Bisexual British crooner Morrissey is reportedly selling shirts that have a picture of openly gay black writer James Baldwin and the lyrics of the Smiths’ song “Unloveable” that read, “I wear black on the outside/’Cause black is how I feel on the inside.”
Black people hate it when white people say they’re “black on the inside” — it’s considered a statement of appropriation, allowing others to claim black identity without having to experience or fight against any of the actual racism endured by black people. Morrissey’s new shirt is sure to get some bad press, especially considering the singer’s previous brushes with racism.
In a 1986 interview, he said that he “detest[ed] … black modern music” and in 1992, he displayed a backdrop of two female skinheads during a a London performance.
In 2004, he took a step against racism by being a founding signatory of the United Kingdom’s Unite Against Fascism group.
However, in 2008, Morrissey donated £28,000 to the organization Love Music Hate Racism after stating that immigration destroys British identity. Two years later, he told The Guardian, “You can’t help but feel that the Chinese people are a subspecies,” when discussing animal cruelty in China.