HatWRKS, a Nashville, Tennessee hat company, has come under fire after its owner posted a photo to Instagram showing a $5 patch that looks just like the yellow Star of David patches used by the Nazis to identify Jews.
Inside the patch is the term, “not vaccinated.”
The controversial patch prompted a great deal of anger on social media.
The AFP reported:
“Your Nazi star badges are perhaps the most offensive, anti-Semitic thing I’ve ever seen,” one user posted on the business’s Facebook page, summing up the social media outcry in response to the post, while others used the hashtag #HATEWORKS.
Local media showed a few dozen protesters outside the shop on Saturday, including some who held up a banner declaring “No Nazis in Nashville!”
And Stetson, known for its Western hats, said on Saturday that “as a result of the offensive content and opinions shared, Stetson and our distribution partners will cease the sale of all Stetson products to HatWRKS in Nashville.”
The business, which regularly posted content on social media expressing views against coronavirus restrictions and Democratic President Joe Biden, replaced its controversial post with another one addressing its critics.
“people are so outraged by my post? but are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing?” it said. “if you don’t understand what is happening, that is on you, not me.”
WKRN said that over 15 hat companies have cut ties with HatWRKS over the patches.
One Facebook user who claims to know the owner excoriated her on social media:
Gaskins later posted an apology on Instagram, stating, “In NO WAY did I intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. That is not who I am & what I stand for. My intent was not to exploit or make a profit. My hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that I can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. I sincerely apologize for any insensitivity.”
Here’s a video report, courtesy of WKRN:
We get the message Gaskins was trying to send, especially given there are some who want to curtail freedom for those not vaccinated, but we have to agree with her critics that using such horrific imagery trivializes what Hitler did and demeans the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust.
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