Posted Thursday, August 29, 2002

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Target apologizes for any discomfort that may have been caused by the baseball caps and shorts carrying the insignia 88. -- Company spokesman


Thursday, August 29, 2002; 7:28 AM

Target Recalls 'Heil Hitler' Clothes

The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. said Wednesday that it is recalling baseball caps and shorts from all of its stores after a California customer realized symbols printed on the clothing are a code for "Heil Hitler."

David Irving recalls:

SOME time ago plans to sell Britain's Triumph Acclaim motor car in Germany were halted by ther ealisation that it translated into the Sieg Heil..

The caps and shorts are imprinted with "eight eight" and "88." Among white supremacists, that stands for "Heil Hitler" because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The Minneapolis-based chain told all of its 1,100 stores to stop selling the clothing. A customer in Davis, California, alerted Target.

"Target apologizes for any discomfort that may have been caused by the baseball caps and shorts carrying the insignia 88," the company said in a statement. "Target is a family oriented store and company and it is not our intent to carry any merchandise that promotes hate."

In an interview with The Associated Press, Target officials declined to comment on whether the clothing came from a branded manufacturer or from their own store label line.

Joseph Rodriguez, a video producer for the University of California, Davis, was shocked when he found the printed symbols on a pair of red shorts at the Elk Grove Target store in June, according to the Sacramento Bee.

He had learned the meaning of the white power code from a documentary on racist rock music. The symbols are commonly used among supremacists in graffiti and is a popular tattoo.

Rodriguez bought the shorts and took them to the store manager. But after being told the store just sells what is shipped, he took his complaint to Target's corporate office, where he said he was "blown off."

Then Rodriguez went to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which campaigns against racism, tracks racist organizations and runs an educational Web site.

Target officials told the Sacramento Bee that they first learned what the symbols meant on Monday when Rodriguez's complaints were put on the center's Web site.

"As soon as the appropriate people were notified at Target, we immediately moved to have the merchandise pulled from all of our stores," Target said in the statement.

C 2002 The Associated Press


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