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Controversial t-shirt targets Durham, Cary

Published On: Jun 28 2013 09:36:32 AM CDT
Durham controversial shirt
DURHAM, DURHAM COUNTY (WTVD) -

Durham is home to more than 200,000 people, but a new t-shirt makes a bold statement about the Bull City.

It slams not only Durham, but Cary as well.

The shirt reads "I'd rather be shot in Durham than die of boredom in Cary."

People that ABC11 showed this shirt to were taken aback by the rather bold statement.

"Oh, it's offensive," said Durham resident Andrea Hooks.

"It's clever, but it's pretty bad," said Cary resident Tyler Parrish.

It's a graphic tee with a few words, but powerful punch. It generalizes Cary as a cookie cutter, vanilla, soccer-mom Utopia.

"It's rude. Absolutely, it's rude," said Cary resident Elizabeth Sullivan.

It also characterizes Durham as a violent, crime-ridden city where you need to watch your back.

"Oh wow, that's not a good look for Durham," said Hooks.

"It's just a joke really. It plays into some stereotypes," said Gabriel Eng-Goetz, the controversial shirt's designer. "Controversial material definitely always sells."

Eng-Goetz knows it was not politically correct -- adding he was born, raised and still resides in Durham.

"We still have issues with crime obviously," said Eng-Goetz, "more shootings than Cary."

Cary mayor Harold Weinbrecht said the t-shirt makers must have a false perception of the town.

"Both Durham and Cary are great communities with a lot going for them. Of course, I am partial to Cary where we are consistently recognized nationally as one of the safest, most desirable places to live, work, play, raise a family and run a business," Weinbrecht said. "I love Cary and am proud to be its mayor. I am sure my buddy Bill Bell feels the same about Durham."

Durham mayor Bill Bell did not respond.

Residents of Cary were more than willing to come to their respective community's defensive.

"Cary may be a little boring, but it's the best place to raise your kids," said Sullivan.

"Durham is trying to let go of that reputation that it's dangerous," said Durham resident Tara Fusco. "It's a young, vibrant town."

The shirt is not available just yet. It goes on sale beginning next week.

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For more information, visit WTVD.