Simon Tam

Kaylee Frye is iconic because her long time crush, when they were faced with impending doom, was like “you know… I really wish I’d had time to be with you” and she was like “wait you wanna have sex with me?? fuck this shit mate I AM GONNA LIVE TO SEE THAT TOMORROW” 

and like, honestly, same, I too would be 100% more motivated by my ongoing thirst than anything else

On a Monday morning in June, Simon Tam woke up at his home in Portland, Ore., to 753 notifications blowing up his phone.

“At that point, I knew something had happened,” Tam said. The Supreme Court had finally resolved his nearly eight year fight with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the name of his band, The Slants.

The justices ruled, unanimously to strike the section of a federal trademark law that prohibited the use of disparaging and offensive terms. The trademark office had cited part of a 71-year-old trademark law, Section 2A of the Lanham Act, when it prohibited Tam from registering The Slants, a slur against Asians, as the name of the band.

The Court’s ruling agreed with Tam and the other band members that the law had infringed on their free speech. But in the process, The Slants case had opened up a whole can of worms involving other offensive or racist terms, most notably the debate over the Washington Redskins. The team’s owner, Dan Snyder, said in a statement that he was “thrilled” with the decision.

And sure enough, the football team has since won its own trademark fight. A group of Native American activists led by Amanda Blackhorse, along with the Department of Justice, gave up their longstanding court efforts to ban the team from using that name.

Which was something Simon Tam and his band mates never anticipated when they formed their Asian-American rock group more than a decade before.

What’s Next For The Founder Of The Slants, And The Fight Over Racial Slurs

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/NPR