Green Room

Anti-Palin Faux-troversy of the Day: The Black Bracelet

posted at 6:19 pm on February 10, 2010 by

I thank Yale Graduate School student Eric Robinson for his service to the country in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But Robinson’s hit piece on Sarah Palin, Palin’s bigger blunder, leads me to believe Robinson has succumbed to the New Haven funny water, either that, or he is spending too much time with Bruce Ackerman over at the law school.

Robinson writes that Palin has shown contempt for the memory of fallen soldiers by wearing a black metal bracelet (see photo) with the name of her son living son Track on it:

The name on her black memorial bracelet — one, like the gold star, a demonstration of a friend or associate who was killed in action — is that of her oldest son, Track. Track served honorably in Iraq, and both he and his parents should be thanked for his selfless service to his country. He is also alive.

Commemorating Track’s service by wearing a a black memorial bracelet which is reserved for those dead or even a red bracelet for those missing in action, demonstrates a horrifying contempt for those who gave their last full measure of devotion or an almost unbelievable ignorance of the importance of symbols in American history.

Unfortunately, given Palin’s reputation and frequent public statements, I assume it is the latter.

Needless to say, this gotcha is making Robinson something of a hero. Political Carnival proclaims: “Not only did she mega-embarrass herself again, she did it tastelessly… Barbie wears live people. And the humiliation continues….” Taegen Goddard’s Political Wire has picked up the story, as has James Joyner (neither one expressed a view on the propriety of wearing the product).

It may be that wearing a black wrist band with a fallen soldier’s name on it is a common method of honoring that soldier, but a simple internet search demonstrates that that is not the exclusive use of black wrist bands.

The Trophy House sells a black metal bracelet which it calls the Soldiers’ Deployment Bracelet:

Let the world know that your loved one is serving abroad in the United States Armed Forces.

These bracelets are currently available in two styles. We have the silver bracelet, made of highly durable .05 gauge scratch-resistant stainless steel. And the black bracelet made of black aluminum.

The engraving on the bracelet includes the soldier’s name, the unit served in, and the date of their deployment. These bracelets are guaranteed not to fade. Wear it with pride while your loved one defends our liberties and freedom!

Palin’s wearing a black metal bracelet with her son’s name on it would seem to be consistent with honoring his deployment.

To make the leap from Palin wearing a commonly available deployment bracelet to Palin having contempt for fallen soldiers is both a bridge too far and a bridge to nowhere.

Just because an item is used for one purpose, doesn’t mean that such use is exclusive to that purpose. I hope they teach such concepts at Yale, because you will need them when you enter the real world, and even more so when you enter politics.

Cross-Posted with updates at Legal Insurrection Blog

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


She could be wearing it not only because of her son but also for fallen soldiers she has known personally or in honor of all fallen soldiers.

Whatever the case may be it’s yet another example of much ado about nothing where Palin is concerned.

beachgirlusa on February 10, 2010 at 6:46 PM

This post has been promoted to

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Ed Morrissey on February 10, 2010 at 6:52 PM

or an almost unbelievable ignorance of the importance of symbols in American history.

Hmm, wonder if Robinson was annoyed by Obama missing the Medal of Honor Recipients Inaugural Ball (first pres to do that in over 50 years), or his trying to shake the hand of the Marine “Corpseman” as he entered his helicopter, or his lack of knowledge of how to salute, or his mentioning seeing many fallen soldiers in the audience as he addressed “corpsemen” on Memorial Day a couple years back?

NTWR on February 10, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Update No. 2: It gets better. The company which manufactured the bracelet Palin wears has bragged about it on its website, and guess what, they made one for Joe Biden too (to honor his son’s service) and Biden’s office called the company to thank it:

Back in 2004, we had heard that both Sarah Palin’s son and now Vice President Joseph Biden’s son were heading off on deployements, so we made them both a set of Deployed HeroBracelets with their son’s names on the bracelets. Our way for thanking them both for having son’s in the military. We actually got a very nice call from Senator Biden’s office, thanking us for the HeroBracelets. And now we’re quite proud to see Sarah Palin wearing her HeroBracelet.
So Joe must hate fallen soldiers too!

The mainstream media and nutroots accuse us of having black helicopters, but the Palin haters now have black bracelets.

deidre on February 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM

So, they want to go after military moms?

The insanity of this is breathtaking.

portlandon on February 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM

“Error 404 – Not Found” on the new link.

beachgirlusa on February 10, 2010 at 7:15 PM

1) The bracelet isn’t black, it’s bronze anodized aluminum–seen here.
2) It’s a deployment bracelet, not a memorial bracelet.
3) Even Crooks and Liars retracted this story, found here.

Why? Because the creator of the bracelet notified the original article writer, seen below:

About Ms. Palin’s HeroBracelet.

We sent her those bracelets during the last election. When we learned that her son, Track and Senator Biden’s son were both being deployed overseas, we sent them both Deployed HeroBracelets with their son’s names.

We’ve been providing Deployed HeroBracelets since 2004 for families to wear while their loved ones were serving. They can be made from sterling, copper, leather or bronze colored anodized aluminum (black is reserved for KIA).

So she isn’t out of line for wearing the Deployed HeroBracelet. There are ten’s of thousands of families around the country wearing them right now. On the HeroBracelets web site, we’ve got hundreds of letters from families, many vowing to not take the bracelet off till their loved one comes home.

Chris Greta

The fact that Huff-n-Puff hasn’t retracted it speaks volumes.

Enoxo on February 10, 2010 at 7:23 PM

So if he served he has absolute moral authority over a mother of a deployed soldier?

I have a better suggestion… Eric Robinson can FOAD.

DANEgerus on February 10, 2010 at 11:38 PM