You Barack It, You Buy It

Obama ties—and thongs? Please stop the merchandise madness.

But I have never seen anything like the Obama madness. I mean the Obama cereal promises, “a spoonful of hope in every bowl.” Even the most famous image of Obama, the face cast off into light looking both determined and focused painted in red, white and blue with the words, “Hope” and “Progress” is not immune. Stamped underneath is an image of its creator, the one-time graffiti artist, Shepard Fairey.

Obama is a man, not a demi-god, and having his face on everything from cereal to plates is borderline weird. I don’t blame people for making this stuff since we are a consumer-driven culture, and everyone is looking to make a fast buck. I am more worried about the person who wants to eat a ham sandwich off a Barack Obama dinner plate. That is odd.

If you want to know why our economy sucks, look at anyone who would spend $10 on a 24-karat-gold-plated commemorative Barack Obama coin. That person should be flogged, publicly. I am all for branding, in fact I understand it to be part of marketing 101, but too much ice cream can cause weight gain. We are stuffed full of Obama, and he hasn’t even been sworn into office yet.

Consumerism is one thing, but killing the spirit of the election and plastering the man’s face on everything from hats to thongs is overkill. Before the election, Obama even joked with radio personality Big Tigger about it all. When Tigger asked Obama how it felt to be a cultural icon, Obama laughed and said, “I have put a lot of brothers in business. I have seen the shirts.”

We’ve all seen the shirts. Now stop it.

Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is a regular contributor to The Root.