HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois – Retail behemoth Sears has come under fire recently for offering a “men’s punk rock Swastika ring” on the Sears Marketplace website. The ring, a plain silver band bearing the unmistakable symbol of the Nazi Party, was billed as a fashionable accessory that would “make you look beautiful at your next dinner date.”
A number of Jewish groups complained. Kveller, a Jewish parenting site and one of the first organizations to notice the item, wrote, “Can we ladies get a side of genocide with that candle-lit dinner?”
In light of the complaints, Sears has chosen to pull the ring from the site and replace it with one bearing the image of a burning cross. “We certainly understand the upset and regret this occurred. The vendor is being reviewed and the item removed,” wrote Sears on their Twitter feed. “The Swastika is a symbol of hate and genocide, and has no place on our website. We have replaced it with a new offering, the men’s punk rock burning cross ring.”
The uproar over the Swastika ring took the venerable retail chain by surprise. According to Sears.com, it was “not for Neo Nazi or any Nazi implication,” and it simply never occurred to them that people might get upset.
“Our Swastika ring was meant to be an edgy and ironic statement on the banality of life, not the implied support of mass genocide,” said Sears CEO Edward S. Lampert. “Our values and standards are better reflected in our new offering of this handsome ring featuring the striking image of a burning cross. Get yours today!”