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Gucci Apologizes for Sweater That Resembles Blackface

Another fashion retailer who doesn't mind profiting from racism, until caught.

Gucci's "Balaclava" black sweater compared to a Mammy figure. / FACEBOOK

Gucci's "Balaclava" black sweater, which has a turtleneck top that covers half the face with bright red lips around a mouth cut-out, was sold online and in stores for $890. Social media users blasted the company, saying the sweater resembles blackface.


Gucci's parent company, Kering, apologized and said this will be a "powerful learning moment," and that they were "fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization."

The C-suite of Gucci America is 100 percent white. The executive team at Kering is 100 percent white and two-thirds male. They've never participated in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition.

Alessandro Michele, creative director, and also white, has "total creative responsibility for all of Gucci's collections and its brand image," according Kering.

The sweater has officially been removed from its shopping site and all of the company's stores.

On the "Promote Diversity" section of their website, it states: "While Kering addresses the issue of diversity in all its aspects, particular emphasis is placed on advancing gender equality."

The controversy over Gucci's sweater comes the same week as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's blackface photo on his medical school yearbook page surfaced, and Virginia's attorney general admitted to wearing blackface in college.

Blackface, which perpetuates racism, originated in the mid-19th century.

Gucci claims, "We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make," in their apology:

Interesting.

It is clear that people of color are not really a focus — the internal mentoring program shows only one Black woman among a group of white people.

So where exactly is diversity at the "forefront of every decision"?

Prada similarly withdrew a monkey bag charm that recalled blackface in December, saying it "abhors racist imagery." Dolce & Gabbana pulled its "Slave sandal" in 2016, and cancelled its fashion show in China after racist remarks were made public.

Italian sociologist Michele Sorice at Rome's Luiss university said the use of blackface by Italian fashion houses shows "a mixture of good faith and ignorance," and that Italian society wasn't fully aware of the impact when using certain words and images.

Yeah, because racism is a U.S. thing ...

The Conversation (5)
votetocorrect09 Feb, 2019

This shows that more people of color need to be involved in the fashion industry on a management and advisory level.

08 Feb, 2019

I don't believe these are accidents. I don't believe they are this ignorant. I believe that they are racist dog whistles to let their customers know where they stand. They court the 1% for their approval and their livelihoods. Period.

Greg Thrasher08 Feb, 2019

Once again there is no safe harbor or space anywhere from international fashion apparel companies to international toy makers in the world that is free of contempt and racist caricatures of Black Human Beings

BL

Middle School Student Arrested After Refusing to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher, asked the student why he continues to live in the U.S., "if it's so bad here."

An 11-year-old boy was arrested for not following orders and "causing a disruption" when he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in class.

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TV Station Reports on Michigan Governor's 'Curves' and Gets Slammed on Twitter

"I've got a message for all of the women and girls like mine who have to deal with garbage like this every day: I've got your back," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tweeted.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) gave her first annual address to the state on Tuesday focusing on infrastructure, education and bipartisanship to reach effective solutions. But a local TV station chose to focus more on Whitmer's curves in her dress. It's "a cheap, sexist and indefensible shot at a strong woman in leadership," said State Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes.

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U.S. Citizens Detained for Speaking Spanish Sue Border Patrol

"It's unconstitutional to detain people just because of their language, accent, or color of their skin," says the ACLU.

ACLU

Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez, American-born Latinas, are suing US Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officers for racial profiling.

They were detained at a gas station convenience store in Havre, Montana, last year, by an officer who asked the women where they were born after hearing them speak Spanish.

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Senate Backs Legislation to Make Lynching a Federal Hate Crime

"Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our nation's history and I'm hopeful this measure will swiftly pass the House," Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.

It's 2019 and lynching still hasn't been properly outlawed. A bill, introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), was cleared on Thursday in the Senate to make lynching a federal crime. The measure will now go to the House. Harris, Booker and Scott are the only Black members of the Senate.

Harris tweeted on Thursday:

Congress has tried more than 200 times to pass an anti-lynching law, but has failed. The Senate passed a resolution in 2005, apologizing to lynching victims.

The bipartisan bill acknowledges the harms of lynching, which is a form of domestic terrorism, and the federal government's failure to stop it.

It defines the crime as "the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person."

In December, the Senate also passed the bill. But it was days before the 115th Congress went out of business, and the measure never reached the House floor.

"It's not the first time we've come down to this body to try to right the wrongs of history," Booker said on the Senate floor.

"For too long we have failed, failed to ensure justice for the victims of history and failed to make clear in the United States of America, in this great country, lynching is and always has been not only a federal crime but a moral failure."

According to the NAACP, "From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States."

"Of the total, 3,446 of the victims were Black, accounting for approximately 72.7 percent; and 1,297 were white, which is 27.3 percent."

"These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded," the organization stated.

Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers Call Kaepernick 'Controversial' and Remove His Name From Black History Resolution

"Beyond outrageous that we, as the Legislative Black Caucus, had to get the permission of our white colleagues to pass our Black History Month resolution," tweeted Rep. Shelia Stubbs.

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick is so "controversial" to GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin that they refused to include his name in a resolution to honor prominent Black Americans during February. But for members of the Legislature's Black caucus, Kaepernick, who was born in Wisconsin, is anything but controversial.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was the first NFL player in 2016 to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick, along with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and baseball legend Reggie Jackson, are some of the more than two-dozen names suggested by the Black caucus to include in the resolution.

Republicans refused to support a resolution naming Kaepernick "for obvious reasons," Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke of Kaukauna said during a news conference on Tuesday. He added, "Colin Kaepernick is obviously a controversial figure."

Steineke and others in the GOP are following the lead of the head of their party, who has called NFL players who kneel during the national anthem "sons of bi***es."

Kaepernick is currently pursuing a grievance against the NFL. He claims that ever since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in early 2017, team owners and executives have colluded to keep him out of the league.

Wisconsin Republicans initially blocked the Black caucus' resolution. But then they amended it to delete Kaepernick's name on a 61-34 party-line vote. Democrats had to decide whether to go against their own resolution or accept it without Kaepernick. They wound up agreeing to remove his name, and the state Assembly passed a resolution on Tuesday.

For the second year in a row, the Republicans, who are all white, in the Wisconsin Legislature objected to how Black lawmakers wanted to honor — Black History Month.

One of the Black lawmakers who authored the resolution, Democratic Rep. David Crowley of Milwaukee, called the incident "a textbook example of white privilege."

Wisconsin's population is 87.3 percent white, a much less diverse population than average.

Crowley also said that Kaepernick, who is a philanthropist, was included, in part, because he gave a $25,000 donation to a nonprofit for teens in Milwaukee called Urban Underground.

Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) tweeted on Tuesday:

State Sen. Lena Taylor said on Wednesday, that she would offer an amendment to include Kaepernick to the resolution.

AccuWeather to Pay $290K in Fines Over Sexual Harassment

Barry Myers, AccuWeather's former CEO, is Trump's nominee to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Barry Myers, former CEO of AccuWeather

Weather giant, AccuWeather, has agreed to pay $290,000 in fines after it was found that the company subjected female workers to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

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