'Voting Is for Old People' T-Shirt Draws Complaint

July 7, 2008 - 8:04 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Urban Outfitters is selling a T-shirt that says, "Voting Is for Old People," much to the dismay of a group that encourages young (anti-Bush) voters to go to the polls.

Punkvoter.com sent a letter to Urban Outfitter Chairman Richard Hayne, complaining about his "recklessness" and demanding that Urban Outfitters stop selling the T-shirt.

"I see your actions as a blatant attempt to quash the efforts of Punkvoter.com, Music for America, Rock the Vote, and other pro-youth voting organizations," wrote Al Jourgensen, a Punkvoter.com board member.

The press release describes Jourgensen as a Grammy-nominated platinum recording artist with the rock band, Ministry. (He also played in a band called Revolting Cocks, whose first single, "No Devotion," was flagged by the Parents Music Resource Center for its blasphemy, according to the VH1.com website.)

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In his letter, Jourgensen suggested that Hayne might have an ulterior motive in allowing his retail chain to sell the "Voting Is for Old People" T-shirt.

"It is public knowledge that you contribute to the Republican Party," Jourgensen wrote. "Could this be the motivation behind your anti-vote strategy to suppress the youth vote you have so much influence over?"

Punkvoter.com said it's "too bad" that Hayne "now sells voter suppression T-shirts in a cynical way to market an anti-voting campaign as trendy."

"Your T-shirt design is knowingly irresponsible," Jourgensen wrote. "It is a disgusting effort to reap profit from cynicism while suppressing civic involvement, and encouraging apathy, not to mention referring to our senior citizens as "'old people'."

Punkvoter.com, admitting that Urban Outfitters "can do what they want because it is a free country," also warned Hayne that if he "does not act responsibly - we will vote with our wallets!"

While Punkvoter.com criticizes Richard Hayne for promoting a political agenda, the group makes its own agenda clear on its website:

"Punkvoter is a grassroots coalition of punk bands, punk labels and most importantly, punk fans coming together to form a united front in opposition to the dangerous, deadly, and destructive policies of George Bush Jr.," the website says.

"The current administration is out of control, spending billons on a disastrous preemptive war in Iraq; passing hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on to future generations (in other words, US!); and waging an unprecedented attack on civil rights and personal freedoms," Punkvoter.com proclaims.

Jurgensen's letter to Hayne begins thus: "How can you possibly rationalize that selling a T-Shirt stating: 'Voting is for Old People' is not a political agenda? As an artist, I appreciate expressions of outrage. I understand rebellion, and respect the use of irony and sarcasm to prove a point in public speech. But as a board member of Punkvoter.com, I find your T-shirt 'Voting is for Old People' to be an anti-American abomination."

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