The owner of an antiques shop in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter has announced that they will no longer sell Nazi or Ku Klux Klan memorabilia after a complaint by the Anti-Defamation League sparked a public outcry.
According to NOLA.com, ADL South Central Region director Aaron Ahlquist publicly demanded the store stop selling items including a Nazi flag, a figurine of a Klansman and racist caricatures of African-Americans, asserting that they did not present “the image that New Orleans wants to convey to the millions of visitors each year, nor to our own citizens.”
“It is deeply troubling that items so clearly associated with hateful ideologies are so prominently displayed for sale in the French Quarter,” Ahlquist said. “We cannot allow for hate to become normalized, and that certainly includes profiting from the symbols of hate.”
When first asked by reporters about her merchandise, store owner Sue Saucier replied that the offending products were “historical items” and that while they did “not represent my sentiments,” she would not stop selling them. Customers could burn them after purchase for all she cared, she asserted.
“You can’t please everyone in this world,” she was quoted as saying, blaming political correctness for people’s anger.
However, NOLA.com reported, Saucier subsequently changed her mind, stating that after speaking with her attorney, she had “done some reflection on the issue, and we are going to remove the items from the store.”
Last November, a Lebanese businessman purchased a trove of Nazi memorabilia, including Adolf Hitler’s top hat, at an auction in Germany and donated them to Israel’s Keren Hayesod in order to prevent them from ending up in the hands of neo-Nazis.
With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon, the sale of controversial and racist products has become a serious issue.
In December, the Melbourne-based Anti-Defamation Commission called on the internet retail giant to “show respect to the survivors” and stop selling a board game in which players win by putting Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in power.
In August, Amazon removed an assortment of clothes sold on its UK site emblazoned with a notorious Holocaust photo in which a Jew in Ukraine is kneeling in front of a mass grave as a Nazi officer points a gun to his head, moments before shooting him.
And last week, Ukraine’s Jewish community expressed outrage after an online store marketed an anti-Semitic shirt with the writing: “Holy shit, are you a Yid?”