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Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Celebrate racism

Hi. My name is Glenn Reynolds and I'm a gun-loving racist

"Got my shirt, and love it. Perhaps I'll wear it to a faculty meeting..."

-Professor Glenn Reynolds

" has not only some of the highest quality shirts I've ever seen, but they also deflect bullets, give you super strength, and ward off monkeys. I hate monkeys."

-Frank J. of IMAO

"I have the Celebrate Diversity shirt and it looks great. If only you had a T-shirt that makes fun of the French as well -- wait -- you do!"

-John Hawkins of Right Wing News

Here is Atrios's take on the shirt:

Celebrate Diversity

oy. I've been trying to figure out how to write this post for a couple of hours. I want to make clear that this isn't a shot at instapundit, cheap or otherwise, but something I think it's necessary to point out. I'm no fan of the guy, and think he's quite frequently been the transmitter of some truly hateful ideas (blaming the victims of genocide, for one), but in this case I think he's just clueless.

In the previous post someone linked to a conservative t-shirt seller, proudly featuring Reynolds wearing this T-shirt. Now, Glenn's a gun fan and I imagine he's just celebrating the joys of guns, or whatever, but this shirt is no joke. There's a serious subtext here which is totally obvious to me that I think should be pointed out. Now, I don't think everyone who has purchased a shirt like this has purchased it with the subtext in mind, but nonetheless the message is clear.

The caption is "celebrate diversity." The colors of the caption are commonly used pan-African colors: red, yellow, and greeen. While, for many, the "joke" (though, I'm not sure why it's funny) is that here diversity is a diversity of guns. Ha ha. But, look, the clear message here is that the way to celebrate diversity, particularly that pan-African diversity, is to buy a bunch of fucking guns. In other words, celebrate diversity by arming yourself.


...yes, someone points out, Reynolds is wearing the black version of the T-shirt in which the caption does not use the Pan-African colors. But, still, even without the colors the "celebrate diversity" slogan is enough

I think Atrios is being far too kind about this. Just look at the comments, which is why I posted them. Monkeys? Why not say nigger, because that is what you mean.

I think Glenn Reynolds is either the most clueless law professor at the University of Tennessee or the kind of sick racist who doesn't have the balls to wear a Klan robe or burn a cross. There are thousands of gun shirts. You want to walk around with an MP-5K shirt, you can find one. AK-47, no problem. But that noxious shirt is one no decent person would wear, because there is no joke in it. A number of handguns and "celebrate diversity" on it implies something pretty dark and evil. Especially with the colors used on the white shirt, red, yellow and green. You would have to be a moron not to see the pan-African connotation with. I mean, you have easily made that shirt with the tag line "variety is the spice of life", the joke made, and not even the most hypersensitive liberal could say a word. Reynolds even jokes about wearing it to a faculty meeting, something he doesn't have the balls to do because he would be called on it.

That shirt is the kind of thing you see at Klan and militia rallies. It isn't about political correctness either, because it implies the only kind of diveristy is a heavily armed one which is clearly anti-black in tenor and temperment.

Reynolds is so unconcerned about his public image, he's helping sell these vile shirts. The site owner clearly doesn't mind the racial connontation of the comments. And why would a law professor, who has diverse classes make such a public statement. If I were a black, Asian or female law school student, I would be rather concerned about his fairness.

Reynolds has said any number of biased, unfair and truly repellent things on his site. Which is his right. But this crosses a rather broad line. I mean, where does he keep this shirt, next to his Wehrmacht World Tour and Hitler: No More Mister Nice Guy shirts.

I think it's time we start asking people, like his boss, how his views and public statements coincide with the education provided by the University of Tennessee.

University of Tennessee Law School Dean Tom Galligan can be reached here:

Sen. Randy McNally is the head of the Tennessee Senate's Education Committee. Which funds the University of Tenneesee's Law School. I wonder how he feels about the reputation that Prof. Reynolds is giving the University with his website. Does the University of Tennessee reject diversity as a goal? Does it endorse or agree with Reynolds comments? You do have to wonder about how people view the state and University of Tennessee Law School after reading Reynolds conmments.

You can reach the Senator here:

House Member Les Whittington is in charge of their Education committee.

You can reach him here:

You might want to also send a letter to the state's two leading newspapers:

The Memphis Commercial Appeal can be sent a letter here:

They require:

Your real name (not a screen name)
Full home address (street address, not e-mail address) for verification
Daytime and evening telephone numbers for verification

The Nashville Tennessean can be reached here:

Letters will be edited. Preference will be given to letters of less than 300 words. To be considered for publication, letters must include the writer's name, street address and daytime telephone number. Only the name, hometown and ZIP code will be published. Letter writers who would like their e-mail addresses published should include that address with the letter.

Oh yeah, you might want to contact the State's Congressional delegation as well, especially Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr.

What to say?

Just ask them if they agree that a professor at the state's public university should be advertising a shirt which opposes diversity. Do they find the message on the shirt representative of both the school and the state's policy of allowing access for all citizens to it's law school, especially after the state's regretable history of racial bias and segregation.

I don't think anyone should call for him getting fired or shutting down his website or anything draconian like that. Just inquire as to whether they share his beliefs, if he is a fitting representative of the University of Tennessee's College of Law, and if that shirt and his public association as a professor at that school represents the values and ethos of his employer, the state of Tennessee.

After all public employees across the United States have been sanctioned for expressing racially hostile opinions. And you have to wonder why Reynolds, who I assume is tenured, feels that way about diversity. Does he think his minority students are not as qualified as his white students? Does he think diversity has lowered the quality of the student body at the University of Tennessee College of Law? And is that an opinion shared by the dean and other members of the faculty?

After all, Reynolds is not shy about mentioning his affliation with UT College of Law. It seems he may represent a rather widespread opinion on the campus and among the faculty, although I doubt it.

posted by Steve @ 12:00:00 AM

12:00:00 AM

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