Still work to do: I had something to say today on my facebook. I figured I’d share these thoughts with you as well. In response to so many of the recent controversies over the past year to 3 years. Most recently is the ‘story’ around the clothing brand, Gucci. This white owned fashion company is very popular with black people. Several responses to a extremely racist sweater they made, have been trying to examine just why black people do it. Why are so many of us, focused on wearing clothes made by white people?
Incidents like these are nothing new.
Not long ago, it was H&M who put out an ad for a shirt, that disrespected the black model wearing it. The insult, clear as day also came off as an attack towards all black people who wear (or wore) the brand. The young boy model in the ad, who’s parents, sadly, didn’t see a problem, was used as a prop for an inside racist joke. Which is a key reason so many black people continue to be disrespected by so many white institutions. Too many black people are asleep, and don’t “See” the problems. Even, and especially when those problems are blatant. As if these companies go ‘as far’ as they can, to get away with as much as possible. They know all it will take, is an apology. Business will go on! (racism is Just business in America)
For me, growing up, the Brand to openly disrespect black people was Tommy Hillfigure. The creator of the brand, famously was quoted saying he didn’t like to see black people wearing his clothes. Oh, black people were so upset about that! After making it ‘the’ brand, we were cancelling it. I can’t say that it’s even worn by anyone ‘popular’ to this day…. (Tommy’s PR team and Tommy Hillfigure himself said this was always a lie; the lie worked …)
I don’t think people ‘got the joke‘ when Spike Lee included this ‘commercial’ in his groundbreaking film, Bamboozled.
That, we are still buying white owned clothes, and placing value on what isn’t ours, shows we have not learned.
There is still work to do…. This is what I wrote on Facebook today –
Whatever it takes, to wake my people up, to the reality that we need To have our own businesses, and Support one another’s businesses — I’m here for —
From Gucci disrespecting us all …
To Ralph Northam, refusing to step down, and making it worse
From Trump supporting Alt-Right Groups which are the new KKK
To case after case of Police disrespecting our Civil Rights…
From Kaepernick still being out of work for pointing out a flaw in our national anthem (which, we really need to change…)
——————- I’m all good with it; IF the end result wakes y’all up ….
Because when i came home from College in 1999, telling black people we need our own businesses; I was told to go get a JOB – too many cats told me to go some where else with that – or laughed at my ideas – talked sh*t about what I was talking about at every turn; and now …. some of those same people see what I meant, 20 years ago.
Kinda late now….
I’m imagining where so many of us would be, RIGHT NOW, if only the ear was more respectful to the message 20 years ago; But, to be honest things have to unfold, the way they unfold; It just wasn’t meant for most to understand it, then. Everything ‘seemed’ too good …. to be true … and it was.
Do you see it now?
Not yet still? … ok … that’s fine; I still see many of us arguing over the little things; falling out over little things; refusing to apologize to one another when we WRONG our brother/sister – still work to do ….
… till we get to a point where we are MORE upset with the people who put us IN These situations, than we are with one another for the situations WE find ourselves in ….
… still work to do ….
Will this incident ‘finally’ wake black people up?
Perhaps. What I’m learning is this process is all, slow and a bit cumbersome. Everything takes longer than we want it to. The process of waking up may take another 20 to 30 years. It does ‘seem’ to be happening though, slowly but surely. I see blacks starting to talk about the intersection of politics and economics. Also, the importance of love & respect towards one another – that must be part of the wake up package.
While I do not like everything going on, if that’s what it takes to wake us up … then so be it.
Spike Lee’s Bamboozled came out in 2000. It examined this ongoing relationship between using ‘blackface’ and black pain to increase white profits. The ending ‘montage’ is worth watching, but so is the entire film if you’ve never seen it. Spike was telling us, even then, there is Still Work to do! So much … still.
T.I. is making the news for promoting black owned fashion companies. On his instagram he’s highlighted violations from more than just Gucci. He includes Prada and a few others. Several have no respect for the very people consuming their clothes. Be sure to also support Nipsey Hustle, who owns Marathon Clothing. Support several others too. IN fact, leave a comment to a black owned business in fashion below. Let’s stop being bamboozled by the same old games and tricks.