Touche Amore address controversy over Fred Phelps shirts
Following the death of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, Touche Amore decided to reprise the shirt they created in 2008 to accompany their song, “wehatefredphelps.com.” The original shirt featured a line from the song, “We’d love to see you in the ground,” and in place of that the new shirts now say “Good Riddance.” They were sold (they’re now sold out), and all proceeds went to benefit Human Rights Campaign. This caused some internet controversy, and in response, the band posted an explanation to their Facebook on Saturday…
Let’s talk. While we were slightly surprised by the controversy our “Good Riddance” t-shirt created, we understand the points made by those of you who looked down on the design. We should have known many of you weren’t aware of the background of the shirt and it’s story.
Let me explain a little. We originally created this shirt in 2008 as a companion to the song from our demo that year called “wehatefredphelps.com.” The original shirt had a line from the song, “We’d love to see you in the ground,” in the place where “Good Riddance” is now. The size of the words align with the original design. Kids seemed to like it and it fit with the angst of the band. I originally wrote the song after going to multiple WBC protests to talk to the members of the church about their stance. After recording the song I even tried giving them burned copies and lyric sheets when they protested a Marilyn Manson concert here in LA in 2009.
Here we are years later, and the man has died. We got messages saying we should reprint the design, so we thought “we’ll do an updated version and have the proceeds go to benefit what the man lived the last years of his life trying to dismantle.” We feel there is beautiful irony in selling an image of a bigot and using the profit towards achieving equality for exactly what they hated. Which is why all net profit (money earned after cost/printing) will be going to http://www.hrc.org
Is it in poor taste? Depends on your taste buds. Poor taste to me is creating an evil cult to protest funerals, discriminate love, and who’s website is godhatesfags.com if you wanna just slightly scratch the surface.
The last remaining shirts will be gone sometime tonight or tomorrow, so THANK YOU for all of you who picked up the shirt and supported the cause.
Lastly, I firmly believe that art is best when it creates a public discourse on subjects that matter. So for us to see people talking about these sorts of things is exciting regardless, and we thank you for the conversation.
– Jeremy / TA
That’s an instagram from the band of the shirt above.
Listen to “wehatefredphelps.com” below…