Offensive Sweatshirt

H&M sure is kicking 2018 off right. My fellow We Buy Black blogger Naomi Bradley wrote an amazing piece about H&M’s offensive ad. Read her article HERE. Naomi Bradley raises some excellent points. To piggyback off of her article, I would also like to express my outrage.

Even though I’m not a parent and I don’t shop at H&M, I’m furious at this advertisement. As Naomi pointed out, we have been referred to as a number of epithets including ‘monkey’ throughout history. Calling a Black person a monkey is degrading and for H&M to place a sweatshirt on a Black child that says, “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle,’ is utterly deplorable.

Colorblind

Perhaps you believe that Black people have truly overcome and that we are on equal footing with the rest of the world...we’re not. And for anyone who promotes a colorblind approach to race, please read Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow.’ You will understand why a colorblind society is more pernicious to our community than anything else.

If H&M would have taken into account the racial tensions that have riddled the Black community then perhaps they would not have run this ad. Perhaps they would have run the ad despite knowing. Who’s to say? But that’s where this issue surpasses political correctness and becomes historical ignorance.

Historical Ignorance

Mass media has always attempted to dehumanize members of the Black community. From political cartoons of early periodicals that depicted us with exaggerated features to ads like this; this is nothing new.

Remember, if you will, the Dove soap ad that ran not too long ago; it showed a Black woman stepping into a washing machine and coming out as a White woman after using Dove soap, or something of that nature. What kind of message does that send? It says that Black skin is dirty and if you use Dove you can rid your skin of impurities and achieve the cleanliness of white women.

Enough Is Enough

Again, this is nothing new. The image of our community has always been attacked and we cannot allow these companies to get away with their blatant disrespect. Like my fellow, talented blogger suggested, boycott H&M, boycott any company that does not take our community’s best interests into account, and buy Black!

H&M and all of the other companies who have run ads like this are insensitive and uncaring. And anyone who supports or defends ads such as these are just as disrespectful and insensitive. As much as we’d like to believe it, we do not live in a colorblind society. Since we’ve been shown that the rest of the world cares very little -- if at all -- about our community. It’s up to us to promote pride and dignity for our race. We can achieve this by buying Black.

2 comments

  1. Nayaâ Mendy 8 January, 2018 at 17:07 Reply

    Thanks for your brillant analizing about this advertising from H&M ! It’s important to change the way of stereotype about
    black people. We are not paranoiac but most of the last advertisement in fashion, cosmetic industries proved then we
    have to fight again and again about historical stereotype concerning our Color !
    I hope this clothes brand will have law pursuit to this offending stereotype.

    • Ramiro Alexander-Duchesne 14 January, 2018 at 22:51 Reply

      Hello, Nayaâ,

      Thank you, for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and comment. If you’re not already, please be sure to connect with me on all of my social media outlets; I’m mostly on Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Thank you,

      — Ramiro N. Alexander-Duchesne (Ramiro The Writer)

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