Too Soon: Urban Outfitters Selling Blood Splattered 'Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt'


 
“Four dead in O-HI-O. Four dead in O-HI-O.”

Companies love to stir up a lil’ controversy. If you’re old enough, you’ll recall Calvin Klein’s “heroin chic” campaign as well as another late 90s campaign that was widely decried as “porn.” Well it’s one thing to flirt with such imagery, it’s quite another to jump off into the deep end into something so stupid that it turns people off to your brand, like Urban Outfitters has with their totally obnoxious “Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt”:

Kareb Farkas writes at The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Urban Outfitters is facing a public backlash after offering for sale a “Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt” with red blotches that could be interpreted as blood stains.

Twitter lit up as people blasted the company for its insensitivity for selling an item citing a university nationally known as the site of the May 4, 1970 deaths of four students by the Ohio National Guard during Vietnam War protests.

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit” the university said in a statement Monday. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”

The tragedy at Kent State was a national disgrace, inspiring Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s “Ohio” as well as DEVO, whose Jerry Casale was an actual witness to the event. Casale told the Vermont Review in 2010:

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