Urban Outfitters skull shirt with Stars of David

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Earlier today, David posted that "Urban Outfitters is under fire from the Anti-Defamation League for selling a t-shirt with a patch the ADL says is similar to the "yellow badge" that Jews were ordered to sew on their clothing in Nazi Germany-occupied areas during World War II."

Coincidentally, my 14-year-old daughter bought a different t-shirt from Urban Outfitters on Sunday. This one had a fancy skull on it. When we took a closer look at it, we saw that the eyes were ringed with Stars of David. We returned it and she bought a cute tie-dye top instead!

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    1. The ADL has long been overly sensitive, at best, about the slightest of issues and quite thuggish and mean as well.  
      I did note the photo here:
      That really does contain an image that clearly looks like a star of David insignia, however, again, if anyone uses this image on a T-shirt, is this really an issue for taking offense?
      Unless someone can show an intent to refer to “Juden” badges, I think not.

      1. Thuggish? Overly sensitive?

        Maybe it’s not your intent, but these words are inflammatory and often used by raging anti-Semites.
        Perhaps you would like to provide references? 

        Before you react and ask for my references, please keep in mind that I asked for yours first ;)  

        1. “these words are inflammatory and often used by raging anti-Semites”
          “this argument has been used by bad people, therefore it’s a bad argument”
          classic ad hominem.

          Please try again.

          “please keep in mind that I asked for yours first”

          That’s completely irrelevant, smartass. If you’d said something about burden of proof, fine, but not that.

    1.  Yes, I see pear cut gems and square cut gems in the shirt; this looks to me to be an artist’s shortcut representing the round cut.

  1.  Things must have gotten pretty slow with the last of the Nazi war criminal fugitives dying of old age and all.

  2. Considering that the clothing at UO is probably made by close-to-slave-labor, it kind of makes sense.

  3. I dunno. The Jews don’t have a monopoly on the Star of David. I don’t think its use is always related to Judaism in any way.  It looks more like a take on Calavera  if you ask me.

  4. This is ridiculous. Is it healthy to be so easily offended? To most any person, these ‘stars’ would be nothing more than shapes. Just a part of a larger design, not a jab at Judaism. I can understand David’s post to a certain extent, but this? 

    When did we begin moaning about things so trivial?  

    1. You, and a lot of other commenters, seem sorta oblivious to Urban Outfitter’s rather long and ignoble history of “accidentally” misappropriating stuff in really offensive ways.  

      1. I have not read up on UO’s previous transgressions (apart from the short article displaying the yellow ‘badge’ shirt), so I suppose I may not be seeing this image from the right context. 

        Even then, the portions of the shirt that display the stars (on the skull) are so small, and so well incorporated with the rest of the design that I find it hard to believe that UO intentionally attempted to aggravate the Jewish community. These stars (and their implications) can only truly be noticed if one is actively looking for them. Actively looking to be offended in some way. 

        But wait. I see it now, clearly this is subversive, subliminal anti-semitic propaganda. The members of the board at UO are probably sniggering right now at own their cleverness. Hundred of adults and children unknowingly inseminating the American populace with anti-semitic ideology. 

        Again concerning the yellow ‘badge’ shirt, I could see how that might be overtly offensive. But does everything that UO produces need to run through an obligatory ADL filter? Surely they make some ‘normal’ shirts?

        1. So is your problem with Mark and his daughter or the ADL? ‘Cause the ADL isn’t complaining about this shirt.

          1. My apologies, I should be more clear. I don’t have any particular problems with Mark, his daughter, or the ADL, but the amplified reactions that we have to relatively trivial problems. 

            “obligatory ADL filter” was not the statement I was looking for. I would probably rephrase that as “hair-trigger PC filter”. 

        2. “I have not read up on UO’s previous transgressions (apart from the short article displaying the yellow ‘badge’ shirt), so I suppose I may not be seeing this image from the right context.”

          You could have just posted this sentence and cut the entire rest of your comment, and you would have grasped the whole point.  Instead, you kept going and got lost in the forests of gratuitous snark, because being snarky and ignorant is WAY more fun than actually taking a moment to find out what you’re talking about.

