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Couple banned from Walmart for a year for wearing swastika masks

Walmart said they “will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business.” 

Swastika masks Star Tribune

A Minnesota couple was banned from Walmart after they came to a local store wearing face masks with swastikas on them.

According to ABC News, police were called on Saturday (July 25) on a report that the unnamed pair became belligerent when asked to leave the store. Raphaela Mueller and Benjamin Ruesch, other shoppers who were present at Walmart, posted videos of the man and woman being confronted by customers on social media.

“You’re sick,” Ruesch said to the pair. “You have an illness. You can’t be American and wear that mask. You cannot. We literally had a war about this.”

“I’m not a Nazi,” replied the woman. “I’m trying to show you what’s going to happen in America. If you vote for Biden, you’re going to be in Nazi Germany. That’s what it’s going to be like.” The man then added, “We’re living under a socialist state.”

Mueller said that when she first saw the couple, she felt “nauseated and I wanted to cry, which I ended up doing.”

“I was speechless and shocked. I have heard of [things like this] happening in other places but I never thought I would see something like that,” she told The Associated Press on Sunday (July 26).

The police did not arrest the couple and did not pursue any charges against them. They did give the man and woman trespass notices and told them if they returned to the store, they would be arrested.

Since the incident, a Walmart representative told KARE 11 that the couple is banned for a year. The retailer giant also said that they “will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business.”

“Store management offered the individuals disposable face masks as an alternative, which they refused. The individuals became belligerent and were asked to leave the store by store management,” Walmart said.

Check out video of the incident below.

Edit, since this is going much further than I thought it would (and the trolls and haters are starting to roll in): I was born and raised in Germany, and I grew up hearing about my great-grandmother who fought in the underground against the first wave of Nazis in the 1930s and 40s. Let me make this abundantly clear once and for all - THE SWASTIKA IS A HATE SYMBOL AND YOU DO NOT FLY THE FLAG, YOU DO NOT WEAR THE SYMBOL ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY, YOU DO NOT USE OR DEFEND THIS SYMBOL, EVER. END OF STORY.

Posted by Raphaela Mueller on Saturday, July 25, 2020

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