US – Public Shaming Signs Hung Around The Neck Of A Thief Smacks A Bit Of Nazi Times – But If People Really Think That’s Just, Why Not Start With Wal-Mart’s Corporate Elite? – 11 November 2012

A meme recently emerged about a judge sentencing someone who stole from a Wal-Mart to wear a sign around her neck saying “I stole from Wal-Mart” and stand in front of the Wal-Mart. Social conservatives roared their approval, and even those who aren’t all that conservative grudgingly said, essentially, “Well, the person stole, so it’s just punishment for what that person did.”

Great. Personally, I have a problem with that kind of punishment, because the Nazis did a lot of “sign” punishments as well. Granted, the signs sometimes identified the person as being Jewish and a race traitor, rather than as being a thief, but let’s grant that the judge who ordered this is not a closet Nazi. Let’s concede that people are just unaware of the yucky parallels between this kind of punishment and what the Nazis used to do.

The remaining question is, why do the people in this photo not have to wear signs around their necks that read “I pay my employees so little that they either have to go on public assistance or steal.” Given that social conservatives want people to do neither of these things, you would think that they would be equally incensed at the behaviour of Wal-Mart’s bosses.

Make your consumer dollars count. Don’t shop at Wal-Mart.

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