Amazon has taken down t-shirts from their website featuring the slogan "Joe and the H*e" following an online blacklash from users referring to them as racist, and "totally unacceptable".
Amazon removed the "Joe and the h*e" items. Story updated. Waiting on confirmation on whether they are removing the "Kamala smelled the best" items or not.— Josh Rivera (@Josh1Rivera) August 19, 2020
The derogatory line alludes to a rumour that Harris, Joe Biden's running mate, could have climbed up the political career ladder through her sexual relationships with men, with critics recalling her brief romance with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in 1994-1995, years before she ran for district attorney and attorney general in Califronia.
The clothing items featuring the slogan were being sold through a number of third-party brands on Amazon, including one named The Oxygen bandit. The prices for their products - t-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies among them - ranged from $24.99 to $42.99.
Apart from "Joe and the H*e" t-shirts, other products under the same brand take further aim at Harris including garments that read "Kamala smelled the best".
The line refers to accusations against Biden of inappropriate behaviour, like sniffing women. Another t-shirt had a subheading below "Joe & the H*e" - "Sniff & Blow".
The aforementioned items hit a raw nerve on Twitter on Tuesday night and well into Wednesday after a screenshot of one of them on sale was shared by Twitterian @LesaPamplin, a criminal defence attorney from Texas.
"Let @amazon know this is unacceptable", she wrote, with others supporting the stance and posting instructions on how to file a complaint about the products with the retail giant.
"This isn't just hateful, it's racist and irresponsible. We urge you to remove these retailers before further damage to your brand is done", another weighed in, while Democratic political strategist Kaivan Shroff called the range of products "a targeted, sexist, racist attack against Kamala Harris" and urged Amazon to apologise directly to the attorney-turned senator for California.
@amazon those Joe and the H#$ t shirts are offensive. Remove them at once.— Pam Gaskin (@GaskinPam) August 19, 2020
While the "Joe and the H*e" products have been removed from Amazon, The Oxygen Bandit brand still appeared active on the site as of Wednesday evening and continued to sell politically charged products including "I'm an AmeriKaren" t-shirts.
The slogan "Joe and the H*e" started to make the rounds online last Friday when conservative host Rush Limbaugh pronounced it while claiming that Harris "used sex to get ahead" and sharing articles calling her an "escort" and a "mattress" regarding a previous relationship with Willie Brown.
"So we have two different stories here that are trading off the known fact that she was Willie Brown's mattress, and that he has written about it, and that he has talked about how it propelled her — that he ended up being one of her mentors", Limbaugh claimed, continuing:
"And yet there's no — there's no reaction to this whatsoever. And now we have something new that's been thrust — ahem — into American politics, and that is the question of using sex to get ahead", Limbaugh went on.