California boot company issues recall over swastika tread
California based boot maker Conal International Trading Inc. has issued a recall and halted the of a style of work boot it sells after a Reddit user posted a photograph of the boot's unique tread markings online, The Washington Post reports.
The boots leave prints behind filled with tiny swastikas.
“There was an angle I didn’t get to see when ordering my new work boots,” reads the caption along with the posted photo, which shows the bottom of the boots along side an image of the print they leave behind.
The image caught the attention of many, including the white supremacist website the Daily Stormer, which later published a post describing the boots as "a good look for any modern Nazi wanting to leave a good impression," and included a link to Amazon where the footwear could be purchased "for the low-low price of $38.99!"
Upon learning of the post on the Daily Stormer website, the Anti-Defamation League contacted Conal to urge a recall.
In a statement revised Friday, the company apologized and explained that it had imported the "Polar Fox" boots from a manufacturer in China, said The Washington Post.
“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and the public,” the statement reads. “The boots have been recalled and we have stopped selling the item."
“We would like to issue our sincerest apologies to our customers and to anyone who was offended by the Swastika imprint that the boots left behind. The design was not intentional and was a mistake made by our manufacturers in China. There was never any intention to include any offensive designs on the products we import. We will be investigating the issue."
“Conal International Trading, Inc. does not promote hate or discrimination of any kind," Conal continued, adding "Again, we deeply regret that this item caused offense and apologize for the mistake.”
The ADL said that it was "gratified to hear that the company was already aware of the issue and was taking corrective action."
"The representative explained that it is an Asian company, a culture which views the swastika as a Buddhist symbol," a statement posted on the ADL blog said. "The League reiterated to the company that the swastika serves as the most significant symbol of white supremacy and anti-Semitism, and whether intentional or not, the use of the symbol on the boot is deeply offensive."
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