I was surprised at the level of response I got from yesterday’s post about Wal-Mart selling t-shirts with the Nazi SS “Death’s Head” logo on them. I knew some blogs got over 55,000 visits in a single day. I just never thought this blog would ever be one of them.
If I have learned anything over the last 24 hours its that people love a story involving Wal-Mart and Nazis. Go figure.
I was contacted yesterday by someone from a PR firm that represents Wal-Mart:
Good morning. My name is Marshall Manson. I work for Edelman doing online public affairs for Wal-Mart. I noticed your post about the t-shirts that Wal-Mart is selling. I wanted to make sure you saw the company’s statement about this and knew that Wal-Mart is now removing the t-shirts from its stores. Obviously, with a company as big as Wal-Mart, that may take a day or two.
The statement is just below. If you would like to discuss anything, feel free to respond to this e-mail.
Statement from Wal-Mart:
We were not aware of the origins of the image until this morning when we learned about it through the blog Bent Corner.
We are deeply sorry that this happened, and we are in the process of pulling all of these t-shirts from our stores.
Respect for the individual is a core value of our company and we would never have placed this t-shirt on our shelves had we known the origin and significance of this emblem.
We are reviewing our product review process in an effort to ensure this never happens again.
If you would like a copy of the above correspondence sent directly to you by Marshall Manson, simply post something on a blog about Nazi’s and Wal-Mart and wait about 30 minutes. I doubt it will take even that long. The very same email sent to me was sent to just about every other blog that posted something about this. Word for word.
The New York Times published an article about Wal-Mart and bloggers. In it they mention Marshall Manson quite frequently. It’s an interesting read.
Marshall Manson asked me if I would post an update to my original post about Wal-Mart and the Nazi shirts. Something about how quickly they responded to the problem once they realized they were selling Nazi swag. I would have no problem doing that, if I felt they had indeed acted upon the information that they were selling Nazi clothing.
The problem is that they haven’t yet done anything about the Nazi shirts.
Yesterday afternoon I stopped at a Wal-Mart on my way home for work and found a stack of the same shirts still for sale in the men’s department. My wife also stopped at a different Wal-Mart on her way home from work yesterday. She too found a stack of these Nazi shirts still for sale.
In my opinion, quickly taking care of a problem involves actually taking care of the problem.
Instead of having someone from a PR firm contact bloggers, Wal-Mart should have concentrated on simply removing the shirts from their stores. They could have worried about contacting bloggers after their stores were free of Nazi clothing.
Marshall Manson claimed that because of the size of Wal-Mart, removing the shirts from all the stores might take a day or two. I don’t think so. Wal-Mart could have removed these shirts from every store in a matter of minutes if they actually wanted to. Would they be this lethargically slow if they found out they were selling child porn?
I don’t think so.
I’m more than a little ticked off that because of my post, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are now goose stepping to Wal-Mart to buy these shirts. For example, over at the Resistance Records official website, members of the forum linked to my post and wrote about going to Wal-Mart to buy these shirts. Resistance Records produces white supremacist and neo-Nazi music. It is the same record company behind Prussian Blue, the Nazi version of the Olsen twins. One member of that forum even posted a photo of herself wearing the shirt she bought at Wal-Mart. The shirt she didn’t even know existed until I posted about it on my blog.
I wish Wal-Mart had acted more responsibly and taken care of this situation as soon as it was brought to their attention. Instead they worried more about trying to control the blogosphere then stopping teenage wannabe Nazis from buying Nazi SS shirts in their stores.
The reality is these shirts are so ugly, I doubt anyone was even buying them. Until wannabe Nazis learned about them on my blog. Great.