T-shirt blending California and Idaho hits a nerve, gets way more attention than expected


(Iowa landscape, Pixabay public domain)

Social media users reportedly flipped a script last week when an Idaho man posted humorous social commentary about the states of California and Idaho to a local Facebook group.

His commentary consisted of photos that showed his kids wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a shape that resembled California but was labeled as Idafornia, an amalgamation of Idaho and California.

According to Fox News, t-shirt designer and artist Scott Pentzer “said the shirts were intended to provide a commentary on the number of Californians moving to Idaho.” If anything, the shirts were “intended to celebrate newcomers.” Nothing more, nothing less. The post is no longer available on Facebook, but it’s captured in some tweets.

But instead many appeared to interpret the shirt as a reflection of what Pentzer has dubbed “California resentment,” i.e., the exasperation some Middle America natives feel when coastal residents relocate to their communities in a bid to escape the policies of far-left states like California.

The problem is that these newcomers rarely relinquish their political views when they move. So instead of realizing that it was the left-wing policies they supported that ruined their home states, they cling to their old views, and in doing so they oftentimes swing elections in their new states to the left.

Because of this interpretation of Pentzer’s work, all hell broke loose when he shared photos of his kids wearing the t-shirts to the “Boise Buy Sell Trade” Facebook group.

“I took pictures of my kids wearing [the shirts], and thought nothing of it,” he said to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I checked back in a couple of hours, and everyone was fighting each other.”

“They [people from Idaho] were angry at Californians, saying, ‘F— California,’ and the Californians were saying ‘F— you’ right back, and called Idahoans ignorant.”

“What in the absolute f— is this b——?” one Facebook user reportedly wrote.

“That shirt’s not even good enough to wipe your butt with,” another added.

“Idahoans be hating on just Cali but every state hates Idaho,” yet another argued.

Pentzer said that the rhetoric grew so vitriolic that he felt compelled to just delete the post.

“It tapped into a nerve or something,” he noted. “I know [California resentment] is out there a bit, from some of the stories I heard. But I never knew Idahoans hated Californians that much.”

The battle continues to rage on Twitter, kind of, though there appear to be far more Iowans complaining about Californians than Californians complaining about Iowans.



It’s the age-old battle of conservative vs liberal, right vs wrong, east vs west, etc. But it’s a battle that the Idaho artist definitely believes isn’t worth fighting, though he understands both sides’ perspective.

“A lot of [Idahoans] don’t make a lot of money, and we’re seeing housing prices driven up. But things look nicer so there’s good and bad, but more good than bad, I think. But some people liked Idaho little, rural and run-down. Everywhere there were farms there are now shopping malls,” he said of his fellow natives in Idaho, where he’s reportedly spent all his life.

He likewise understands the sentiment of California transplants.

“I heard a story from one woman who said she was seeking car service and had California plates on her car. She said no one would give her service, even though she had a kid in the car,” he explained.

“I’m sorry there’s so much resentment out there and my shirt became a symbol of the clash. Maybe it’s good for people to figure out their feelings,” he said in conclusion.

Fair enough.

That being said, perhaps Californians and other coastal leftists should take some time to figure out their political views before relocating. Do they support higher taxes? Do they support a higher minimum wage? Do they support business-crushing regulations?

If so, maybe California is a better home for them than they realize.


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Vivek Saxena


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