American Retro Apparel causes controversy on Facebook and in the Wiregrass

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — What was supposed to be a retro design celebrating a community, turned out to be something much different.

Outrage poured over racist imagery in one company’s depiction of Dothan.

Last Friday, the Facebook community “Alabama Memories” posted images of Alabama cities, that look like vintage post cards.

Some people are outraged that the image of Dothan has slaves picking cotton.

“I was very disappointed in the post because I didn’t understand the racial insensitivity of posting something that represents Dothan,” Executive Director of Equally Yoked Community Outreach, Derrick Oliver said. “The cotton fields themselves are an integral part of our history, but putting seemingly black figures in the picture picking cotton. I don’t believe that is where Dothan is now.”

As of Monday afternoon the post sits at 489 reactions, 141 comments, and 759 shares.

“It does not depict Dothan in any kind of way that is true to light,” Mayor of Dothan Mark Saliba said. “We wish we had been consulted on it and asked our opinion of it and we definitely don’t condone it in any way.”

In the post it gives some brief history of the city regarding the landmarks that were chosen to be featured in the postcard.

American Retro Apparel, the company behind this, was going to sell t-shirts with that post-card.

“And I am hoping that we can simply see this for what it is, a distraction and not allow that to bring any division in our city. That we continue to be unified and just continue love the city and continue to be brothers to each other,” Oliver said.

Mayor Saliba says that the city of Dothan has nothing to do with this post or design and they will reach out to this company, asking them to change the postcard design that was made.

“We would ask that they be a little more sensitive to the issues and topics of the day. Realize that doesn’t depict Dothan in any kind of way,” Saliba said.

As of right now, we still haven’t heard from the company behind the design and this t-shirt, but just a short time ago, the company did take down the Dothan post on Facebook.

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