photo courtesy // Wikimedia Commons

By: Kaylee Alzamora, Staff Writer.

Are there mistakes when it comes to racism, or does everyone that sounds racist genuinely mean to be?

Recently, all over social media and all over top headlines, the story broke out about the young African boy who was given a sweatshirt to wear with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” written on it for a photoshoot for the brand H&M, as a model for their brand.

When the ad for the sweatshirt became public, people did not hold back on what they had to say. This caused a huge controversy between people all over. A lot of people were offended and felt like this was a huge racial attack towards people of color; so much so that H&M had to shut down all of their stores in South Africa because protesters went and wrecked them.

This doesn’t mean that everyone felt like it was a racial attack; others just felt like it was a sweatshirt given to the boy with no bad intentions and that people are just taking things out of hand but are they?

This is 2018, where racial attacks are everywhere and sadly they are common, this is something that we shouldn’t be oblivious to. With Trump as our president, people feel that it’s okay to make fun of others for the color of their skin and where they come from because he too, does it in a nonchalant way, and that shouldn’t be the case.

With so much racism going on in the world nowadays with people of all different types of nationalities, I feel that it’s great that people are standing up, fighting for their rights and not letting others make fun of them because they are different.

When H&M released this sweatshirt, many people believed that it was huge racial attack towards people of color  which if you look at the ad, it is, and with everything going on in the world today it’s obvious that this is the first thing people are going to go to rather than just thinking it’s a average sweatshirt.

This was a huge racial outbreak because of the fact that to get this sweatshirt out to the public it had to have gone through many people and for no one to say,Hey I don’t think we should publicize this because it seems racist,” the idea in itself just seems very farfetched.

It’s obvious that a company like H&M, being so big and known, has many employees and someone must have realized their error. However, no one spoke out about it, and if they did, the company still publicized the ad and that’s when the problem starts.

The fact that this is not a small company but one that is worldwide and is purchased by people of all different nationalities is what made this so bad.

After the whole scandal broke out, the company spoke out and said, “we are sorry if we made you feel bad.”

People were outraged because they felt that this apology was not sincere at all. After a huge scandal like that, for them to go out and put a half-put-together sorry out to the public is really offensive because it’s obvious that they don’t see that what they did was wrong.

They later came out with another apology letter actually saying sorry for what they did saying that the situation was a “mistake” and that it shouldn’t happen again. Being hispanic and coming from parents who were immigrants, I know firsthand what racism is like and I know what it feels like to be the one being targeted.

For a clothing brand being the ones making people feel targeted and like principle of jokes because of a “mistake” shouldn’t be accepted by anyone. This wasn’t a “mistake”, because being such a worldwide brand, mistakes like this don’t just happen and if they do they really need to check their brand.

For the parents of the little boy, they really have to reevaluate what they are doing with their son because to have your son go through this and be the center of jokes for others is horrible. The kid’s parents even went out to an interview and said that they didn’t realize the situation until the outbreak, they even went on to say that so much goes on that theydon’t even pay attention and they don’t even remember him putting the sweater on.

As parents of a young African boy, they have to be more aware of these types of situations and not pretend like it won’t happen. Sadly people like you, me and even that little boy are high targets for racial attacks and that shouldn’t be the case.

Companies like H&M shouldn’t think it’s okay to make fun of other cultures because they are different; that’s why we have to stand up and show them that we are more than their racial slurs, together we stand strong, together we are one.