It is illegal in most of Europe to deny the holocaust and to perpetrate and support nazis. In some countries (Germany at least) it is illegal to publish and use a swastika. America is not the same. For some reason they believe that the notion of 'free speech' should allow organisations such as the American Nazi Party to not only carry on existing and preaching hatred, but to allow them to publish on the internet. Thankfully, this is not the case in France, and in the UK there have even been successful prosecutions of (well at least one) americans publishing their shit in the UK. So... what has this got to do with art? OK - I'll get to it:
You may have noticed from this blog or my facebook page or my website that I publish work on other websites, including the remarkably good easy to use website, RedBubble. In fact I regularly publicise my work on RedBubble via this blog and facebook. Well not any more. You can't buy my work via RedBubble any more, because I have decided that I don't want to sell my work and contribute to the profits of a company that allows people to sell racist crap. On RedBubble, despite hundreds of people protesting, you can buy T Shirts that are made by some sick american called 'HipsterHitler' who finds it amusing to laugh at the holocaust, belittle genocide and then profit from sales of T shirts that do this. "Amusing" T shirts include pictures of Hitler wearing T shirts (how ironic) saying "Death Camp for Cutie" or "Eastside Westside Genocide"... and more shit. These people claim (I quote) "Hipster Hitler is a comic that satirizes both hipster culture and the exploits of the Third Reich." Yeah great. And then makes T shirts and sells them for profit. Profiting from genocide. Not much different to manufacturing Zyklon B is it?
RedBubble won't stop selling their goods, and argues that it is protecting 'artists' who are victims of people calling them offensive. And then goes and censors comments people make who complain. They have some very strange hippy libertarian beliefs (one idiot told me I was being 'uncool'), which allows Nazis to proliferate. Do they not remember the message of Pastor Niemöller:?
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.