          1. The ‘Star of David’ symbol doesn’t belong universally to the Jewish community any more than the cross symbol belongs to Christians. If it did, the pope could make all of the people using upside down crosses stop, as it is the symbol of the papacy. The fact that the symbol has been used by this community and others to denote Jews doesn’t entitle them (or anyone else) to demand that it be discontinued from all contexts, especially when it’s pretty obviously just decorative. There is an issue with the yellow star shirt (although I’m not sure what motive would make someone suggest ‘holocaust victim chic’ in a board meeting), but to attack this is kind of moving into copyright troll territory.

          2. As far as I can see, he’s commenting on *this actual shirt*, which is the subject of the article; rather than what you and others are doing – which is commenting on OU’s past doings, and ignoring this shirt entirely.  It seems to me he’s on topic and you aren’t.

      2. I don’t see why their history is relevant, except for tinting the lens through which you view this one. Are you seriously suggesting that this shirt intentionally misappropriates the star of david with the express intention of offending?

  5. Huh???
    What’s the logic here?

    Are you a Nazi, and that’s why you wouldn’t be caught dead with something that might looks like a Star of  David on your clothes? 
    Or what’s so objectionable about it?

    1.  When I was a kid, that was how we drew stars.
      The author HAS to be taking the piss.

  6. Well, even if this isn’t anything relevant, UO is still shit. Doesn’t anyone remember the transphobic gift card?

    1.  “Hey, why are you wearing a skull with Stars of David on it?  Is it like, supposed to be a Jewish person’s skull?  Why would you want to wear a Jewish skull?”

      I imagine mostly because of other people.

      1. It’s a Palestinian skull with a stylized UN symbol between the eyes. The Jewish symbols are turning the UN’s gaze away from the death.

        Even if it’s actually a Star of David, there are plenty of interpretations.

  7. The US flag is covered in pentagrams that have had the pentagon at their heart removed. This is proof that witches are aiding the Illuminati in hiding the truth of the industrial-military complex from the public. We should return all US flags back to the Chinese  for a full refund and buy Canadian “pot leaf” flags instead.

  8. The teeth look a lot like light bulbs. Is this an of appropriation of Edison symbology, constituting an oblique slur on Tesla’s reputation?

    1. And those gold links bordering parts of the skull look very much like chains. Clearly UO is also making light of slavery and the toll it inflicted on the African population. 

  9. Jesus… it’s a cute shirt. Who the hell cares whether it has little Stars of David on it? I can maybe understand the whole yellow badge incident with the other shirt, and how that -might- be offensive, but this is just stupid. You shoulda sent the shirt to me; I could use a few more shirts.

  10. This is very pointless… It is a basic freedom to put as many of those simple geometric figures on anything you want. What in the world makes anyone of Jewish decent think that their ancestors were the first to even draw something like that? 

    And if the yellow shirt with a “star” on the pocket in the link  is the actual “Yellow Badge” controversy it is even more of a stretch. So always and forever you can never put any pointy thing on a shirt? How about a Sheriff’s Badge? Seems pretty close to a Star of David to me. Not enough points on it but you never can be to sure, right? 

  11. I don’t think Mark was saying it is evidence of a vast conspiracy or anything – I just interpreted his post as saying that it was odd that there are multiple examples of this.  Also, I just assumed he took it back because it felt a little weird/awkward, and not to allege any vast conspiracy.  (Just my take on it, FWIW).

  12. You do realize there’s a SKULL on this shirt, right?

    I can’t figure out why you returned it, even if you found some little stars of david on it.

    1.  I was about to mention the Star of Solomon or Seal of Solomon, it was thought to be used in demon summoning, supposedly that’s how Solomon built the temple so fast(demon servant labour).

  13. This is yet another case of Trendy-offendy.  It’s so in vogue to drum up some fake offended reaction to something that I’m pretty much positive these days that it’s a plant.  

    I’ve gotta believe that Urban Outfitters has a very boozy board meeting every time someone gives them an amazing amount of free advertising over absolutely nothing at all.
    They’re t-shirts.  Nobody really cares.  No really, they don’t care.  People can invent excuses to be offended about anything in the world.   When you DO decide to get offended, you give power to the thing rather than take it away by simply ignoring something that nobody would have given a crap about in the first place, if you hadn’t chosen to breathe life into a thing by getting so damn offended about it. 

    So the next time Urban Outfitters makes a new shirt for about 1/100th the price of what it would cost to get on every single blog and tons of prime time news programs and then “recalls” the shirt, they’re winning.  Big.     Just don’t do it.  

  14. Just going to put this out there: Mark may just be posting this in jest. Or trolling, rather.

    Or, you all realize that and this is some sort of globally networked improv. Bravo.

