By Jean Gasho
So a lot of black people on social media are rightfully outraged by the racist H&M advert which has a beautiful black boy wearing a hoodie which reads ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’. A lot of people of color are threatening to boycott the fashion retailer, with the hashtag #boycotthmracist trending on Twitter.
When I went on the H&M website yesterday searching for the infamous racist image, I was greeted by a 70% off sale. As a mother of 6, I had no choice but to take advantage of the sale.
I am a black woman, who is very passionate about black empowerment, but I am not in any position to afford to join any emotional boycott at the moment, especially when there is no solution to the boycott. I have been shopping at H&M since I became a mother and I am not going to change that. If I boycott H&M where am I going to get clothes that are value for money for my 6 children?
In the past I have boycotted things during emotional heated moments, only to eat my humble pie and go back after realizing I had no solution to the boycott. I boycotted Asda once when they ruined my weekend, I swore never to shop there again, but I am back there as a very faithful customer. I boycotted a taxi firm in the past after they were so mean to me and robbed me off £10, but I went back to them after a while. The solution was passing my driving test and buying my own car. The lists of my emotional boycotts are endless, but I learnt that if you don’t have a solution, the boycotts can actually end up inconveniencing you and costing you.
This whole boycotting threat to H&M coming from black people is rather silly if you ask me.
Of course, I am outraged by the racist advert, but if I can be honest, I’m more outraged by the complaints by black people about the advert. I am so tired and fed up with black people always complaining about racism without any tangible solutions.
We are known more for knit-picking every subtle racism out there than doing things that actually empower or enrich our own people.
Do we even have any high street fashion retailers that are owned by black people? What’s the point of always complaining when you are not even in a position to make or sell your own soap, never mind clothes?
Do you think this latest racism outrage will affect sales at H&M? If anything, I think sales at the retailer went up over the last 48 hours, thanks to black people giving H&M free publicity and marketing. Retailers have worked it out that subtle racism and controversy actually sells.
These ‘boycotting’ threats are all talk, black people can’t really afford to boycott H&M, well I personally can’t, I get all my children’s house and play clothes from H&M, I also get pretty cool outfits there now and again. I am also a big fan of their vintage inspired clothes.
If there was at least one high street Black-owned clothing retailer that is affordable, then boycotting H&M will be an option.
I am sad for the black race. We are always being used and we don’t even realize it. The more we complain about these racist adverts, the more we are actually helping the racists make more money out of our pain and misery. With all due respect, the joke in all this outrage is on us folks.
The Asians come to the UK to dominate our own hair industry and make millions out of us.
Last year I was so outraged by how the black hair industry is controlled by Asians. I wrote an article and started another emotional little boycott, vowing never to buy hair products from an Asian owned hair shop. I wanted to only buy hair products from a black-owned business. Well, the truth is, where I live, there are no black owned hair business to support, even if I wanted to. And if there are, for some strange reasons, black people will make the prices so ridiculous making it impossible to support them. So I had no choice but to eat my humble pie and go back to the Asian owned hair shops.
Even food, we cant even sell our own African food! The nearest shop I buy African food is owned by Asians. They are the ones who sell us sadza, fufu, and banku. Does that even make any sense?
Maybe we need to take a leaf from the Asian’s book. They don’t have the time to invest their emotions in every offense or every racist jibe out there. They see opportunity in everything. They focus on building wealth for their people rather than complaining.
There is no justification for racism, but why don’t we try doing what Michelle Obama tried to teach us.
‘When they go lower, we go higher’.
All these racist adverts are designed to provoke a reaction from Black people. We allow ourselves to be always dragged in the mud, at our own expense. We need to look at the bigger picture, once we stop paying attention to these stupid racist adverts, retailers will realize it doesn’t work, and we will see less and less of these racially provocative adverts whilst we soar higher as a people.
It’s very difficult to laugh and mock someone who is powerful and successful. Once we become powerful and independent, controlling our own destinies, mocking us will be impossible.
So no I won’t be boycotting H&M, there is no point, it will be silly of me to do that. I am not yet a millionaire so can’t afford that boycott luxury.
We don’t manufacture or sell our own merchandise on a larger or global scale, so we have no option but to keep buying Dove soap and H&M clothes. If outrage was the answer, after the Dove racist advert a few months ago last year, H&M would not have released such a racially provocative advert.
As we are talking now, more racist adverts are being produced.
We can’t be victims of racism forever. I Jean Gasho, am waiting for a day when I will walk through a high street and see countless giant retailers owned by people of my skin color. Surely there won’t be a jumper labelled, ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’, but rather, ‘coolest King of the world’.