Wow, the universe must really want me to have stuff to write about.

Yesterday I learned that KA Design, a European clothing company, has decided to repurpose the swastika as a colorful symbol of inclusion on their t-shirts and sweatshirts. While these could have come in handy at last month’s Chicago Dyke March, KA Design insisted in an interview with the publication Dazed that their reason for wanting to use it was to advance the cause of human freedom.

“We really like the symbol in its shape and aesthetics, and we would love to share the beauty of this symbol detached from the hatred associated with it,” a company spokesperson said in the interview. “This project only represents the first step of our ‘master plan,’ and we are excited about what the future will give us.”

“Master plan” sounds a lot like “final solution,” or “master race.” Even to lapsed Jews like me this sounds extremely dog-whistle-ish, but whatevs. If they say they meant no offense by using this design, then I will take them at their word, if only as an academic exercise.

Assuming their motives were sincere, let me lay some truth on these poor, deluded individuals. No, you cannot rehabilitate the swastika. You cannot reclaim its original heritage as an Asian symbol that’s thousands of years old. You cannot market it for its pleasing shape and aesthetics.

The Third Reich was supposed to stand for thousands of years. Hitler and his goose-stepping friends got twelve years instead. Just about the only thing that still remains of what they set out to achieve is the swastika, as a symbol of Nazism.

The hatred of Jews, gypsys, gays and whoever else you can imagine were ancient and not unique to the Nazis, so they don’t really deserve recognition for introducing those ideas to a crowded marketplace.

The one thing they managed to establish as totally and uniquely their own, however, was the swastika. So if you’re seriously trying to rehabilitate the symbol and free it from its negative connotations, you will fail, and you will be seen as a white supremacist to boot. This probably goes for the Hitler mustache too.

Again, the doe-eyed naïfs at KA Design may have a completely beautiful and uncorrupted intent in what they’re doing, and their desire to return the symbol to its origins may be sincere. Having said that, it’s a fucking swastika. And you know what people see when they look at a swastika? Nazis.

Unless KA Design is planning to include one (1) free employee with every order to stand next to the customer and explain that the design on the shirt is actually an ancient symbol that the Nazis appropriated, a lot of customers are going to have problems.

So basically, let’s call bullshit bullshit. The swastika is a Nazi symbol, and if you’re defending its use, you’re either too ignorant to talk to, or (more likely) a nationalist Jew-hater who’s just playing dumb for the sake of defending an edgy opinion. So please go sell that shit to someone who’s buying, preferably someone who actually believes the Civil War was fought over tariffs.

“But wait,” say the reflexively contrarian dumb fucks on Reddit. “Shouldn’t we encourage this as a means of debate and conversation? Why must social justice warriors shut down discussion of this issue?”

Again, because it’s a fucking swastika. And as demonstrated by the clip below, you don’t need to be especially woke to know that you don’t want to be affiliated with one.

So basically, let’s call bullshit bullshit. The swastika is a Nazi symbol, and if you’re defending its use, you’re either too ignorant to talk to, or (more likely) a nationalist Jew-hater who’s just playing dumb for the sake of defending an edgy opinion. So please go sell that shit to someone who’s buying, preferably someone who actually believes the Civil War was fought over tariffs.

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About Author

Daniel Bukszpan is a freelance writer with over 20 years’ experience. He has written for such publications as Fortune, CNBC and The Daily Beast. He is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal,” published in 2003 by Barnes and Noble and “The Encyclopedia of New Wave,” published in 2012 by Sterling Publishing.

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