Finally, we have a Happy Ending.
After much dithering and after putting up a poll on their own website, CafePress finally decided today to remove the "Obama Psalm 109:8" products.
The statement reads:
Nov 20th, 2009
Psalm 109:8 update
This morning we made the decision to remove all Psalms 109:8 designs from CafePress.
The public debate started with questioning if the design was simply intended to be criticism of the President or something much worse. The discourse was surprisingly civil online, given the heated nature of the topic. Given that, and the positions of groups like the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League, we decided to let the dialogue play out publicly before making a final decision.
Last night we posted a poll on our blog, read through the emails we’ve received and weighed the nature of the calls we’ve received on the topic. In the process we also learned that many of the original designers of the Psalm 109:8 designs had already decided to remove them on their own.
General consensus has proven that the design does point to a broader interpretation of the Psalm and thus has been deemed inappropriate for sale at CafePress.
We try to create an atmosphere of self-expression. Many of the things we encounter are not black and white, but grey. When the dialogue is civil, we want to let the larger community work things out rather than making an uninformed ruling. The dialogue has played out and common sentiment has reached agreement – this merchandise is not appropriate.
Thank you all for your input.
Although I am happy to see the products gone, I think that CafePress has handled this situation extremely badly.
Predicably, the poll showed an overwhelming majority towards rating the products as inappropriate and inflammatory. At times, up to 92% of the voters decided that the products were unsuitable. Later this number dropped unexpectedly to 72-77% (I wonder why...?), but that is still a huge majority.
Why was it necessary to have such a poll in the first place? If CafePress had looked into the background of the matter themselves, they would have quickly seen that those products were just a code for extremists to promote violence against the president.
Let's hope that they do better if a similar situation arises in the future.
Well done to everybody who contacted CafePress. I left a comment on their website, but apparently I was not friendly enough, because it didn't make it through moderation. ;-)
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