Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential Campaign Lives On In South Korea

Screenshot: hey.hyoni, yuiiyuii, Marxy

Jesse Jackson might have lost his 1988 bid, but his campaign lives on in South Korea as youth fashion.

If you’ve spent any time in Asia, you’ll know that it’s not uncommon to see interesting English slogans and expressions on t-shirts and sweatshirts. (Likewise, the English speaking world does the same with foreign languages!)

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Earlier this year, Jesse Jackson themed threads started appearing in South Korea. W. David Marx, author of the excellent Ametora, recently pointed out the trend.

The shirts come in a surprising variety. You know, for Jesse Jackson 1988 campaign tees.

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Jesse Jackson is, of course, known in South Korea. Some even tagged their images with 제시잭슨, which is the civil rights activist and presidential candidate’s name written in Korean.

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People are supposedly wearing them, too!

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A number of retailers appear to carry them.

Screenshot: yuiiyuii
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Screenshot: Bling Shop
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Screenshot: biznshoe

And there are hats!

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So what gives?

In the past year or so, Jackson has become increasingly involved with and interested in Korean politics. Last month he met with South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

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That, combined with feelings of 1980s nostalgia plus pure Americana might explain the shirts.

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.