There is a minor scandal brewing about a t-shirt that has been printed by a member of the Denver Police. I really can see the humor in the t-shirt. It is funny, no doubt about it. It is one of those classic double meaning jokes. The problem is that the joke is in extremely bad taste. The t-shirt says “We get up early to beat the crowds.” with a picture of a policeman holding a truncheon. Even the artwork is pretty good.
There are people arguing for freedom of speech and I totally agree that they have the right to produce these t-shirts but I don’t think that this should be a rights issue but rather an issue of right, as in right verses wrong. Perhaps if the police didn’t actually beat anyone at the DNC it would be fine but they did and this t-shirt appears to be celebrating the fact. It would be like if Enron directors started selling t-shirts “We took your jobs, your savings and destroyed your lives. Enron Bankruptcy 2001.” I think there would be 20,000 people and their supporters pretty angry about it.
If someone else had created this t-shirt, and I think this t-shirt has been done before, it would definitely have been more palatable but I don’t think that the people who delivered these beatings should make light of it.