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Tuesday, 14 November 2006

That Wal Mart T -shirt, What are you going to do Wal Mart?

The Death's Head symbol was worn by the members of the German Nazi SS,
appears on these T shirts available at Wal mart

With a very simple width adjustment the two skulls fall almost perfectly into line.
[Graphic by Bagelblogger]

A Few Blogges have been thinking about the combination of the Totenkopf icon and the year 1978 which appears on those Nazi T Shirts' that Wal Mart sold.

The Totenkopf on the Wal-Mart T-shirt looks very similar to the divisional insignia of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. As you can see, It's almost an exact copy.

Now my initial gut feeling is that 19-78 was chosen as it's a hip time, class of 78 etc etc, much like class of 76, 75 etc.

Heaps of T-shirts happen to use the ' retro class of' look.

But there are a few connections to 19-78 that worry me.

One is it was the year that the Turner Diaries were published. Now I hope you don't know what the Turner diaries are, but to those attracted to the extreme Far right they represent a landmark in American Nazi Politics.

The Turner Diaries, first published in 1978, is a novel popular among far-right extremists. Written by William Pierce (under the pseudonym of Andrew Macdonald), it portrays the violent overthrow of the Federal Government, and the systematic killing of Jews and non-whites in order to establish an "Aryan" world.

From ADL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skokie,_Illinois

The other possible connection is the the Skokie Nazi March of 19-78

Skokie is the traditional home of a sizable Jewish population, although in recent years the town has significantly diversified and much of the Jewish population has moved to other suburbs. In 1977 and 1978, members of the National Socialist Party of America (an offshoot of the American Nazi Party) attempted to march through Skokie. The NSPA planned to rally in Marquette Park, Chicago; the city reacted by placing a ban on all demonstrations in the park. Seeking another venue, the NSPA chose Skokie. On account of the large number of Holocaust survivors in Skokie, it was believed that the march would be disruptive, and the village refused to allow it. The American Civil Liberties Union intereceded on the behalf of the NSPA in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, and the march was permitted to proceed under court order but they were not permitted to show or wear the swastika. However, due to the recant of the Marquette Park ban, the NSPA ultimately rallied in Chicago.

From Wikipedia:Skokie

Now I believe and hope that this was all just a terrible mistake in picture selection by a T shirt designer, I believe that the year 1978 doesn't bare any importance to the iconography which appears on the T Shirt in question

What's important here is, that Walmart:

1. Failed to recognize a symbol which is actually banned in some countries because of its strong affiliation with the Nazi party and Far right Neo Nazi politics.

2. Sold an Item of clothing that features a very offensive logo.

3. Failed to act in a speedily manner in removing the stock, to stop further sales of this offensive piece of merchandise

Now the ball is in Wal mart's corner.

Now those Neo Nazi's who walked/drove down to Wal Mart to buy the slowly removed stock are highly unlikely to be encouraged to bring the offensive merchandise back.

But there are a whole group of people who have brought these T shirts, most unwittingly, and given encouragement would bring them back to be destroyed.

Its not enough to offer a refund. Wal Mart has made a serious mistake, I believe with no malice, but never the less they have helped distribute these highly offensive T shirts in a way that few companies could have.

I believe if Wal Mart truly cares about what has happened, they should offer an inducement to customers who mistakenly brought these T shirts.

They should offer Two T shirts from a similar quality range for every one of these offensive T shirts sold.

To offer a refund is simply not enough.

Walmart must accept that they provided assistance in the distribution of these vile T Shirts.

Well Wal Mart? What are you going to do?

ADL: Q & A on the Turner Diaries
Wikipedia: Skokie March
Skokie Public Library: Historical Archive of the Attempted Nazi March
Banned Iconography in Germany: English Translation , In Original German

Bent Corner Thanks for the HT!
Technorati: * Deaths Head * Hagerstown * Nazi * Totenkopf * Wal Mart * Edelman * Marshall Manson * Prussian Blue * Resistance Records * Wal Mart * Bagel Blogger


Mr. L said...

Bagel guy,

Wall Mart ripped off another hack "artist" Shepard Fairy. He owns OBEY clothing. He used the image on a t-shirt first. Wall Mart simply "appropriated" it w/o the historical significance. Just another reason to not shop wallmart or to buy OBEY cloting.

Conroy Van Winkle said...

I don't think wall mart could care less what the image means historicly, all it means to them is sales. They stole the Shepard Fairy version, not the original. It's like a visual chinese whisper. If you can't understand Shepard Fairey using the image, you obviously have no understanding of his work or the culture it belongs to and you probably have no interest in trying to comprehend it. Contraversy always makes great art, it's so wierd how all you people creating contreversy and misinterpreting art don't get that you are the ones who build up all the hype around it and don't realise that one day you will be talked about as the simple folk who didn't get it.

Mr Bagel said...

2 Previous comments have been deleted due to extreme racist overtones.
Mr Bagel

Mr Bagel said...

Interesting points Conroy, but as a major in Art Theory, I suspect I might just 'get it' more than you can appreciate.
Who do you refer to when you state 'you are the ones'?
If I remember correctly the 'simple ones' where the ones that didn't voice an opinion, remained silent and watched as culture and art were destroyed under the guise of 'racial purity and so called freedom'.
But we wouldn't want to cause a disturbance would we...