In response to an H&M South Africa's advertisement that pictured a black child wearing a sweatshirt that read, "coolest monkey in the jungle," protestors rioted in the retailer's stores. The ad had appeared in the UK version of H&M's online store. The shirt was defended by the African mother of the child model. The shirt was not racist, but social justice warriors and liberals pulled the race card and turned it into something it was not. Liberal social justice warriorism is now responsible for stores destroyed and possible job loss.
Rioters flocked to stores in Johannesburg and forced shoppers, employees, and bystanders to flee as mobs destroyed the shops wearing opposition uniforms and chanting. This behavior is unacceptable, irresponsible, and allows critics to make harsh comments about the people participating in the violent escapade of entitlement.
A spokesperson for the opposition party called the Economic Freedom Fighters party, Floyd Shivambu, said that H&M faces the inevitable consequences of its racism. While Shivambu denies his group was telling the rioters what to do, they did call on shopping malls to evict and ban all H&M stores.
At the same time, the leader of EFF, Julius Malema seems to take credit for the rioting. He stated that he had no regrets 'taking action'. This statement was conveyed via the African Broadcasting Corporation news outlet.
Malema went on further to say directly that his group is teaching H&M a lesson and that they refuse to allow anyone to use the color of their skin to humiliate them. He went on to assert that his group is black, proud and beautiful. He concluded his remarks by saying that his people are not ashamed of being black.
Perhaps things as sensitive, and illegal, as these are better left to trained spokespeople like Shivambu?
H&M, a Swedish company, has issued an apology admitting they got the ad wrong and saying they are regretful and sorry for this incident.
Police showed up and successfully disperse the rioters, but not after H&M announced that all of its South African stores would be closed until the atmosphere is safe for their employees and customers.
Many South African online social media users were supportive of the rioting actions, others chimed in with the reality that is H&M was to permanently close up their shops, lots of black jobs would be lost. They also pointed out that black employees would mainly be the ones left cleaning up the mob mess.
Make A Safe South Africa tweeted that protests can be done passively and within legal frameworks and that rioting was not the solution. They tweeted that you should retweet to make one's voice heard and urged people to say no to violence and racism. They went on to note that lawlessness is not the solution and that racism and be stood up to peacefully and protests can be done legally.
This tweet was met with mixed support for and against its message.
While the EFF thinks that its knee-jerk reaction to an advertisement in another continent justified rioting, it seems pretty clear that mob violence and illegal rioting are not the earmarks of a responsible group of people.
In the comments section, explain your point of view on how a group from another continent, but same race, should react to an advertisement that slipped through the cracks?Posted in Crime and filed under H&M, Africa.