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Cartoon_Cat wrote

No issue with H&M being trashed but this is weak reasoning - Offense is taken, not given.

This wouldn't even cross my mind as race-related and I can't help but feel as though this is a deliberate attempt to smear genuine accusations of racism as being 'oversensitive'.

The answer is to not exploit children as models, that should be the issue here. Not the colour of the child's skin, although it does seem a bit fucked considering the very same clothes are also made by exploited dark-skinned children.


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

I'm not following your meaning. What wouldn't cross your mind as race-related? Casting black people as monkeys is a pretty clear cut case.

The thing as a whole was a publicity stunt as much as it was an action by a political party, but it does warm my heart to see shops trashed like that in a place where that kind of action is quite uncommon.


Cartoon_Cat wrote (edited )

I guess I mean that I find it unlikely that H&M thought "lets put this monkey shirt on a black kid". It's more likely they have a diverse range of models and don't consider what they make them wear. If we were to speculate how these shoots happen, there's probably a stack of shirts and the photographer just churns through them without paying much attention to the content of them. Or, like most online stores, they superimpose the shirt on a shot of a model (although this is probably unlikely looking at the image).

I think I'm trying to say that most people don't think black people bear any resemblance to monkeys and I don't think this shirt casts black people as monkeys by being modeled by a black child - that's not to say there's no problem with this image considering the history and current climate, and I think you're probably right that this was a deliberate stunt which is disgusting.

Just the outrage seems a bit one-dimensional, can't we go further with our criticism of H&M? - yeah a black kid wore a monkey shirt, but if his black parents had no issue with the shirt, why should we? I had a brief search and found a handful of monkey shirts modeled by black models, but is this different because it jokes that the wearer is a monkey?

I'm not trying to be an apologist for H&M, I just want to understand what they're expected to do instead - tell the kid "oh sorry you can't model this monkey hoodie, because you're black and people might think we're calling black people monkeys"? Additionally I think there are stronger arguments for trashing H&M is all.

EDIT: I missed a critical line along with a quote in the linked article, that the other shirts in the range were modelled by white children, apart from this one. My mistake, it's far worse than I've assumed and I regret not reading more thoroughly before commenting