Two Walmart customers have been banned from all Walmart stores for at least a year after each wore a red face mask emblazoned with a swastika, reminiscent of the flag of the Nazi Party, while shopping at a Marshall, Minnesota, location.
According to the Associated Press, police were called to the store Saturday after the two shoppers, a man and a woman, drew the outrage of others, including Raphaela Mueller, who captured video footage and posted it on Facebook.
“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,” Mueller, who is a vicar, wrote in her post. “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.”
In the video, someone could be heard echoing a similar statement, stating in disbelief at the couple, “You can’t be American and wear that mask. We literally had a war about this.”
The woman wearing the offensive symbol could be heard countering, “If you vote for Biden, you’re gonna be in Nazi Germany. That’s what it’s going to be like.”
The man wearing the mask continued to bag up groceries, seemingly unbothered.
According to the AP, local police ended up giving the unidentified couple no-trespass notices, but neither the man nor the woman was cited or arrested.
Walmart released a statement that its stores “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.