Blackface Madness

Illustration of Malcolm X superimposed over an American flag. The word "race" is printed above, with a graffiti style G drawn over the C.

I burst out laughing in the hair salon early Thursday morning, after I read a tweet that said, “Oh fuck this, I’m going back to bed.”  The tweet was made in response to the publicly issued apology by the high-end fashion brand Gucci, for releasing a sweater where the neck raises high enough to cover half of a person’s face and has a cut out for the mouth that is trimmed in bright red.  It made the wearer look like they had on a Blackface Mask. The lady’s name who made the tweet is Imani Gandy, but on Twitter, she goes by @AngryBlackLady– so you can see why I thought her tweet was hilarious.

If I admit, when I first saw the sweater– which Gucci calls the Balaclava knit top–which if you google the word balaclava it portrays a black garment that covers the whole face, head, and neck except for the eyes and mouth — I thought in my mind, “what the fuck is this?” I’ve never been a huge fan of Gucci myself, but I think this sweater sealed the deal for me.

In the era that we live in today, where everything and everyone must be politically correct, I can’t understand for the life of me why any designer—especially within a company such as Gucci—would think this type of clothing would be acceptable.  Didn’t they learn from the Megyn Kelly incident where she made the defensive argument that wearing the blackface mask was respectable as long as it was a part of your Halloween costume?  While that alone may not have cost Kelly her job on the Today Show, it certainly made the decision to fire her a much easier one.  – If I remember correctly, the reason that conversation was even a topic for the show was to define what was a “politically correct” Halloween costume.  No, I take that back, I know I’m right because here is the link where Kelly says it herself, in the apology she issued the following day.

So, what in the world would make Gucci think this sweater, top, or whatever piece of clothing this is, would be acceptable?  Excellent job Gucci, you just lost a ton of support from the African American community.  It has been reported that Gucci has been trying to define the “soul”  of the brand by using black models to tap into the black voice, but if you ask me, I’d say Gucci, someone on your design’s team soul, is fucked up.

Disclaimer:  This post is not meant to be politically correct.  If you have been offended, good.  It means I have done my job.