“Liberty and Justice” T-shirt sales promote unity

T-shirts sold on campus are designed to remind students that equal treatment is extended to all. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo & Kassidy Woytek

A group of friends have been at work this week selling T-shirts featuring the slogan “Liberty and Justice for All” and telling their customers to wear the shirts on President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day. The profits from the shirt sales will be donated to the nonprofit organization RAICES, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Edinburg senior Dayra Garza said she first had the idea for the shirts when a racially-charged comment from a Trump supporter left her friend in tears.

“That pushed me to say, ‘Hey, we need to do something,’” Garza said. “We need to stand together. We need to let others know that there’s a support group here, and we’re rooting for them.”

Garza said when she told a favorite professor about her idea, the professor offered to sponsor 160 shirts to support her efforts. She also recommended the charity RAICES to Garza as a possible recipient of the profits.

RAICES is a nonprofit agency “that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to undeserved immigrant children, families and refugees,” according to the RAICES website at raicestexas.org.

The shirts sold for $12 each, and as of Wednesday evening, only about 40 shirts remained to be sold.

Garza said her friends rallied around her to help sell the shirts, and strangers reached out to help spread the word through social media.

Piedras Negras, Mexico, junior Arianna Gomez said she was happy to support her friend. She said she loved that the slogan “Liberty and Justice for All” was a message of unity after a presidential election filled with particularly divisive rhetoric.

“It shouldn’t be a very controversial slogan,” Gomez said. “It’s something that every American recites every morning, so there shouldn’t be any opposition to it.”

The design of the T-shirts emphasizes the words “For All” in capital letters. Garza said she chose this design as a reminder that even Americans from marginalized groups have a voice in the United States.

San Angelo sophomore Lauren Strickland, a member of the Baylor College Republicans, said the shirts were a favorable alternative to a rally.

“I think it’s good that they are voicing their opinion,” Strickland said. “I’m sure several pro-Trump or College Republican students will be wearing their Trump shirts, so I think it’s good to have both sides equally represented.”

Garza said she encourages students to wear the shirts around Baylor’s campus for Inauguration Day.

Several students said they plan to wear the shirts to a prayer rally hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Elliston Chapel at 7 p.m. today.