An accessories store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Bejeweled is selling $5.99 Swastika earrings. There’s only one pair left. Gawker’s Brian Moylan has some choice words for the store and its clientele: “Greenpoint fauxhemians, you cannot wear a Swastika ironically.”
As pointed out in other articles and posts regarding this incident, the swastikas in the photo are backwards, which has some commenters insisting it’s not the same symbol.
Yes, the swastika was around way before Hitler appropriated it for his Let’s Kill All Jews agenda, but the key word here is ‘appropriated’. Post-1945, the swastika symbol will never be looked at the same way again. It’s forever tainted by Hitler and his SS-minions. Nobody looking at those earrings is thinking it’s a benign symbol with Hindu or Buddhist origins. The first thing that comes to mind is Hitler and the Holocaust. There’s just no way it doesn’t. Wearing a swastika in Western society and saying it’s not an offensive or aggressive act is ignorant at best. If you’re a Neo-Nazi and you’re not wearing it ironically, then sure, wear it. At least you’re being honest about your intent (yes, I’m being slightly ironic here myself). But if you think it’s OK to wear it, you’re mistaken.
P.S. In researching this post, I discovered a small town in Ontario named Swastika. The town was incorporated in 1908. During WWII the local government renamed the town Winston (after Winston Churchill) but the residents protested and erected a sign that said, “To hell with Hitler, we came up with our name first.”