MADISON, Wis. — A controversial clothing line started by a University of Wisconsin-Madison student has received national attention.
Eneale Pinkett started Insert Apparel as a freshman at UW, aiming to start difficult conversations following racial incidents on campus and across the country. The clothing line features slogans such as “All men are sexist” and “You can’t be a revolutionary and homophobic.”
The clothes are a method to reach all oppressed marginalized groups and to make a change for them, he said.
“What really drove me was being a predominantly white institution, being surrounded by whiteness all the time, and you cannot escape it,” Pinkett said. “I want people to insert themselves inside of these conversations and think critically about these topics that they never had to think about.”
While his clothing line has received national attention, Pinkett has also received numerous death threats and hateful messages.
“I have people all across the country inboxing me saying either I support you, or I hate you, I wish you would die,” he said.
Despite the death threats, Pinkett refuses to give up on his movement.
“When you buy this shirt, I want you to think critically about what your buying, and when you put this message on, you instantly become a target and polarized. I mean people won’t want to be around you, and you have to face that,” he said. “I’ve seen people get offended by it, but I think that in the end is something that kind of should draw attention to. Talking about race shouldn’t be something that’s super comfortable.”
But there are still people that don’t completely agree with his movement.
“There’s going to be repercussions for your actions, and one of the repercussions for wearing a shirt that says all white people are racists is that some people are going to hate you, some people are going to feel opposed,” he said.
Regardless of responses, Pickett said he still plans to release a new clothing line on his website for Black History Month, and that his job as a social activist is not done.