Well that was quick. We are just a week into the new year, and we already have our first corporate marketing misstep. On H&M’s UK website, an image of a young Black child in a graphic sweatshirt has now gone viral. Here’s why:
Pictured above is beautiful boy is in a hooded sweatshirt with the caption “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle”. Now I understand that the UK does have a somewhat different history with race relations than the U.S. However, I think it is pretty well-known that the word “monkey,” as it relates to black people, is a racial slur To add to that, the choice of clothing that the non-Black models were given further complicates this issue. Check out the tweet below from Alex Medina (@mrmedina):
Of course H&M has already issued their “apology”:
“We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”
Notice the wording. “Offending people with this image of a printed hooded top.” They aren’t fully owning what they did, and it’s likely they don’t care.
Y’all, I’m tired. I’m really tired. I feel like we spent most of 2017 trying to reeducate brands on being culturally sensitive, and yet here we are again. From Nivea’s South African ad to Dove, a For the last 24 hours, Twitter and the media have been dragging H&M.
So we’ll be mad for a few days, but how many of us will buy from H&M again? How many times have we already tried to reeducate corporations on tone-deaf ads, yet they keep trying it? It’s simply because they don’t care, and they don’t believe they have to. Well that isn’t true. While “Black Lives” still don’t seem to matter, Black dollars do. African Americans control the largest share of purchasing power because we spend trillions each year. It is past time to put that money back in our own pockets. Let’s stop begging for corporations to care about our plight and struggles. Let’s redistribute our wealth amongst ourselves. Because if we’re waiting for the day that these businesses finally get it, we may be waiting until eternity. Enough with “calling out” the white-run brands who offend us. Let’s buy black and be done with it.
If you’re interested in buying black check out these lists here
Black-owned Skincare click HERE
Black-owned haircare click HERE
Black-owned Cosmetics click HERE
Black-owned T-Shirt companies click HERE