"Walking Dead" shirts were pulled out of Primark department stores due to the "offensive" origins of the phrase referenced on it. While the words "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe" does not mean anything other than a nursery rhyme for most people, there is actually a darker turn to an earlier version.
Fox News reported that the shirt, which read "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe" and has a picture of a bloodied baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, refers to the series' villain, Negan, who utters the rhyme before attacking his victims with Lucille the bat. The nursery rhyme, which was recited as "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Catch a tiger by the toe," was actually recited with the N-word in earlier versions. However, it is important to note that Negan, in the series, opted to use the more modern, less racist version.
This became a cause for concern by a shopper who directly complained to the UK-based store's CEO, Paul Marchant. Sheffield News reported that the said customer, a Methodist minister by the name Ian Lucraft, complained about the "racially explicit graphic and text" on the shirt. He also said that it was "fantastically offensive."
While the phrase was more of a reference to the series, the minister also put it upon himself to remind consumers that they should be aware of the subliminal messages that came attached with the phrase. "The slogan is 'Eeny meenie miny moe...' It stops there, but of course we all know what the original said: 'catch a n----r by his toe,'" Lucraft explained. When he shared the reasoning behind his complaint to the salesperson at checkout, he inferred that she too, was "horrified."
The shirt also has a picture of Lucille, an image, that Ludcraft believes is in relation directly to the practice of assaulting black people. "It is directly threatening of a racist assault," the minister added. He also stated he believed if he were a black person faced by a wearer of the same shirt, that he would know just where he stood.
A spokesman for Primark said in an apologetic statement that the questionable garment has already been withdrawn from the stores, claiming that any offense caused by the design has been unintentional.