I hesitate to do this, as I know it’s exactly what they want, but fuck Urban Outfitters

kentstatedetail

I know that I should just keep my mouth shut, as everyone else is already talking about this, and as I know it’s exactly what Richard Hayne, the far-right CEO and chief provocateur of Urban Outfitters wants, but I can’t help myself. I keep putting down my computer, and trying to walk away, but I just can’t seem to do it. As disgusting as many of the stunts pulled by Urban Fitters have been over the years, I never thought the’d go so far as to make light of a tragedy like the Kent State killings… killings which happened, by the way, just as Hayne was launching Urban Outfitters in 1970.

Following, for those of you unaware of the history of Urban Outfitters, is a clip from my interview last year with Hayne’s ex-wife, the founder of the Business Alliance for Living Local Economies (BALLE), Judy Wicks.

…I started the Free People’s Store (which would later become Urban Outfitters) in 1970 with my first husband (Richard Hayne), my 5th grade boyfriend. We were 23 at the time and were very aligned politically as anti-war, anti-corporate progressives. The store was a sixties kind of place with progressive books, houseplants, new and used clothing, and hip house wares – a sort of department store for the under 30 crowd. We even campaigned for George McGovern out of the store. I left the marriage and the business in 1972 because I wanted to seek my own path for a number of reasons. As I continued my progressive views and learned to use my business to express those views through the educational programs at the restaurant as well as my business practices, I was unaware that my ex-husband had changed his views until about 10 years ago… We don’t talk politics or business when we do happen to run into each other…

It’s hard to imagine how a man who once considered himself to be an anti-corporate progressive, could now be running a corporation that takes every opportunity to shove its thumb into the eye of progressive America, but I guess, when you have money, all you want is more. And apparently, in the case of Hayne, $1.8 billion isn’t enough.

So, the next time you’re out shopping for crap, like a disgusting shirt urging young people not to vote, or a racist board game, keep in mind that your hard-earned dollars are going right into the pocket of Hayne, who has a record not only of selling products that are calculated to offend the sensitive left, but of giving generously to those politicians like Rick Santorum who promise to rid our country of things like gay marriage and abortion.

urbankent2

For what it’s worth, the folks at Urban Outfitters are claiming that the blood spattered Kent State sweatshirt wasn’t intended to be offensive. Here’s the company’s statement.

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.

The folks from Kent State, it would appear, don’t believe them. Here’s their response.

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 year ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.

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12 Comments

  1. anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    This does not surprise me in the least coming from the company that sold shirts modeled on the ones the Nazis forced the Jews to wear.

  2. Meta
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Hayne also owns Anthropologie and Terrain, a recently launched gardening store.

  3. Meta
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Also, it may be an obscure reference, but did you know that “Hey Sandy” the theme song to Nickelodeon’s show “The Adventures Of Pete And Pete” is about Sandy Scheuer, one of the four Kent State students killed by the National Guard?

    The song, written and performed by the band Polaris, was based on a song by Harvey Andrews. While the words aren’t exactly clear, it’s thought by some that they include the following. “Can You Settle to Shoot Me/Or have you picked your target yet.”

    The song:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj9pFcUof7c

    The background:
    http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4364

  4. Eel
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Why not a Sandy Hook book bag similarly splattered?

  5. idea man
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone have a photo of Ayn Rand in her coffin? I’m thinking of starting a clothing line.

  6. idea man
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Can someone who works at the Ann Arbor store get this to play over their sound system?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5QT_OkLhfg

  7. Dirtgrain
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    What will Hayne do next? Simulate oral sex with a Jesus statue?

  8. idea man
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    You made me resort to Google, Dirtgrain.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/pennsylvania-teenager-hump-oral-sex-jesus-statue-prison

  9. lorie
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    It is really tempting for me to go on a long rant about what kind of a person makes money off the dead here – 44 years later…and bring up the other set of students shot at Jackson State 10 days later (2 more dead, 12 wounded)

    But I haven’t shopped at Urban Outfitters since…well, ever. And I guess I never will. Asshats.

