that Baker Skateboards, owned by skating legend Andrew Reynolds, is selling the offending t-shirt on its website
The shirt, which depicts two Asian men riding in the "General Li," a custom Japanese hatchback painted up like the General Lee from the classic "Dukes of Hazzard"
TV series, says 'THE GOOKS OF HAZZARD.'
It also features the tagline "Good orr boys," a mockery of a supposed Asian accent saying "good ol' boys" from the "Dukes of Hazzard" theme song
One of the men depicted on the shirt is pro skater Don "The Nuge" Nguyen
, who is Asian American and sponsored by Baker Skateboards. According to TMZ, Nguyen doesn't seem to be offended by the shirt.
But the Asian American Justice Center
certainly is. An AAJC representative told TMZ that it is "unacceptable for Baker Skateboards to create a depiction of Asian Americans which uses racial slurs and perpetuates racist stereotypes."
"Baker Skateboards, and the outlets that sell this shirt, should be aware that the use of the term 'gook' on their apparel is offensive and quite simply amounts to racism for sale. No one should seek profit from racism."
It turns out that Baker Skateboards may have stolen the "Gooks of Hazzard" idea from elsewhere. ChannelEpicWin uploaded this YouTube video a year and a half ago:
As Gothamist points out, other companies, such as Urban Outfitters
and Abercrombie and Fitch
, have had problems with this sort of thing in the recent past, but Baker seems to have raised the bar of racism to a new level by using an outright racial slur, and one it may have stolen to boot, on its shirt.