On Saturday, July 25th, a man and a woman were caught on video wearing face masks with swastikas on them in a Marshall, Minnesota Walmart. The viral video, which was recorded by witness Benjamin Ruesch and posted to Facebook by witness Raphaela Mueller, captures the disturbing encounter between the swastika-wearing couple and various other shoppers. In the video, Ruesch can be heard confronting the couple, who have not been named, saying that “you are sick. You can’t be American and wear that mask. We literally had a war about this”.
Currently, the U.S is wrestling with the public’s lack of common sense by an overwhelming refusal to wear a mask and social distance themselves, despite there being a deadly pandemic occurring. It is ironic that when some American’s finally obey the recommendations put out by the CDC, their choice of mask-fashion includes highly-offensive symbols, such as the infamous swastika, used by the Nazi Germany party, which is a symbol of hate and antisemitism.
The taped encounter continues with the couple proceeding to unload their groceries unprovoked while other shoppers can be heard pleading with the couple to “please, don’t wear those masks. It’s so incredibly offensive”. In reaction to the confrontations, the woman says, while pointing to the swastika on her mask, that “if you vote for [Democratic party presidential candidate Joe] Biden you’re gonna be living in Nazi Germany, that’s what it’s going to be like. Socialism is gonna happen here in America!”
The Facebook video posted by Mueller, which has been shared thousands of times, is captioned with “I was born and raised in Germany, and I grew up hearing about my great-grandmother who fought in the underground against the first wave of Nazis in the 1930s and 40s”, reminding the public that “THE SWASTIKA IS A HATE SYMBOL AND YOU DO NOT FLY THE FLAG, YOU DO NOT WEAR THE SYMBOL ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY, YOU DO NOT USE OR DEFEND THIS SYMBOL, EVER. END OF STORY”.
In response to the incident, Walmart put out a statement that they “will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business” and that “store management offered the individual’s disposable face masks as an alternative, which they refused. The individuals became belligerent and were asked to leave the store by store management”. The couple has been banned from shopping at the Walmart franchise for a year.
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