A t-shirt that was sold at the Saline County Agricultural Fair surprised and angered many in the area. The t-shirt was designed for the fair and from a distance, it didn’t appear controversial. The name of the county was placed on the top portion of the shirt in bold letters, and below it are some cartoon farm animals. The other words that appeared on the shirt are those that have angered many in the community, though, and the three words that have sparked this controversy are “Farm Lives Matter.” People are upset that they would put these words on a shirt with animals on it. They believe that it is not sensitive to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The director of the fair stated that they didn’t think that the shirt would offend anyone and that wasn’t their intention with it. They just wanted to put together the fair as best as they could in these hard times. Some didn’t like that answer and said that it wasn’t an excuse for the poorly worded shirt. Nancy Maxwell, a criminal justice chair, said that the shirt is insulting to people of another race. She also said that putting the words along with the animal pictures is offensive because animal and human lives cannot be compared. Sherry Peyton, a local to the area where the fair is held, wasn’t happy about the shirt and took to Facebook to share her feelings about it. People with varying opinions commented on her post, and she was shocked by the attacks she got for it. She said that she just wanted to post because she felt she had to be a good example for her grandchildren.
The mayor of Harrisburg, John McPeek, said that he didn’t have anything to do with the design, nor did his city. He said those putting on the fair messed up when they decided on the message for the t-shirts, but that they have otherwise done a good job with the fair and he believes that they didn’t try to get controversial with the shirt. The lesson that Nancy Maxwell hopes people learn from all of this is how important the Black Lives Matter movement is, as she hopes they will look into what it is all about.
Many others believe in the Black Lives Matter movement and its importance, as well, and that is why the t-shirt caused so much controversy. People were offended when they saw the black and what farm animals on the front of the shirt along with “Farm Lives Matter” written above them. The shirt is no longer being sold at the fair because of the offense it has caused, but the fair is still going on through Friday.