This is just ridiculous, I mean am I missing something here? See, Urban Outfitters had this t-shirt that they were selling online. Designed by a Danish clothing brand called Wood Wood, the shirt, which retails for $100(!!) is mustardy yellow and features an embroidered blue logo shaped like a Star of David. Here, check it out:
Well, this shirt caught the attention of one Barry Morrison, a regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. Apparently he took offense to the design, calling it “a new low” for the sometimes controversial clothing retailer. Why? In a letter he wrote to Richard Hayne, Chairman, President and CEO of Urban Outfitters, he said the design was associated with the yellow Star of David symbol Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe: “We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers.” The ADL is calling on Urban Outfitters to issue an immediate apology, remove the offending t-shirt from their catalog, and meet with ADL reps for what I assume will be a stern spanking.Now, I’m no Holocaust expert or anything, and far be it from me to note the shrill tone of the ADL, which is tasked with fighting Antisemitism, racism and discrimination, but I have to ask, “What are you thinking???” I mean, it’s a blue star, not a yellow star and it doesn’t have the word “Jude” or “Jood” or “Juif” on it or anything of the sort. I don’t get it at all. Maybe it’s because the shirt is yellow? Thus any juxtaposition of a yellow shirt and a Jewish star can be deemed to be offensive? I don’t know. Like I said, I’m no expert, maybe the ADL really knows best, right? Right??
If so then it behooves me to inform Barry Morrison and the ADL of another grievous offense to the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It seems that an organization is wearing and selling entire outfits and uniforms using the same deeply offensive yellow shirt, blue Star of David template that Urban Outfitters and Wood Wood used. I hate to provide these people with any further publicity, but the sanctity of the Holocaust and historical accuracy demands that these insensitive bastards feel the wrath of the ADL. Here, let me show you an image:
What you see above is the very disrespectful logo of the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer club. The Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball team also uses the same logo and color scheme. Yes. Yellow shirt, blue Star of David. They too need to issue an immediate apology, pull all their apparel from stores and meet with ADL representatives for some sensitivity training. The Maccabi teams are among the most beloved sports teams in all of Israel so teaching these people some sensitivity might be quite the herculean task. As such, given that I am already in Israel, I’ll volunteer to sensitize the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball cheerleaders ok? Look at how they brazenly wear that Star of David! This is totally evocative of the Holocaust, and in a disrespectful way too.
I’ll set those wayward ladies straight. What can I say? Much like the ADL, I am a humanitarian at heart.
** UPDATE APRIL 23, 2012 **
Co-Founder of W.W., Brian SS Jensen (I’m not kidding. “SS”) issued the following statement in response to the t-shirt controversy:
as some of you are aware, several news sites have been writing about our ‘Kellog’ T-shirt, which feature an image of a six-pointed star, allegedly similar to the yellow badge jews were ordered to wear by the German nazis.
First of all the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to judaism, nazism or the holocaust. The graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns for our spring/summer collection ‘State of Mind’.
However when we received the prototype of this particular style we did recognize the resemblance, which is why we decided not to include the star patch on the final production T-shirt.
I assume the image people have reacted to comes from Urban Outfitters´ web site. This must be a photograph of an early prototype.
I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings with this.
Brian SS Jensen,
In the meantime the grossly offensive blue Star of David is till featured on the WoodWood Web site. Ha ha.