One among Kevin Westley’s temporary collection of offensive St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts.
By Irish Echo Staff
Around this time of year, Kevin Westley is on full alert for clothing that depicts St. Patrick’s Day as nothing more than a booze up.
He doesn’t have to go far. Indeed, only as far as a Target store in Boynton Beach, Florida.
“I was in Target in Boynton Beach and found offensive Irish drinking stereotype t shirts for St. Patrick’s Day,” he said.
“I talked to a service rep. She sent a message to corporate to get permission to remove the T shirts, however, she would not copy me. She gave me an 800 number to call.
“Since she didn’t get back to me, I went back. The t shirts were still for sale. I checked the return policy and purchased all the offensive ones ($180). I told the sales clerk no to bother folding them because I was bringing them back for a full refund on March.”
Kevin Westley has advice for those who feel the same as he does about offensive clothing.
He advises: Ask to speak to the owner, manager or customer service representative. Let them know that you find the merchandise offensive and politely ask them to remove it.
If they refuse, ask if they would sell offensive stereotypical T shirts for other holidays and memorial anniversaries. If they still refuse ask to see the return policy.
Consider purchasing as many as you can and pay for it via charge card. Return the merchandise on March 18 for a full refund. Boycott that store for the month of March in honor of St. Patrick.”
In his tour of Target, Westley found a separate selection for women.
“You can't email corporate, so I let them know what I thought about the T shirts via ‘chat.’ I asked when I could expect to get a reply from corporate. Due to ‘confidentiality,’ they will not reply.
Still not all his efforts have met with a stone wall.
Said Kevin: “Every year, on the anniversary of my mother’s birth (Alice Elizabeth O’Keefe Westley), I check to see the t shirts my friends at Walmart are selling for St. Patrick’s Day.
It took seven years of letting them know how we felt about their offensive merchandise; however, it appears to have paid off. Out of almost 1,000 t shirts on their website, I found less than ten that play into the drunken Irish stereotype.
“So I wanted to thank everyone for letting Walmart know your feelings about this. Have a Blessed St. Patrick’s Day.”