Amazon Sells T-Shirts Referring to Kamala Harris by Offensive Term

Offensive Biden/Harris Shirt on Amazon.com
This screenshot of Amazon.com shows a t-shirt featuring the offensive slogan "Joe and the Hoe" for sale. Screenshot/Amazon

Outrage erupted on social media Tuesday over t-shirts being sold on Amazon that refer to Sen. Kamala Harris using offensive language that many believe to be sexist and racist.

As of Tuesday evening, multiple versions of shirts featuring the slogan "Joe and the Hoe" were available for sale on Amazon. The offensive phrase was introduced by right-wing detractors of Harris after it was announced that she had been selected as the running mate of former Vice President Joe Biden last week.

"All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account," an Amazon spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement. "The products in question have been removed."

However, though Amazon says the products have been removed, a search for "Joe and the Hoe t-shirt" brings up a number of shirts available for sale, as of early Wednesday morning.

The appearance of the slogan on shirts available for sale from the retail giant, complete with Prime shipping, quickly prompted anger and calls for Amazon boycotts if the company does not remove the products and ban sellers that had offered them.

"@amazon Seeing a tee shirt that says Joe and the Hoe for sale," Twitter user @OleanderNectar tweeted. "When did you start peddling racist filth like this? Expect to cancel my Prime membership shortly.

@amazon Seeing a tee shirt that says Joe and the Hoe for sale.

When did you start peddling racist filth like this?

Expect to cancel my Prime membership shortly. #amazon

— Magnolia Viper (@OleanderNectar) August 18, 2020

"Amazon, take off the tee shirts that say Joe and The Hoe 2020 Vote No," user @MaxineDevri tweeted. "It is nasty, sexist and racist. Shame on you."

Amazon, take off the tee shirts that say Joe and The Hoe 2020 Vote No. It is nasty, sexist and racist. Shame on you/🥵

— Maxine Mancuso DeVri (@MaxineDevri) August 18, 2020

"@amazon count your days! You can NOT allow your vendors to disrespect @KamalaHarris," @QC_Bombchelle tweeted. "I've NEVER seen this done to any other female candidate!"

@amazon count your days! You can NOT allow your vendors to disrespect @KamalaHarris. I've NEVER seen this done to any other female candidate! PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO: abuse@amazonaws.com AND
Web services: Mr Andrew Jassy. (Senior VP)Email : ajassy@amazon.com Twitter: @ajassy pic.twitter.com/G6XL0mjJDV

— BOMBCHELLE ® (@QC_BOMBCHELLE) August 18, 2020

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump in February, used the offensive term on Friday to refer to Harris while repeating a disparaging report about her past, including an evidence-free claim that she had worked as an "escort."

Limbaugh shared an article alleging Harris "slept her way" into politics after talking about freelance NBA photographer Bill Baptist, who was banished from covering the basketball league last week after sharing a meme featuring the slogan on social media.

"[Baptist] posted an image that read 'Joe and the Hoe,' h-o-e," Limbaugh said. "Now, what do you think that's about, Joe and the Hoe?"

Others public figures to utter slurs against Harris have included Barry Presgraves, the Republican mayor of Luray, Virginia, who recently posted to Facebook that Biden had "just announced Aunt Jemima" as his running mate. Presgraves later deleted the post and apologized but supporters leapt to his defense, including Dean Peterson, a national delegate for Trump, who claimed that thinking the slur was racist is "racist within itself."

The offensive products available on Amazon are offered by third-party sellers. The company has been repeatedly criticized for allowing sellers to offer offensive products that later prompt outrage. Last year, a children's t-shirt featuring the slogan "Daddy's Little Slut" was available for a time, while earlier this year the company received backlash for allowing the sale of a "Let's Make Down Syndrome Extinct" shirt.'

Update 8/18, 10:20 p.m.: This article has been updated to include a statement from Amazon.

Update 8/19 12:00 a.m.: This article has been updated to note that the shirts still appear in the Amazon store, despite an Amazon spokesperson saying they had been taken down.