By Anthony Walton
Lately it seems that ‘visibility’ has become a buzzword within social justice movements and political conversations. Sometimes it can be easy to forget the things that we hear. Just telling people about who you support and why you support them is good, but visual representation has the power to bring a required level of attention to whatever it is you are promoting.
Whether good or bad, a campaign T-shirt, hat, or bag all make a statement. They send a message to people that clearly lets them know what and who you stand for.
For example, when President Barack Obama first began campaigning, the infamous ‘O’ symbol in hope took off as a fashion trend. People were proud to show their support and were willing and ready to answer any questions that their clothing may have brought on.
Furthermore, our 45th president is notorious for his red baseball caps that carry his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Regardless of who supports him, everyone has seen these hats, and everyone knows what they mean.
For senators and congressman who aren’t starting off with a massive country-wide fan base, it’s even more vital for their campaign to involve supporters who wear their paraphernalia. Even if no one recognizes the hashtags or name of the congressman right away, seeing it visually will bring some sort of awareness. That same name and hashtag will be stored in the back of their minds, for a later date, or a progressive conversation. Some might even ask questions, such as “Who is that on your shirt?” and “I’m unfamiliar with this campaign, could you explain more about it?”
A lot of our local politicians struggle to get the word out and inform the community about who they are and the change they plan to implement. Television ads run , but what about those who aren’t watching television? Social media ads play a part, but what about the older generations in our community who aren’t as social media savvy, and don’t spend too much time engaging with it?
Wherever you go, the clothing you have on is one of the first things people notice about you. It has the power to make a good, bad, lasting, or completely new impression on anyone you meet. The next time you go to a political rally, or meeting in your community. Don’t look at the $20 T-shirt as a loss of twenty dollars. Look at it as a means of bringing recognition to the political party you support. The Ten 100 Committee promotes well-funded systematic means to political power. We seek to advance politicians of color, and in order to do so every aspect of a campaign counts. Even the clothes.