Protesters gathered on Saturday outside a hat store in Nashville that sold “unvaccinated” Star of David patches and compared vaccine passports to the Nazi practice of asking for “your papers.”
The store, Hatwrks, said on Instagram in a post that was later deleted that he was sell the patches for $ 5. Amid a surge in anti-Semitic attacks across the country, the post was criticized on social media and outside the store, where protesters held signs saying “no Nazis in Nashville” and “sell hats, not hate “.
A separate article on the store’s Instagram account – which also touted “maskless shopping” and promoted the conspiracy theory that vaccines contain microchips – said that “all unvaccinated people will be separated from society, marked and must wear a mask. What happens next? “
The Stetson Hat Company mentionned that “due to offensive content and views shared by Hatwrks” he would stop selling his products through the store.
An article on the store’s account responding to reviews said that “I respect history much more in supporting those who have fallen than in offering silence and compliance.” A subsequent post apologized “for any insensitivity”, stating “my hope was to share my real worry and fear, and to do everything possible to ensure that nothing” like the Holocaust “happens again.”
Gigi Gaskins, who according to state records is the owner of the store, did not respond to requests for comment.
Criticism of vaccine passports, or digital proof of vaccination against Covid-19, extends beyond the United States: in London and Brussels on Saturday, demonstrators gathered to protest against vaccination requirements.
Oregon said last week it would require companies to verify the immunization status of customers before allowing them to enter without a mask, although business groups there questioned the practicality of the requirement. New York created the Excelsior Pass, but does not require it to be widely used.
In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, passed a law on Wednesday that prohibits local governments from requiring businesses to verify proof of vaccination.