Amazon pulled t-shirts from their site Wednesday that pushed the slogan ‘Joe and the H*e’ following uproar online from users calling them racist, sexist and ‘unacceptable’.
The offensive line was being used on clothing from pro-Trump sellers, referencing Democratic candidate Joe Biden‘s Vice Presidential pick Kamala Harris.
The derogatory terms refers to a right-wing theory that Harris gained power through her sexual relationships with men.
The slogan gained momentum last Friday when conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh repeated it while he claimed that Harris ‘used sex to get ahead’ and shared articles calling her an ‘escort’ and a ‘mattress’.
Amazon announced Wednesday it had removed anti-Biden and Harris t-shirts reading ‘Joe and the H*e’ from their site. The offensive line references claims Harris ‘used sex to get ahead’
Some right-wing articles have claimed Harris used her brief romantic relationship with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown 25 years ago to help her political career
The t-shirts faced heavy backlash on Twitter and have since been removed by Amazon
The clothing was being sold through a number of third-party brands on Amazon, specializing in pro-Trump and anti-Biden products.
One brand named The Oxygen Bandit was selling t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and sweatshirts with a similar design to Biden’s campaign logo yet reading ‘Joe and the h–‘.
The prices of the products ranged from $24.99 to $42.99.
Other products from the brand, which does not have a stand-alone website, take further hits at Harris including a t-shirt that reads: ‘Kamala smelled the best.’
It alludes to claims of inappropriate behavior against Biden himself and him sniffing women. Another t-shirt captioned ‘Joe & the H*e’ with the subheading ‘Sniff & Blow’.
The clothing was being sold by pro-Trump third-party sellers through Amazon. They referred to a right-wing theory that claims Kamala Harris used her sexual relationship to win power
The Oxygen Bandit was among the main sellers. They continue to sell other products through the online retailer but the ‘Joe and the H**’ clothing has now been removed
The offensive products were removed from Amazon by Wednesday afternoon
Another third-party seller named ‘Weisay’ was selling the t-shirt for $17.99. Their others political products included one reading ‘Yes, I’m a Trump girl, get over it’ and another stating ‘save America’s postal service’.
The items gained widespread condemnation Tuesday night after a screenshot of one of the t-shirts was shared by Twitter user @LesaPamplin, a criminal defense attorney from Texas.
‘Let @amazon know this is unacceptable,’ she wrote, as others shared information on how to file a complaint about the products with the online retailer.
The images were quickly shared hundreds of times as others joined the protest.
‘@amazon is selling “Joe and the Hoe” shirts. This is a targeted, sexist, racist attack against Kamala Harris. PLEASE JOIN ME in demanding that Amazon not only pull this vile merchandise from its store, but also apologize directly to Senator Harris,’ wrote Democratic political strategist Kaivan Shroff.
‘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,’ added Twitter account R. Stephen Browning.
The t-shirts were met with outrage online as complaints were filed to Amazon
‘Vile that Amazon seeks to profit from the sale of defamatory & degrading products such as this,’ wrote an account named Trumpism is not Patriotism.
The products remained online through the night despite the outrage.
However, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to USA Today Wednesday afternoon that the products have since been removed.
The meme is the latest hit at Harris over her brief romantic relationship with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown 25 years ago.
Some right-wing theories have suggested that Harris slept her way to the top through her relationship with Brown.
They dated between 1994 and 1995.
Harris did not run for office for the first time until 2003 when she won the San Francisco District Attorney runoff election.
The idea that Harris ‘used sex to get ahead’ became more prominent in recent days after right-wing pundit Limbaugh, a fervent supporter of President Trump, alluded to it on his popular radio show.
Limbaugh has a history of making claims about Harris’ former relationship with Brown, in January 2019 stating that she was similar to porn star Stormy Daniels who alleged she was paid off by Trump to keep quiet about an affair she had with him.
On last week’s show, Limbaugh referenced the firing of Bill Baptist, a freelance photographer for the Houston Rockets, after he shared a doctored Biden campaign logo with the offensive slogan on Facebook.
Baptist has since apologized for his actions.
‘The phrase I posted does not reflect my personal views at all. I should not have been so insensitive to post the statements by others,’ he said.
‘I sincerely apologize to all of those who have rightfully been offended and I have taken the post down from my FB page. It was a horrible mistake on my part.’
Rush Limbaugh on his show Friday pushed stories that refer to Kamala Harris as a ‘h*e’
Despite Baptist’s apology, Limbuagh shared his story, saying he was addressing ‘the question of using sex to get ahead’. He later referenced articles that call Harris an ‘escort’ and a ‘mattress’.
‘Now, what do you think that’s about, “Joe and the Hoe”?’ Limbaugh asked.
‘Then there is this from The Spectator: “Why It Should Matter to Women That Kamala Slept Her Way Up,”’ he added referencing the article.
‘Whoa! You know what that’s about? That’s about 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.
‘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 continued.
While the ‘Joe and the H*e’ products have been removed from Amazon, brand The Oxygen Bandit still appeared active on the site as of Wednesday evening and continued to sell politically charged clothing including “’I’m an AmeriKaren’ T-shirts.
Amazon has faced backlash before for allowing third-party sellers to market offensive products through their site. One child’s t-shirt last year was criticized for reading ‘Daddy’s Little Slut’ while earlier this year, one was spotted stating ‘Let’s Make Down Syndrome Extinct’.
Harris is set to speak as the first woman of color on a major party ticket as she accepts the party’s vice-president nomination at the Democratic national convention on Wednesday night.