By Irish Echo Staff
It’s that time of year again and the offensive St. Patrick’s Day products are rolling off the product lines and into the retail front line.
And as it has done so over the years, the Ancient Order of Hibernians is raising the alarm.
In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the Hibernians are pointing to “the hypocrisy of Amazon claiming to promote diversity and tolerance while selling an item with emblazoned with ‘F*ck St. Patrick's Day’ with the self-professed intent of promoting ‘Anti-St. Patrick’s Day’ attitudes.”
AOH National Anti-Defamation Chair, Neil Cosgrove, in a release, stated that the expletives referenced in the AOH press release had been obfuscated, but that the items in question “show them in their explicit form.”
Stated Cosgrove: “Currently, Amazon is selling an item labeled as an ‘F*ck St Patrick's Day Shirt.’ Amazon describes the item as an ‘Anti St Patrick’s Day shirt for guys and gals "F*ck St. Patrick's Day’ and a ‘Perfect anti-St Patrick’s Day shirt for those sick of all the wannabe Irish making excuses for getting drunk.’”
Added Cosgrove: “During this divisive time in our nation’s history, that Amazon, one of our largest retailers, should seek to profit by promoting intolerance towards any ethnic group and their celebrations is irresponsibly tone-deaf.
“The Ancient Order of Hibernians has previously challenged Amazon on the oxymoron of Amazon prominently virtue signaling on diversity while continuing to pedal offensive, demeaning merchandise targeting the Irish and Irish Americans. However, this latest offering plumbs a new low.
“It was reported that at a November 2016 Amazon employees forum that you, Mr. Bezos, stated, ‘Amazon has always been, and always will be, committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity.’ The Hibernians find very little of that commitment when Amazon continues to peddle defamation for profit in items emblazoned with ‘F*ck St Patrick's,’ ‘Drunk O’Meter’ (where ‘Irish’ is labeled as the maximum level of inebriation), or ‘Drink till Your Irish’ to name just a few.
“The unambiguous message of these products is the antithesis of tolerance and diversity. Nevertheless, Amazon continues to sell them and others that promotes intolerance towards the feast day of a Catholic Saint, who was one of the first recorded voices to condemn the evils of slavery, and a day when the Irish and those of Irish descent celebrate their heritage and culture.
“If a commitment to diversity is to have any meaning then respect must apply to all, not just to a few. We challenge Amazon and its apologists to a basic question: Would these items targeting Irish Americans be permitted if another ethnic group replaced ‘Irish’? If the answer is ‘No,’ then these items should be equally prohibited. The Hibernians do not ask that the Irish be treated better than anyone else, but we will not accept them being treated worse.”