Noblesville, Ind. — Gary Dewester is under fire for selling soaps with offensive labels like: “Kolored Kids” and “Darkie” with a black man pictured in a top hat. Other soaps contained labels with other racially charged slurs.
The building owner of Logan Village Mall told Fox59 News Dewester’s lease may be pulled if he doesn’t pull his soaps. Dewester claims the soaps sell well. He said he buys them from Florida.
Dewester has refused to pull the soaps saying they are a gag gift and that people have become too concerned about being “politically correct.” Fox59 News visited the store and had a lengthy discussion with Dewester. Following are excerpts of the discussion with him that lasted about 10 minutes.
You know this is offensive to a lot of people
Gary Dewseter : It’s not offensive to me.
But should you be the middleman to make a profit off racism?
People are going to be appalled at this.
Gary: They are? Then people are just too politically correct. How about gay people in our country. Would they be offended by “Gay Johnny” and “The Fairy soap.” (Gary then showed the soaps labeled “Gay johnny” and “The Fairy soap”). This is free publicity and I hope it makes every channel, because people will come in here.
People will think you’re a racist because you’re selling this soap.
Gary: I’m a businessman selling a product people buy
Why would you want to be making a profit off of racism?
Gary: Because it’s a legal product
But don’t you have a moral principle not to promote something like this?
Gary: In our country the almighty dollar says it all, ma’am
Are you a racist?
Gary: No. are you?
No, but I would never sell soap like this.
Gary: Well, that’s you’re prerogative
Would you consider not selling it anymore? I think you”ll have customers, who after seeing this story, won’t want to come to your shop.
Gary:I’m glad you people (Fox59) are putting it on the air because we’re going to have customers. Some will come in and look at the soaps out of curiosity, and then buy other things. You people are the leaches of the world putting it on the 6 O’clock news. We’ve sold it for ten years and we’ve had one complaint in ten years. Evidently that one complaint a month or so ago, has built into this giant festering sore of racism. I’m selling 20-30 bars of soap a year.
And you say its popular.
Do you believe some of your customers are buying because they’re racist and they’re getting a kick out of buying the soap?
Gary: Some of them think it’s funny
There’s nothing funny about racism.
Gary: Alright, that’s your opinion.
Standing defiant to pressure, Dewester says he will keep selling the soap but he plans to do that somewhere else. He said he has decided to move his shop out of the Logan Village Mall in Noblesville. He maintains that he has a right to sell the controversial products.