Alex Reside

He sported it at his recent performance at Panorama Music Festival.

On Friday night at Panorama Fest in New York City, Frank Ocean performed an emotional set hits like “Thinkin Bout You,” “Nights,” “Self Control,” and even a cover of “Never Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5. The show was also chock full of notable artistic set pieces, from the fact that the visuals were directed by Spike Jonze, the stage featured Tom Sachs-designed speakers and keyboards, and Ocean’s wore a pair of yet-to-be-released Off-White x Nike Air Presto sneakers. Ocean also sported yet another hair color, this time opting for a bright blue (previously the singer has been spotted with both pink and green hair). But despite all of this, the most notable thing Ocean wore actually came from the least well-known brand—a T-shirt with a political message by a company called Green Box Shop.

The T-shirt reads “WHY BE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, OR TRANSPHOBIC WHEN YOU COULD JUST BE QUIET?” in a simple all-caps font. But it’s not just the minimal design that’s the draw, it’s the clear yet decidedly un-preachy message. It’s 2017, and despite our president’s archaic feelings on the trans community, spreading a message of hate against other people for their race, gender, or sexual orientation, is completely unnecessary. This tee simply asks that instead, those perpetuating this kind of vitriol do us all favor and keep it to themselves. As Green Box Shop’s website accurately explains, the first amendment protects American citizens’ free speech against prosecution by the government. It doesn’t, however, protect citizens from having other citizens not them they’re being an asshole. This T-shirt is a much gentler and more stylish way of saying that.

One thing we hope everyone can agree on is that there are a lot of political T-shirts out there today that are straight-up lame even if you do agree with their message. Even if we leave aside historically over-saturated political tees like the ones that feature Che Guevara’s face, last year’s grueling presidential campaign saw a huge influx in bad political merch. The list could go on forever, but there were tees with graphics like “IDK NOT TRUMP THO 2016,” ones with CNN-parodying “Communist News Network” graphics, or Fox News-inspired tees that replaced the network name with “Epic Fail.” (We have to imagine that the only thing more annoying than these tees themselves were the people who wore them.) And who could forget how Trump’s MAGA gear spread like wildfire and has since spawned an unbelievable amount of almost-as-bad parodies? Leave it to a true taste-level god like Frank Ocean to find an unknown T-shirt brand making politically-motivated tees that we can actually get behind (and can feel good about wearing).

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