Small Business Canceled Over Terrible Post. The Answer To Stupidity Is Education, Not Destruction.

Closeup of a ragged Jewish badge in the hands of a man
SandraMatic via Getty Images

Over the weekend, a Nashville hat store apologized after a huge in-person and online backlash to their reported sale of yellow “Not Vaccinated” patches which mimicked the Star of David patches used by Nazi Germany to categorize Jews during the Holocaust.

The Nashville store, hatWRKS, owned by Gigi Gaskins, issued an apology on Instagram.

“In NO WAY did I intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people,” Gaskins wrote in her apology Instagram post. “That is not who I am & what I stand for. My intent was not to exploit or make a profit. My hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that I can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. I sincerely apologize for any insensitivity.”

According to reports, people gathered soon after the original “Star of David” post to protest outside the store. Some demonstrators held a banner, titled, “NO NAZIS IN NASHVILLE.”

Multiple companies which partnered with the Nashville store quickly announced they were severing ties. “As a result of the offensive content and opinions shared by HatWRKS in Nashville, Stetson and our distribution partners will cease the sale of all Stetson products,” Stetson announced in a tweet.

Many are seeing this reaction as a victory over hate. After all, the “NO NAZIS IN NASHVILLE” banner implied that the enemy were Nazis, who have now been economically defeated. Success! Who cares whether hatWRKS were actually run by Nazis, right?

However, we simply must understand that such “immediate revenge” does not actually achieve anything if we hope to build a better society in which we value learning and change.

This should, under no circumstances, be taken as any form of defense for hatWRKS’s absurd decision to use an image of genocide to make a comparatively irrelevant political point — let alone to sell patches or hats.

But do we want to be a community that celebrates retribution, or celebrates healing? The initial hatWRKS decision was massively ignorant and insensitive. However, the company did offer an apology, which we should at least presume to be genuine unless further evidence suggests otherwise.

In frank terms, what world will be left if we punish every idiot for one-time ignorance with economic destruction? Moreover, how can we hope to promote positive causes movements — based on issues rather than various forms of shared grievances — if we banish people without hope of redemption?

When someone falls beneath the “cancel culture” hammer of “accountability,” we should all take a collective deep breath and decide whether they acted out of malice or stupidity. If they acted out of malice, then their “punishment” is at least open for debate. If they acted out of stupidity, their “punishment” should be education.

And it’s hard to educate someone after you destroy their lives over a dumb Instagram post.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Small Business Canceled Over Terrible Post. The Answer To Stupidity Is Education, Not Destruction.