Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

d) Allegation of selling a racially
insensitive Buckwheat T-shirt

Hayward also alleged purchasing what he called the "pocket nigger" T-shirt at the 1992 Roundup.

(i) Evidence

1992 "Buckwheat" T-shirt
Fig. 29

Several witnesses reported that a T-shirt with a pocket drawn on it, the words "Good Ole Boys '92," and a drawing of the television character Buckwheat from the Little Rascals show as if he were tucked inside the "pocket," was offered for sale at the 1992 Roundup. Although we could not determine who offered these shirts for sale, we found no evidence that they were "official" Roundup souvenirs.

An article in the September 1995 issue of Media Bypass alleged that this particular shirt was "[t]he ATF 'Pocket Nigger' shirt, featuring 'Buckwheat,' [that] was entered into the 1992 roundup T-shirt competition." We found no evidence either connecting this shirt in any way to anyone from ATF or of a T-shirt "competition" at any Roundup.

Although Hayward referred to the shirt as the "pocket nigger" T-shirt, we do not know if he originated this name. Other witnesses referred to it in a similar manner. Neither Hayward nor any other interviewee who had purchased one of the shirts could tell us from whom he got it.

(ii) OIG findings

Credible evidence exists that someone offered these T-shirts for sale at the 1992 Roundup; indeed, a purchaser of such a shirt gave it to us. Unfortunately, we have no evidence as to the responsible party. Rightmyer said he never saw this particular shirt. We found no evidence that anyone questioned the propriety of such shirts. We showed this shirt to a number of witnesses and, again, received differing views of whether it was racist. The individual who purchased the shirt contended that he did not consider it to be racist and did not purchase it for any potential racist message. Others saw it differently.