I’m sure you’ve seen them usually on corners of busy intersections or sometimes in certain department stores that have no qualms about selling offensive merchandise. Or maybe you’ve seen people wearing these horrible T-shirts or putting up these ridiculous posters.
What I’m talking about is the overwhelming merchandising that has sprung up in the weeks following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.
This tragedy is less than a month old, and already there are countless T-shirts and slogans and posters that are selling only because of the incidents on Sept. 11. People are using this tragedy as a way to make money, and that is extremely offensive.
People and stores making money by selling flags is one thing. The flag is the most visible symbol of our country and our patriotism. Selling a flag is perhaps, on a certain level, making money off of the tragedy, but the flag is not an indecent or immoral symbol.
Someone who lost a loved one in the attack would not look at the flag and be forced to remember the tragedy.
This tragedy merchandise, however, goes far beyond good taste or patriotism. Every street vendor is selling T-shirts with the World Trade Center and creative slogans, like “We’ll Always Remember” and my personal favorite, “I Survived the World Trade Center Bombing.” Stores across the area are chock full of posters of the World Trade Center with an American flag in the background. Posters with the towers burning and about to crumble, hoping to capture the emotion of the moment.
It’s hard to fathom just how insensitive people can be at a time like this. Nearly 7,000 people are missing and presumed dead, buried beneath tons of rubble, and people are selling merchandise? How incredibly ridiculous is that?
Just imagine what it must feel like to be a relative of someone who was in the World Trade Center during the attack. Imagine what type of grief and sorrow and anger you must be feeling. Now imagine how it would feel to walk down the street and see someone selling a T-shirt that is basically trying to make money off of your loss. How would you feel?
Bearing that in mind, how can these people be so unconscionable to sell this merchandise?
It is so incredibly immoral and insensitive to produce and sell merchandise that does absolutely nothing but capitalize on the deaths of thousands of people.
If people were selling T-shirts saying “I Survived Hitler’s Death Camps,” or posters of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City, people would be up in arms. My question is why do we stand for it now?