Commentary by Dr. Patrick Slattery — We gentiles must be a particularly insensitive bunch. First we made teapots in the image of Adolph Hitler. Now it turns out that we hid Swastikas on our Christmas wrapping paper. Very Naughty! It seems that everywhere they look, our Jewish friends see offensive Nazi imagery. A contractor friend of mine once told me of a Jewish customer of his who insisted that he replace a sink he had just installed because it had a swastika in it. After going to all the trouble to replace it, the customer was still not satisfied. The swastika was in the new sink as well. Upon further investigation, it turned out that the sink was not to blame — it was the late afternoon shadow cast by a near-by pane-glass window in the sink!
Back to the Christmas wrapping paper. Wallgreens is getting rid of the wrapping paper from all its stores across the country. A victory for sensitivity, perhaps, but it seems like a terrible waste of paper. Still, I must admit that I find the design rather offensive myself, but for a different reason. Those sky blue strips look an awful lot like the Israeli flag! –ps
Swastika wrapping paper or Rorschach test?
Let’s play a game. Can you find the swastikas in the picture on the right?
Don’t worry if it took a few minutes to find them – they can be hard to spot in the midst of the wrapping paper’s intricate design.
Today Walgreens announced that is removing all rolls of this wrapping paper from its shelves nationwide after a woman from the Northridge community of Los Angeles complained Sunday about the swastikas in the design.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes, I had no idea what to do,” Cheryl Shapiro, the distressed shopper told L.A.’s NBC News affiliate. “I came home and spoke to my rabbi. He couldn’t believe it.”
Shapiro’s experience brings up a larger issue: how close to a swastika should something look to be considered offensive?