  10. anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, at Kent State…..

    http://callandpost.com/news/2014/sep/10/black-students-kent-state-stage-die-/

  11. grunch
    Posted September 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another one to play over the UO sound system:

    http://youtu.be/dT1cxP3JT0c

  12. mike uniform
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Nice sweatshirt. No one was ever convicted or punished for these murders. Possibly these obituaries could be printed on the back :
    Allison Beth Krause (April 23, 1951 – May 4, 1970) was an honor student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when she was shot and killed by the Ohio Army National Guard in the Kent State shootings, while protesting against the invasion of Cambodia and the presence of the National Guard on the Kent State campus. The Guardsmen opened fire on a group of unarmed students, killing four of them, at an average distance of about 345 ft (106 m). Krause was shot in the left side of her body at about 330 ft (105 m) fatally wounding her.[1] A subsequent autopsy found that a single rifle bullet entered and exited her upper left arm, and entered her left lateral chest fragmenting on impact causing massive internal injuries. She died from her injuries later that same day.
    Jeffrey Glenn Miller (March 28, 1950[1] – May 4, 1970) was an American student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when he was shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings. Shortly before his death, in January 1970, Miller had transferred to Kent State from Michigan State University. While at Michigan State, Miller pledged Phi Kappa Tau fraternity[2] where his older brother had been a member. He and his brother had always been close, and shared a birthday. After his brother graduated from Michigan State, Miller found himself feeling increasingly out of touch with those he knew at Michigan State. During the summer of 1969, an old friend from New York who attended Kent State urged Miller to consider transferring. He quickly adapted to Kent State and soon had many friends, including Allison Krause and Sandra Scheuer who would both die with him on May 4. Miller had taken part in the protests that day and had thrown a tear-gas canister back at the Ohio National Guardsmen who had originally fired it. The protests, initially against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia, had morphed into a protest against the presence of the Ohio National Guard on the Kent State campus.[3] When he was shot, he was unarmed, and facing the Guardsmen while standing in an access road leading into the Prentice Hall parking lot at a distance of approximately 265 feet (81 m).[4] A single bullet entered his open mouth and exited at the base of his posterior skull, killing him instantly.[5] John Filo’s iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, the most famous picture from the event, features fourteen-year-old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over Miller’s dead body.[6]
    Sandra Lee Scheuer (August 11, 1949 – May 4, 1970) was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, when she was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings. Scheuer, born in Youngstown, Ohio, was an honors student in speech therapy. She was a graduate of Boardman High School. She did not take part in the Vietnam War protests that preceded the shootings. She was shot through the throat with an M-1 rifle from a distance of 130 yards (119 m) while walking between classes and died within five or six minutes from loss of blood. According to the account of Bruce Burkland, a close family friend, Scheuer “was walking with one of her speech and hearing therapy students across the green. Neither Sandra nor the young man had anything to do with the assembly of students on the green.”[1]
    William Knox Schroeder (July 20, 1950 – May 4, 1970) was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings. Schroeder was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved with his family to Lorain, Ohio, when he was in elementary school and graduated from Lorain High School where he was an honors student.[citation needed] Already an Eagle Scout,[1] at age 17 Schroeder applied for the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship. He received the Academic Achievement award from both the Colorado School of Mines and from Kent State University, where he was a psychology student. He also earned the Association of the United States Army award for excellence in History. Schroeder was killed by a single shot in the back from an M-1 semi-automatic military rifle. According to reports, he was not taking part in the Vietnam War protests that preceded the shootings, but simply walking between classes.[2] His college roommate, Lou Cusella, stated that he believed Schroeder was trying to flee when shot. “Bill was 332 feet away from the nearest National Guardsman, not much of a threat. He was shot with a folder in his hand.”[citation needed] Official reports stated that Schroeder was actually 382 feet from the National Guard at the time he was shot, while lying on the ground facing away from the Guardsmen. The bullet entered his left back at the seventh rib, piercing his left lung, and some fragments exited from the top of his left shoulder. He died almost an hour later while in a hospital undergoing surgery.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings

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