Everyone is going on in an outrage about H&M using a black little boy to model their hoodie that says “Coolest monkey in the jungle”. They are calling it anywhere from racist to culturally insensitive. I understand that racist white people at some point called black people monkeys. I also understand that as a black culture we have had enough of taking shit off the white supremacy and are now more than ever more vocal about anything that may be misconstrued as disrespect. I get it but some black people are not as racially sensitive as others. Some don’t even know that was a word used against us and some don’t care. Not to mention we are talking about Swedish owners. Now granted, they probably weren’t the ones working with the models directly but they must take the fall because it’s their company!
However, we don’t know if his parents are culturally aware of the word or if they are and are just not as sensitive as some, but how can you hold someone else at a higher standard than those of ur own race? If that parent or that child didn’t feel disrespected individually why are we making it an “us” thing without even knowing the facts? The mentality that everyone is purposely disrespecting us or has to tip toe around us and be scared to use freedom of speech, creation and everything else WE AS A PEOPLE are given the right to use is one of an inflated ego with little humility. Everyone is “flipping out” and boycotting yet we forget the flaws and imprints of our own race against others. For instance, black comedians make jokes on every race, gender and sexuality and I have yet to see any white people, gay people or women protesting them or in an outrage to this extent. Is that not culturally insensitive?? And it’s purposely too but I guess because it’s all in fun it doesn’t count? Or is it that people give us the benefit of the doubt MOST times if it wasn’t an intentional or direct hurtful action because of the past of our ancestors? Sure there have been times where a public figure has had to apologize for harsh words said or a joke said on the wrong platform but I’m not sure this is that moment.
I don’t know; I just think if we didn’t hold a grudge or a stain against our past or if we didn’t secretly feel it was truth to these statements or name calling we wouldn’t be so upset and hell bent on making people “respect us” or fear what they can and can’t say or do around us. Us as a people have to stop leaning on our ancestors pain and scars. Now some things are blatant and I get that. Some things need to be addressed and some things should not be said at all ever but this is not that time.
Let me ask this: if that was a light skin little boy with curly hair would ppl still be offended?? Would it have even been noticed or is it just because he’s dark skin that it makes it so bad? A better question: Is anyone offended by the hillbilly costume for sale above as my topic photo?? Or are we only offended by “injustices” done to us and not in general? Did any one ever stop to think that the theories and thoughts now are that ALL humans evolved from monkeys/apes? Or did anyone ever think that those children were allowed to pick what they liked and his favorite color is green or they thought he looked nice in green. Why is the first thing we do in a moment where we could be so powerful, is jump on the defense and show no understanding for others as if we are now feeling more superior then those who suppressed us?
We have got to really internalize what we are feeling and figure out why we think people owe us anything and why instead of worrying about what people say about us we embrace all parts of our culture so that maybe it won’t bother us so much. After all they say when you have it you don’t have to make it known and when you feel it; it shows….that my good friends apply to respect and pride respectively as well. And I know some people will say I’m lost or don’t care about my culture but it’s the exact opposite. I think it’s time for healing for us. I think when you wear your confidence well, you won’t be bothered by mediocrity and I personally know “when it don’t apply……you let it fly!” That young boy and his family are in tuned with their star player that’s why they took no offense to that sweatshirt. It never even crossed their mind that their young king would even be looked at as such because that’s not how they see him and no one I’m sure treated him as such while he was photographed.
So don’t get mad, get on board with who you are and who you call yourself! No amount of money or no amount of names will be able to sway you when that happens. 😘