I’m sure y’all have seen the story by now.
H&M UK decided to model a hoodie that read “Coolest monkey in the jungle” on a little black boy. Politics aside, whoever came up with the print ought to be fired because that is the clumsiest sounding phrase to grace an article of clothing – ever. It does not roll off the tongue, it doesn’t even look good. On a very superficial level, the shit ain’t even worth buying. Terrible marketing.
Now, several people took issue with it. Some folks even took the liberty of changing the design on the hoodie in response to the ad being deemed racist.
More like tone deaf. One can argue that tone deaf is the new racism but that’s another post.
Racial politics is a global phenomenon, but most of the backlash came from black people in America. Black Americans are generally a bit more conscious of the “dog whistle” terminology (and sometimes just outright racist shit) used by white folks to undermine different aspects of the black experience.
Monkey, tar baby, pickaninny, allat.
This isn’t to say that race doesn’t exist in the UK, but perhaps we can concede that the dynamics of racial politics are slightly different there. This obviously went through a lot of hands before it made it to the final ad and it’s just hard for me to believe that all those people had malice in their heart. Perhaps
The potential problems that could come of the logo were simply lost on them.
Or maybe this is me trying to make the world not seem like such a shitty place.
What y’all think?