Thanks to a tasteless “mistake” on the part of clothing company “Urban Outfitters”, the entire world got an education on what happened at Kent State College on Monday, May 4, 1970. Many Americans are unaware that the US National Guard fired on college students who were protesting the Vietnam war, killing four students and wounding nine others. However, many of those who are aware of the tragedy were offended this week, when it was revealed that Urban Outfitters was selling a Kent State College sweatshirt design, which seemed to be covered in blood.
Urban Outfitters said that the design was a mistake, and was simply meant to be a “sun-faded” sweatshirt.
Urban Outfitters made the following statement on their Twitter account:
Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.
Kent State also published a own statement in response to the shirt:
May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever.
We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.
We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.
What do Punk Rock Libertarians think about this controversy?