October 29, 2013 8:31 am -

kanye-west-yeezus-tour-tshirtThe controversial hip-hop artist, in advance of a tour to promote his new album “Yeezus”, has opened up a so-called “pop-up” shop next door to Kim Kardashian’s Melrose boutique. It is calculated controversy — but has it gone too far?

It is regarded by many as one of the most racist symbols in American culture.
So it is somewhat perplexing that Kanye West has chosen to emblazon his tour merchandise with the confederate flag, used by extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan as their emblem.

The flag, also known as the Southern Cross, was seen featured on T-shirts and bags at his new Yeezus tour pop-up shop next door to fiancee Kim Kardashian’s clothing boutique in Los Angeles on Monday.

New pictures emerged Monday of the merchandise currently for sale at the temporary shop on Melrose Avenue, which he chose to locate right next door to Kim’s Dash boutique.

One of the T-shirts features a skull with the flag as the background and the words ‘I ain’t comin’ down,’ while another features a skeletal grim reaper wearing the flag as a cloak and carrying a scythe.

Other shirts feature skeletons in various positions, including one kneeling and praying with the words ‘Yeezus wants you.’ Also on display were shoulder bags bearing the flag.

Yes, Kanye’s new album rip American racism and social inequality with several no-holds-barred numbers — but the use of the “Slaver Flag of Treason” is sure to draw criticism from civil rights leaders. The Daily Mail quotes Rev. Al Sharpton in its coverage of Kanye’s swag:

“Often times, people like to falsely believe that the Confederate flag is somehow not offensive. As Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post highlighted in his recent piece, it’s akin to placing a swastika somewhere. The Confederate flag symbolises dehumanisation, injustice and pain. It is a stark reminder of an era in our history that was defined by the abhorrent practice of slavery. And it is representative of a mentality that looked upon Blacks as inferiors who needed to remain in the shackles of subservience. If you don’t believe me, ask family members of those that were beaten, castrated and lynched under the guise of that Confederate flag.’

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.