Children clothing line, Just Add A Kid, is under fire after a photo was posted on Twitter that displayed the clothing line’s latest collection. The new clothes feature cartoon character bodies of surfers, princesses, cowboys, military men, angels and various animals and the T-shirts in the line are hanging by cardboard cutouts of various children’s faces to pair with each graphic occupation or animal. What’s got people outraged is that the only Black boy to be featured as a model in the collection, is displayed with a shirt that has a monkey on it.
Here we go again.
“The head shots on our hangers are intended (to) reflect the different cultures of our happy customers, and are distributed separately to our shirts,” the company said in the statement after (predictable) backlash was hurled at the display. “In this particular case, one of our retailers paired a particular hanger with a shirt without consideration for how it may appear to many consumers.We are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
We all know the racist undertones that come along with monkeys. A hateful association between Black people and monkeys or apes was partly a way for Whites to justify slavery. Blacks were considered by some Whites to be more primate than human, and therefore had no rights or freedom. To say that associating us with monkeys is hurtful is an understatement and anyone who uses the comparison, even without ill intentions, should think twice.
“Our designs feature multicultural skin tones and appropriately matching header cards (to) showcase children of the world,” the company continued on Twitter Wednesday. They also claimed that the pairing was “not authorized, condoned or tolerated” by the larger corporation. Then who approved the images? Someone had to say yes in order for these cardboard children heads to be printed, then paired with several different occupations and animals.
And a monkey is supposed to “reflect” our culture because it shares the skin tone of the little Black boy? SMH. I hate to shout “racist” from the mountaintop, but come on! Folks have got to be a bit more sensitive in the choices that we make, especially when these choices are made on behalf of corporations who plan on releasing their product to the world.
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