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Urban Outfitters’ Yellow Star of Shame

It is generally a good rule to ignore those who purposefully seek to generate outrage, but there are times when even those who are hoping to be condemned for their behavior need to be obliged. The Urban Outfitters clothing store, which in the past has produced t-shirts designed to offend Irish-Americans and the Navajo Indian tribe, has sunk to new depths by marketing a Holocaust-themed t-shirt.

As The Daily reports, the chain’s “Wood Wood Kellog Tee” is a yellow t-shirt with a Star of David on the breast pocket that is a dead ringer for the same insignia Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust. The Anti-Defamation League has rightly condemned this stunt, but let’s hope that unlike previous successful ploys by the store to generate a little buzz by pushing the buttons of other groups, this is not the end of the story.

Poking fun of Irish-American drinking on St. Patrick’s Day was in poor taste, but Urban Outfitters’ attempt to join in the carnival spirit of that holiday might have been interpreted as an attempt at humor. But while some may find some humor in inebriation, there is nothing funny about the murder of six million Jews.

As The Daily notes, Urban Outfitters isn’t commenting on the ADL’s attempt to wake them up to the enormity of what they have done and, as they have in the past, may think they can simply ignore the criticism or ride it out. But there ought to be consequences for treating the Holocaust as a marketing theme. Those who normally purchase clothing from this chain ought to make it clear to them they won’t continue to support a business that thinks it can make a few extra bucks by exploiting this horror.


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