On November 9 of last year, a writer who publishes the blog Bent Corner discovered that Wal-Mart was selling T-shirts with a Nazi emblem on it–the divisional insignia of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. That discovery led to a public apology by the company and a promise to remove all of the controversial shirts immediately. However, three months after that story caused a national stir, there are reports that the shirts are still available at some Wal-Mart stores.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, and 21 Congressional colleagues sent a letter to Wal-MartÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s CEO, H. Lee Scott Jr., demanding that sale of the so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“death headÃ¢â‚¬Â logo be halted at once, according to the Chicago Tribune. The emblem is still used today by various neo-Nazis, especially because it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as well-known.
Another blog site, The Consumerist, edited by Ben Popken, has been tracking the progress of Wal-MartÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“recallÃ¢â‚¬Â and has continued to find stores who are still carrying the item. (Although the productÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bar code has been deactivated, people have still been able to purchase it.) ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s likely that the action Congress has taken was sparked by the reporting at The Consumerist.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everyone agreed that these shirts have to go, including Wal-Mart; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just that they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do anything about it,Ã¢â‚¬Â Schakowsky told the Tribune. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Either at the time they really weren’t serious, or their capacity to do that is limited, which makes one wonder about recalls of potentially dangerous products.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In her letter to Scott, Rep. Schakowsky wrote, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were pleased to learn Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. had agreed to immediately remove T-shirts from its shelves that display the insignia of Nazi GermanyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. As your spokesman David Tovar acknowledged last year, Ã¢â‚¬ËœWe would never have placed this T-shirt on our shelves had we known the origin and significance of this emblem.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Unfortunately, reports this week suggest that the product remains on your retailerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shelves. We are gravely dismayed about Wal-MartÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inaction on its pledge to remove this product from its stores, and we ask that you take immediate steps to comply with last NovemberÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commitment to remove this offensive merchandise from your shelves.Ã¢â‚¬Â