Sears Stops Selling Offending T-shirts

Sep 05, 2002

Sears has stopped selling a line of T-shirts that critics said were making fun of the mentally ill. The offending apparel included an inscription that read, “You should hear the NAMES the VOICES in my head are calling you.”

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) acknowledged Sears’ action and called on Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Kohl’s to stop selling similar items.

Ron Honberg, national legal director, NAMI said, “The T-shirt perpetuates prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illnesses through the intimation of threats flowing from auditory hallucinations. They reinforce an unfair perception of violence.”

Last week, Target removed items with the number “88” after the Southern Poverty
Law Center said it was a secret symbol for Neo-Nazis. (See RetailWire, 8/29/02
86es 88

Moderator’s Comment: Is Sears making the right move?
Should retailers just say no to the political correctness police?

Sometimes you just need to say, “It’s a joke. Get over
it, already.”

We can imagine some sufferers of schizophrenia would not
find a t-shirt that reads, “You should hear the NAMES the VOICES in my head
are calling you”, to be very funny. Still, is it beyond possibility that the
voices inside their head would get a giggle out of it? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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