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Tennessee Store Criticised For Selling ‘Not Vaccinated’ Stars Modelled On Holocaust Badges

by : Julia Banim on : 30 May 2021 14:51
Tennessee Store Criticised For Selling 'Not Vaccinated' Stars Modelled On Holocaust Badgeshatwrksnashville/Instagram

A store in Tennessee has faced backlash for selling ‘Not Vaccinated’ stars modelled on Holocaust badges.

Nashville-based HatWRKS announced it would be selling these items in an Instagram post on Saturday, May 29.

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In the post, which has since been deleted, the store uploaded a picture of a woman wearing one of the stars alongside the caption, ‘Patches are here!! They turned out great. $5ea. Strong adhesive back… we’ll be offering trucker caps soon.’

The post soon sparked outrage, with many viewing the badges to be offensive and incredibly insensitive given the historical context.

Ivo Daaldo, president of The Chicago Council, tweeted:

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As a young school girl in Holland, my mother was forced to wear a yellow star by the Nazis to identify her as a Jew. It’s beyond grotesque to sell this evil symbol to proclaim one’s not vaccinated. Where does this end?

Political strategist and commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas wrote:

I could not believe this could be for real. I like to think such stupidity, insensitivity and ignorance in America cannot be commonplace. It’s real.

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Store owner Gigi Gaskins at first appeared to defend the badges, writing the following message on Instagram:

People are so outraged by my post? But are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing?

In a follow-up post, Gaskins clarified that the ‘tyranny’ she was referring to was simply the health and safety precautions implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, measures that include vaccine passports and masks.

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Gaskins has since apologised for ‘any insensitivity’ she has shown, claiming she in ‘no way’ intended to ‘trivialise the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people’.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by hatWRKS (@hatwrksnashville)

This comes a month after anti-lockdown protestors were slammed for wearing similar yellow stars during a demonstration in London.

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On Saturday, April 24, demonstrators took to the streets for the ‘Unite for Freedom’ march, protesting against restrictions implemented by the government to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Holocaust, Nashville, Now, tennessee, US