Any normal person would see a picture like this and think “wow these girls are adorable, but these clothes are hideous.” Then you would move on with your day, because it’s kids clothes, and who cares?
What you see here is a group of girls from a youth performance group who are working with Ellen Degeneres to sell a new line of clothing. The two girls in the center are actually sisters, the younger, black girl being adopted.
But what race baiters and social justice advocates see is RACISM! And not just any kind of racism, but something called “passive racism.” The problem here, we’re told, is that the older sister is resting her arm on her younger sister, who is black. It doesn’t matter that they’re sisters, or that they’re a “humanitarian performance troupe,” it’s racist, because it’s demonstrating to the public that black people can be armrests.
@GapKids the best way to lose the black demographic. Making your only black model an armrest ?
— Stevie W (@steviegenesis) April 3, 2016
Apparently, this arose enough of a stink from the online mob, and various other websites, to the point where the GAP decided to remove the ad, and apologize to the public in a statement for daring to put up such an insulting piece of racist propaganda.
“As a brand with a proud 46-year history of championing diversity and inclusivity, we appreciate the conversation that has taken place and are sorry to anyone we’ve offended. This GapKids campaign highlights true stories of talented girls who are celebrating creative self-expression and sharing their messages of empowerment. We are replacing the image with a different shot from the campaign, which encourages girls (and boys) everywhere to be themselves and feel pride in what makes them unique.”
The first thing the GAP did wrong wasn’t the ad, it was apologizing for it. Under no circumstances was that picture racist, especially when it featured two girls of differing races who were actually sisters. In fact, I can’t think of anything less racist. The only people in the wrong here were the people going out of their way to make two littler girls an example of racism in our country.
And rest assured, it is just two little girls in a photoshoot to promote clothing. There was zero racism in it, until outside sources, brought that racism with them.
TheRoot.com didn’t just want to inject racism, they wanted to make the girls guilty of promoting violence.
“So, yes, seeing a black girl child irresponsibly used as a prop in an ad claiming that girls “can do anything” matters. It’s not about seeking validation from the white gaze or ignoring the critical need for us to buy black. It matters that black women and girls are still being subjected to the lashes of microaggressions and, at times, outright violence in the service of capitalism.”
There are levels of absurdity I’m willing to reluctantly accept from the mob, but this latest reaction from the social justice community hasn’t been this level of lunacy from a publication over clothing since Matt Taylor and ShirtGate.
Those seeking to right injustices against people of color are doing itself no favors by running down a simple ad where one sister is leaning on another. In fact, they’re taking what is a very proud moment for these girls and their families, and turning into a nightmare. I think who the bad guys are here is pretty apparent.
Thankfully, the girls themselves are being insulated from the hysteria of those who actually want to see racism so badly they’d trample over an innocent photoshoot to get it. The founder of the troupe, Nathalie Yves Gaulthier, issued her own statement that was profoundly more brave than the GAP’s.
“The child in the ad is not an “armrest”, she’s the other girl’s little sister. They are a very close FAMILY. The child is a very young [junior] member with Le Petit Cirque, a humanitarian cirque company, and therefore a wee shyer than the more seasoned older outgoing girls. Our company is deeply saddened by some people misconstruing this as racist, and are keeping the children out if this at the moment to protect their beautiful feelings , but we are extremely supportive of dialogue in our country to move past any racial barriers. We stand by GAP KIDS and Ellen DeGeneres.”
For sure, we should shame those who would turn innocence into issues, but they won’t change. Coming down on them makes them feel they are in the right. Instead, we should really come down on businesses and corporations that cave to such ridiculous behavior. If the GAP hadn’t given into this childishness, this would have been another item on the long list of things to laugh at the social justice left about, but they didn’t.
They capitulated, and gave the actual racists, and social justice activists who breed them, more power and momentum. Shame on the GAP for doing something so foolish as telling these race baiting reactionaries “you’re right.”
I see this corporation caving far too often in today’s politically correct world, and rest assured, this apology will not make the mob go away. What the GAP has done now is prove to the moral busybody brigades that they can be manipulated and controlled. Now that they know that, and they can push more onto you. You gave the mouse a cookie, and now it’s going to want some milk.