  15. You wouldn’t believe how many items of clothing I’ve had to return after noticing two intersecting perpendicular lines, a slap in the face to any Christian. Plaid, checks, gingham, windowpane… they’re all out.

  16. Oh man, I hope this is joke. (Please?)

    The design is supposed to mimic a dia de los muertos skull made of lace, chains and jewels. Note the pear-shaped gem also included in the detail shot. Here’s a quickly found reference page for “how to draw faceted gem stones” http://emg-zine.com/item.php?id=752&page=&access=Y
    Note the similarity. 
    No, wait! 
    Note the duplication.

    I’ll be off in a corner wondering how it is that the word “offensensitivity” isn’t better known.

  17. Frankly, the most surprising thing about this post is that Mark allowed his daughter to buy a tie-dyed shirt instead of getting some Rit and showing her how it’s done. that’s got to be a violation of the Maker code or something.

  18. A six-pointed star is not (only) a Jewish symbol. During Advent and Christmas, European churches (of many denominations), street decorations, and Christmas trees (also often known as “Christ-Child trees” in many places) feature just as many 6-pointed stars and stars of any other geometry. Not yours, not mine, just a shape.

  19. If you’re not a Jew you will not understand the point of Mr. Frauenfelder’s post.

    If you’re not an anti-Semite you will not understand the point of  Mr. Frauenfelder’s post.

    This being said, I think some posting here are pretending to not understand the point of  Mr. Frauenfelder’s post.

    A parallel is one who, when addressing a group of African Americans, or a group that has a few African Americans, uses the word niggardly over and over and over when another word  would have sufficed. 

    The speaker, when called on his use of the word  niggardly, will be wide-eyed and innocent and point to his proper use of the word niggardly. He will claim to be a victim. 

    Just like any other bully.

    1. …and even if your family _is_ Jewish and lost relatives to the Holocaust (like mine), you _may_ not understand the point of Mr. Frauenfelder’s post. Some things are just really harmless, coincidental and not worth caring about.

      That said, Mark doesn’t seem terribly upset himself (he exchanged the offending item for something else by that very same company) so good on him. Also, Mark didn’t express an opinion one way or the other so I’m flummoxed as to how _anybody_ could infer his “point” if there is one. ;-)

      1. Twianto, thanks for your response (or shall I say responsa, heh heh.) 

        My family is Jewish and we did lose people, many. 

        I would have done the same thing as Mr. Frauenfelder – I would have exchanged the t-shirt and bought something else at the same store – you can’t expect the buyer to go over everything with an electron microscope or even a fine-toothed-comb.

        I agree that some things are not worth caring about and are harmless. I see that Mark is not terribly flummoxed. 

        My comment is mainly in response to comments in response to Mark’s post that deny, ridicule and/or question why he exchanged the t-shirt and wrote about it.

        Also, twianto, flummoxed is a great word, and thanks for your civil response to my comment.


        I just noticed your ‘Edit’.

        I did Not make concentration camp jokes. I did NOT call any one a nazi, but now I wonder about you – especially after you edited your comment after you read my civil response. I think you are a troll. I have for the first time been flamed here, I wonder if you and some other commenters are the same person.

    2.  So, you are comparing an insult to using a basic geometric shape (two triangles) in decoration?

      Then you should not ever come anywhere close to the Mediterranean, because it is one of the basic shapes used on glazed tiles design, and you will see them everywhere.

      Also, Buddhist use the swastika to mark their temples in Japan, are the also nazis or antisemitic?

      1. FTW? What does this have to do with my comment? 

        Symbols are symbols – swastikas and the two triangles  – the star of David are basic shapes – there are swastikas  that prominently  adorn ancient synagogues, and Zionists considered the swastika to be the secular Jewish symbol, but instead chose the Star of David. 

        In an alternate timeline, Hitler and his Nazis might have chosen the star of David as their mystical symbol and Jewish Zionists might have chosen the swastika as their symbol. 

        Where did I malign the shape of the swastika?

        Please reread my comment.

    3. “Anyone who disagrees with me is either blinded by privilege, or pretending to be because they’re a big rotten bully.”

      That’s a nice fully general counterargument you’ve got there.

  20. It’s a hexagram! Nothing more, nothing less. What would you have done if it was a pentagram?? Accused UO of being devil worsippers?? Get a grip!

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