'Totally outrageous': Fury as swastika earrings sell out at Brooklyn jewellery store
A cheap jewellery shop in a Brooklyn, New York, neighbourhood has found itself at the centre of an impassioned controversy because of a pair of $5.99 earrings.
Bejeweled, an accessories retailer in the predominantly Polish neighbourhood north of Williamsburg, was caught selling studs in the shape of a swastika by a shocked customer.
According to the tipster, who recounted the discovery on Gothamist, the manager's justification for the offensive merchandise was simply, 'business.'
Just business Swastika earrings were available at a Greenpoint accessories store for $5.99 and nearly sold out
Though bloggers and reviewers on popular search engine, Yelp, damned the store for selling the earrings, some pointed out that on closer inspection the swastika was in fact backwards and therefore resembled the Buddhist emblem for 'eternity.'
Another manager of the Manhattan Avenue location who was contacted by New York Daily News said of the hype surrounding the case: 'These people are ignorant.
Nazi jeweller: A manager said the earrings were Buddhist emblems of eternity
'They shouldn’t say anything if they don’t
know anything about symbols. I find this offensive.'
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind disregarded any such suggestion that the symbol wasn't wholly inappropriate telling the New York Daily News: 'The average person, when they see a swastika, they see it as a symbol of hate. End of story.'
He went on to say: 'It’s sick. It’s insulting. It’s degrading.'
Other local politicians were also in uproar yesterday on hearing the news that not only were the earrings for sale but that they'd seemingly been popular with customers.
The writer for Gothamist took a photograph that showed only one pair left on the rack while other styles hanging next to it were plentiful.
Local Councilman Steve Levin called the situation 'totally outrageous' and asked Bejeweled to immediately any further sale of such a provocative and hateful item.
Regardless of what the retailer's stance on the matter really is, the products have been taken off the shelves in response to Mr Levin's call for action.
The Democrat told the Daily News: 'I am pleased that Bejeweled has heeded my call… Any other city retailers who sell
these earrings should remove them from your shelves and help us remove
the hate from our city.'