Photo cred - Sierra Holtz
At Hadio, a small clothing store on Mont-Royal just past Henri-Julien, you can get a lot of funky tees and shirts. You can grab a vintage print Batman tee, a leapord print button up, or, as one customer was shocked to discover, a t-shirt with an image of Hitler with an afro plastered all over the front.
Montrealer Sierra Holtz, while shopping at Haido yesterday, rifled through the selection of available t-shirts until she found the "extremely disturbing" afro-Hitler print. According to Holtz, there were a bunch of different shirts depicting Hitler, all with the tag stating "Too fast to live, too young to die," a reference to the Robert Gordon song of the same name.
After discovering the shirt, and being quite taken aback, Holtz approached the store's clerk to inquire why the shirt was being sold. The clerk responded that they didn't approve of the shirt, though also noted people like the shirt and the product sells well.
Holtz promptly posted a picture of the shirton Facebook, which garnered a strong negative reaction and public outcry. CBC has since reported on the story, though no more details were really gained, as no one from Hadio was willing or available to give a statement.
The clerk did point out to CBC that the afro-Hitler t-shirt isn't meant to glorify Hitler, instead it is meant to mock him. Now, that's where things get a little sticky.
Holtz, a member of the Jewish community, is completely justified in her reaction. Heck, even if she was Catholic, or any creed, she would be justified, as Hitler is a historical figure representing cruelty and hatred towards many, and not solely towards the Jewish people. In that respect, wearing a shirt with a giant image of Hitler is like having a t-shirt saying "Murder is A-okay."
But, to play devil's advocate a bit, the shirt isn't just a plain old pic of Adolf. Hitler is sporting a very out of place, admitedly funny, afro, making the shirt a definite mockery, a joke. It would be a little harsh to say that anyone wearing the shirt is "ignorant of what [Hitler] represents, or support what he stands for" as Holtz states, because maybe they just thought it was funny, and aren't stupid nor a neo-Nazi.
Both sides to the argument have their points, though, in truth, if someone is fully disturbed and shaken by a t-shirt, maybe it shouldn't be sold in stores.
Looking for more? Click here for The 10 Most Controversial Urban Outfitters Products >
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte