This story was originally e-mailed in The Slant on July 28, 2017.
Remember that one time when a band named after a racial slur got the Supreme Court to strike down a law preventing offensive trademarks? Wait, was that just last month? Time goes by so slowly.
Anyway, if you thought people wouldn’t take advantage of this new Wild West of trademark law, you’re in for some shenanigans.
Don’t tell me …
Yeah, people did try to trademark the swastika! Not to mention the n-word, and something the New York Times just calls “an epithet for people of Chinese descent.” And under the new provision, these trademarks can’t just be thrown out.
It’s not like people didn’t see this coming. What The Slants called “a win for free speech” and “marginalized communities” turns out to be a lot of the former and not much of the latter.
Even the Trump administration recommended against striking down the law. Which … tells you something.
It’s gonna be okay, right?
Attorney David Bell says this situation is “a slippery slope, where you get more and more companies thinking, ‘This is okay.’”
He also says, however, that he didn’t think trademark filings were “high on [the KKK’s] radar.”
Instead, it’s on the radar of Steven Maynard, a 50-year-old white man in Virginia trademarking the n-word for use on his clothing, hard liquor and beer. Maynard, who we cannot stress enough has probably never been called the n-word in his life, said the point was to turn “hate into hope” and remove the racist connotations of the slur.
“If you suppress it, you give it power,” said the very white non-Black man.
I mean, if you can’t trust an old white guy on race issues, who can you trust?