American retailers Sears and Kmart have come under fire for selling a t-shirt on their shopping website referring to rioter Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old woman who was shot dead by a police officer during the Capitol riots in January.
However, the controversial t-shirt was soon taken down after Twitter erupted with reactions that didn’t serve the department stores well. What did the caption read and why are social media users criticizing it?
Ashli Babbitt’s T-Shirt caption explored
The t-shirt by Sears and Kmart that was placed for sale on both Sears and Kmart’s online store came with a caption that read “Ashli Babbitt American Patriot”, with a black and white flag of the United States in the middle.
Furthermore, the product title said, “UYT ASHLI BABBITT T-SHIRT – ASHLI BABBITT AMERICAN PATRIOT SHIRTS”
The t-shirt which is now unavailable to purchase was being sold for $19.99 to $21.99. It also appears like it was being sold in different sizes and colors.
Who was Ashli Babbitt?
Ashli was an American woman who was shot by a police officer after entering the chamber of House of Representatives during the January protests in Washington DC. A video footage released following her death showed her draped in a “Make America Great Again” flag inside the Capitol building with the rest of the rioters.
Ashli was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound, but was declared dead later that evening.
Ashli was an Air Force veteran who had served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. She was married to her husband Aaron Babbitt, with whom she worked at a pool service company.
Twitter reacts to the controversial merch
While Sears and Kmart decided to pull down the t-shirt after severe criticism for their choice of caption, Twitter users continue to question the retailers for selling a product that supported a rioter who participated in the violent Capitol protests, and even calling her an “American Patriot”.
One tweeted, “I shopped at both when younger. To believe that a retail establishment of any magnitude would highlight such reckless and criminal behavior as “patriotic” is grotesque and terribly disappointing. They do a disservice to America.”
Another added, “Welp, @sears, that’s the last time I buy an appliance from you, and you’ve been my source for the last 25 years.”
Another user expressed, “I saw that @Sears and @Kmart are selling t-shirts supporting the violent overthrow of American democracy. The big surprise me was that Sears and KMart still exist. So…I don’t shop at either anyway, nor should you.”
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