Updated: Nov 5, 2019
We are living in an increasingly racially divisive society. People are as offended as they are offensive and don’t seem to care until it gets them in hot water. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed a wave of celebrities and corporations make egregious errors in judgement resulting in obvious racism and disrespect. Once they face back lash, in the form of either losing endorsements or being boycotted, they then offer an apology and agree to some superficial sensitivity or diversity training.
For example, just recently the Italian luxury brand Gucci released a turtleneck sweater modeled after black face. In the photos circulating online, there was a white woman wearing a black sweater with big red lips covering the mouth. Blackface is a historically racist stereotype of black people; jet black face with huge white, pink or bright red lips. Of course after public outrage and receiving negative press, Gucci issued a statement, apologized and removed the sweater from its online and physical stores.
Are we to honestly think this product was created, made it past an entire marketing team, was distributed to stores and NO ONE thought it was a problem until some people commented online? This company knew exactly what they’re doing, they just didn’t care! They think giving an apology and agreeing to diversity training is going to make everything OK. And what do we do as consumers? We feel outraged, hurt and appalled, boycott for a while and go right back to business as usual. As much money as these corporations make off the black dollar, we must do better so they feel the hurt in their bottom line.
Personally, I’m sick of it. I no longer have the patience or tolerance for adults who make purposeful decisions and then apologize as if they had no clue what they were doing or saying would be offensive. The blatant disrespect is at an all-time high and the I'm sorry's feel like an insincere slap in the face. I would rather a person own up to how they really feel, stand on it and take whatever criticism comes their way, instead of delivering some bullshit apology their PR team advised them to say.
The whole “apology tour” is getting exhausting and a bit ridiculous to watch. Someone says something racist or offensive to a certain marginalized group, they get “dragged” on social media, we boycott for a while, they offer an apology and we’re on to another subject until the cycle repeats with another offender; no pun intended. How long are we going to keep just accepting apologies from individuals that know better?
Support Our Own
Now is the time to take away the power these people think they have and redistribute it. Stop subscribing to artists and corporations who love everything about the culture except the people in the culture. Stop being so forgiving of those who do not have our best interests at heart. Stop giving them our money and instead let’s invest in and empower our own.
With the increase of social media, we now have access to more information than we’ve had before as a society. There are ample black owned businesses, apparel lines and fashion houses, etc., we can patronize so there wouldn’t be a need to support the likes of Gucci. Because let’s be honest, there isn’t anything remarkable or extraordinary about these brands other than the name. Cancel these people and businessesforever and give our green dollars to our black entrepreneurs and continue to circulate them throughout the black community and do so unapologetically.