Imagine the reaction if I chose to wear a t-shirt sporting the face of our national mass murderer AndersBehring Breivik (who incidentally says he is considering suing the State since he has been kept in strict solitary confinement the entire time he has been imprisoned – by UN definition this is torture, and thus prohibited). Naturally – and rightfully! – I would be shamed and booed until I took the t-shirt off.
The H&M chain have apologized for their very tasteless t-shirt sporting a scull and the Magen David… But what are we to make of the professor in sociology who thinks wearing Nazi-clothes will result in less neo-nazism? Of course this is a Norwegian professor, at a Norwegian University. I only hope the journalist who quoted him has made a real hack of the job, because the alternative is just too upsetting to bear…
Lifted from Vårtland.no (google translate)
Believes Nazi clothes can prevent neo-Nazism
H & M has been criticized for a T – shirt with a Nazi theme print , but the clothing chain gets unexpected support from research sources. The leader of the Jewish community, Ervin Kohn, shakes his head in disbelief
Petter Nord Gaard Lorentzen
Andreas W. H. Lindvåg
A T – shirt from H & M has created uproar recently. After a blogger associated newspaper Times of Israel came across the product in a British H & M store, the cries of anti-Semitism spread in the international press . The T – shirt with a skull surrounded by a Star of David , was pulled from the market last week , according MinMote.no .
Also in Norway the T – shirt has caused reactions.
– I am sad and angry , said Ervin Kohn , Leader of the Jewish community . He is happy that T – shirt is now withdrawn.
Kohn received very unpleasant connotations when he saw the picture of it.
– The first thing I thought of was the skull – skull – which was the symbol of the SS uniform berets. It is macabre . I think it is primarily due to ignorance of H & M ‘s side , but the lack of knowledge of history knows no apparent bounds.
” Conscious ” But H & M gets unexpected support from research sources.
– That the totalitarian symbols are used to sell clothes may actually have the unintended consequence to counter extremism , says Allan Sande , professor of sociology at the University of Nordland.
He points out that the Nazi symbols on clothing is not a new phenomenon. The fashion industry collects tokens from different contexts to provoke . Among other things, Boy London last year was accused of using the eagle of the Third Reich coat of arms on one of their garments.
– It is a difficult balancing act . They must break boundaries , but without going too far. Then it seems counterproductive , says the professor.
Sande has no belief that clothing with totalitarian symbols provide fertile ground for extremist forces.
– The use of symbols often happens to provoke, but to joke . Extreme symbols are used as the attire for parties and carnivals .
On the contrary , he believes fraternizing with swastikas or hammer and sickle , counteracts extremism.
– When the symbols are taken out of context and used in fashion , movies and the like are the unintended positive effect. The symbolism is destroyed because the meaning is eaten up .
The professor says the symbols on t – shirt from H & M is somewhat ambiguous , but he understands that people react .
” Dangerous “. Ervin Kohn shakes his head when he hears the statements of Sande .
– it is precisely that the symbols are made common that makes them all the more dangerous. The swastika is banned in 19 European countries , and not without reason. Studies in recent years have shown that we have anti-Semitism in Norway . In addition, the ignorance associated with anti-Semitic stereotypes and symbols is very big, says Kohn .
The consequence will be that old bigotry becomes repeated and reproduced , he said.
Also a professor of political science at the University of Oslo, Bernt Hagtvedt , reacted strongly to the design on the shirt . When Vårt Land called the leading expert on genocides he was in France, visiting American war cemeteries.
– Is there no limit to the trivialization of totalitarian symbols, he asks.
The professor believes there is a lack of manners to use extremist symbols to sell clothes.
– Someone has to say stop to this nonsense . People’s ignorance never ceases to amaze me.
The use of Nazi symbols is due to ignorance , ” sensationalism and a desire to shock ,” Hagtvedt says.
Not on purpose. The Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz has now pulled the t-shirt back and lie flat . They do not want to respond specifically to criticisms that come to Vårt Land , but Kristin Fjeld, press officer H & M Norway , said they never meant to cause offense with T – shirt.
– We are very sorry if we have offended some by the print on this T-shirt , it was never intended. Here we have failed in our routines and have a great understanding of the reactions . The item has been pulled from all stores.