West Berlin.

Apparently, some folks are irate, though. I guess they feel, at best, these kids were poking fun at the 9/11 tragedy. I get that. And I feel bad for them. But I don’t think that’s what this was. I don’t think these kids, through this design, were attempting to say to their non-Muslim classmates that they were somehow superior, or, worse yet, that they relished the idea of another attack of that magnitude. I just think these kids in the class of 2011 saw that 11 on the end, made the 9/11 connection, and went from there. Sure, positioning the school mascot like it’s about to crash into one of the towers probably wasn’t the brightest thing in the world to do, but I think the overriding message was a positive one – that nothing’s going to stop them from reaching their dreams. But, then again, I guess that depends on what you think their dreams really are. Clearly some think that they’d like to see us living under Sharia law… Here, in evidence of that, is a screen capture that I just took from another site.

christiansunderattack2

And, I should point out, I’m not saying that we don’t face a threat from a certain radical subset of our local Islamic population. I think that we very well might. I just don’t think that the ones we need to worry about will be printing t-shirts. The ones printing t-shirts, and dealing with these issues openly, in my opinion, are the ones we should be encouraging.

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21 Comments

  1. Posted January 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I designed a t-shirt for our high school’s girls’ volleyball team, and they made me change it cause the female bulldog volleyball player’s tits were too big.

  2. Posted January 6, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Note how the Christian website goes from some kids printed a tshirt to the immigrationz never should be allowed!!11!!1!!! That’s quite a jump there, folks.

  3. Brackinald Achery
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    They think that’s bad, wait till they find out what those unbelievers did to Jesus!

  4. dragon
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    The funny thing is, those that are so irate about this don’t even realize that they are being had. Pan down about one inch on your photo and we can turn that frown upside down….Rudi ’08.

  5. Stephen R
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Jake,

    Were all the dogs teats big, or just the top two? It’s important that I know.

    Sincerely,
    Stephen

  6. Kelty
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    It could have been a “Bin Laden is Awesome” shirt.

  7. tommy
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I, like you Mark, can’t get worked up about this one. Speeaking of the Sex Pistols, I thought it rather humoruos when Johnny Lydon would wipe his ass with dollar bills and throw them at the crowd (post Pistols – PIL days).

  8. Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Stephen — top two. It was a human-looking bulldog, so I did not go whole hog with the multiple sets of teats.

  9. Stephen R
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I fear sounding like a furry, but I would very much like to see this drawing, Jake.

  10. Kim
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I heard that the FBI talked with the kids. This is some serious shit for a dumb tshirt.

  11. Eloise
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    What if, instead of teats, the bulldog woman had two enormous towers sprouting forth from her chest? Would that be glorifying terrorism?

  12. CT
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    A friend who is a teacher in the Dearborn public school system told me that a few of her students had her that their parents celebrated the 911 attacks. So I know that sentiment does exist in the community. Hopefully though the kids don’t carry the same hatred. This, I hope, was merely kids being incredibly naive.

  13. The Big Mac-Attacker
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    – “Another student told Local 4 the design was made out of frustration over some media portrayals of Arab-Americans in the wake of the Christmas day terror attack.”

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22146212/detail.html

    Hmmmm…you don’t say. Kids these days…one minute, they’re chasing girls and pulling pranks, and the next minute they’re blowing stuff up. Those rapscallions!

  14. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    A Dutch cartoonist just had an attempt on his life thwarted. The motive was revenge for his portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in a cartoon. When I first heard about some of these cartoons (I believe there were several, from several cartoonists), I was boggled by the outrage from offended Muslims. How can a cartoon ever be cause for plotting to kill somebody? I don’t get it (well, I get it–but it doesn’t at all jibe with the logic of my mind).

    On the radio then (2005), I heard many conservative Americans point out the absurdity of the extreme Muslim reaction to the cartoons. I speculate that many of those same Americans are “offended” by this t-shirt incident. I hope they don’t go overboard in their reaction.

    Ten or so years ago on the outskirts of Ann Arbor, a teenager with a t-shirt that read, “F#!% Jesus,” got the crap beaten out of him at a gas station by two “offended” Christians. WWJD? WTF!

    I love poetry and symbolism, but I can’t stand it when people take their symbols and icons so seriously. Maybe we are reaching a point where we need a storm of iconoclasm to disrupt our tendency toward idolatry. But I don’t have the guts.

  15. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    There were no Edsel Ford Thunderbirds on 9/11…

  16. Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    That was brilliant, Andy.

    And thanks for sharing that story, Dirtgrain.

  17. Me
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Dirtgrain, “I love poetry and symbolism, but I can’t stand it when people take their symbols and icons so seriously. Maybe we are reaching a point where we need a storm of iconoclasm to disrupt our tendency toward idolatry. But I don’t have the guts.”
    Or our tendency toward propaganda and salesmanship. Our artists, poets, prophets these days are almost indistinguishable from politicians and used car salesmen. Maybe it has always been that way. I don’t know.
    By the way, I love dog teats.

  18. Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    What kind of art, poetry, and prophesy do you offer the world, Me?

  19. kingpin
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Sometimes you just gotta take your licks. Whatever side you are on, on any given subject…sometimes you piss people off, and you know that you are. I can’t stand it when someone whines about the reaction they get from their actions. The example of the “F!@# Jesus” shirt is perfect. It’s your right to wear it, but don’t be shocked when you have to take some heat over it…or maybe a punch or two. Maybe we should all move to Disney World, and sing it’s a small world together and love each other every day…but that will never happen. Conflict will exist in this world until it burns out. Individual responsibility is the only thing that can keep the peace.

  20. Me
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    “It’s your right to wear it, but don’t be shocked when you have to take some heat over it…or maybe a punch or two.”
    I agree I guess, but assault is illegal, even if you are insulted by the assaultee.

    “What kind of art, poetry, and prophesy do you offer the world, Me?”
    A little of everything except the prophesy for fear of the attention that prophesy would calls to my “fruits”.
    The point is I guess that you can’t judge some high school screen print t-shirt according to the standards you might apply to Botticelli. I get it.

  21. Me
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I was also just thinking that if I were a female porn starlet, I would name myself Amber Dextrus.

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