Remember when ‘that woman’ used the names of the soldiers who had given the ultimate sacrifice for her little white cross political statement? I know I wasn’t the only one who thought that was beyond the pale. She had every right to use her own son’s name. She could probably get permission from her band of followers to use the names of their lost children, but she used every name she could lay her hands on and that was inexcusable. She’s not the only one stooping so low and in fact, she actually is not the lowest of the low. No, that goes to a man in Flagstaff, AZ who uses the names of dead heroes for monetary gain by putting them all on a t-shirt to make his political point.
There are Gold Star mothers who are working to stop this man and those like him who would use their sons’ names for monetary gain. Yvette Burridge is one and Judy Vincent is another.
Judy Vincent learned last year that Cpl. Scott M. Vincent’s name is among about 1,700 included on a T-shirt being sold by an Arizona man over the Internet. The front of the shirt reads “Bush Lied” and the back reads “They Died.”
The Bokoshe woman, whose son was killed in April 2004, pushed for Oklahoma legislators to pass a law that makes it a misdemeanor to use a soldier’s name or likeness for advertising purposes without consent. The law goes into effect this November.
U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., introduced a similar bill in Congress two weeks ago after Vincent asked him to do so. Republican U.S. Reps. Charles W. Boustany Jr. of Louisiana and Geoff Davis of Kentucky introduced similar legislation around the same time.
The shirt vendor “has the right to voice his opinion, as we all do,” Vincent said.
“But I do believe the First Amendment stops when you use a person’s name or likeness to make a profit. I don’t care what he thinks about the war. I do care that he’s making money off my son’s death.”
But this man will not stop and he even claims to care about and support the soldiers. He says he will continue to use the names despite the letters he has received from the families of those soldiers.
The shirt vendor, Dan Frazier of Flagstaff, Ariz., recently issued an open letter to family members who contacted him to protest the use of their loved ones’ names on the shirt. He praised the soldiers’ bravery and sacrifice and insisted he was not trying to degrade their service, but said he would not stop selling the shirt.
“Every name matters, and will be retained to help underscore the horrific loss of life that has been caused by President Bush’s rush to war under false pretenses,” the letter states.
He said in a prepared statement given to CBSNews.com, “I believe I have a moral obligation to do the right thing here. To me, the right thing is to continue drawing attention to the horrific toll this war is taking in terms of the lives lost. If these legislators really cared about the families of the troops, they would stop their political posturing and pass legislation to bring the troops home.”
Frazier added in the statement that he will fight any new legislation in court if necessary, but with his supply of merchandise running low, he may run out of merchandise before the new legislation takes effect. He added that his “Bush Lied-They Died” merchandise has sold poorly and that he is unlikely to produce any more. kutv.com
I can’t say that I’m sorry he had poor sales because I don’t believe that someone has the right to take the name and/or likeness of another person and use it, without permission, for any reason, but especially not for monetary gain. It has nothing to do with the political views of that person, it has to do with basic human decency. I feel the same about some of the things I’ve seen on the web, such as other t-shirts, caps and bracelets et cetera. I wonder if they have permission from the families. Did Hollywood get permission from the New Yorkers portrayed in World Trade Center or Flight 93? I’m sure they probably did for the most part with all their high -priced lawyers, but what about those families who wanted no part of it? And what about those guys who made Loose Change? It just isn’t right. As Judy Vincent said, “I don’t care what he thinks about the war. I do care that he’s making money off my son’s death.”