Obama is ‘slave’ to his own popularity
Obamamania has become so contagious that even staunch opponents like clothing designer Doron Braunshtein are cashing in – but not without controversy. Braunshtein, also known as Apollo Braun, has garnered widespread media attention and death threats for his “Obama Is My Slave” T-shirts. In a racially sensitive America, where people of African origin endured centuries of slavery, this slogan is close to the bone.
Other T-shirts in the store saying “Jews Against Obama” and “Who Killed Obama?” sell for up to $US 250. Braun says he trademarked the phrases which he says have nothing to do with race but have everything to do with Obama's rumoured ties to Islam – a myth which has been debunked.
“I do not like him. I do not think he is good for the Jews and for Israel. I don't think he's good for America,” says Braunshtein.
Even so, the controversy of has been great for business. Braunshtein's tiny Manhattan Boutique has made thousands of dollars selling the ‘offensive’ Obama T-shirts.
Celebrity publicist Couri Hay says Braunshtein has just proved the age-old marketing cliché that any publicity is good publicity: “Controversy equals sales. Scandal equals sales. And interest and excitement, and this sort of thing, generates sales.”
But some New Yorkers living in the melting pot of America say the T-shirts are just plain disgusting.
“It's pretty gross. Calling anybody a slave is disrespectful whether it's Obama or anyone else,” said one passer-by.