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H&M Apologizes For Ad Showing Black Child Model Wearing ‘Monkey’ Hoodie

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H&M sign hangs in a window in Chicago, Illinois.  (Tim Boyle/Getty Images).

Retail giant H&M has been forced to apologize after it used a black child to model a hoodie with the slogan “Coolest monkey in the jungle.”

“We sincerely apologize for this image. It has been now removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States,” H&M said in an email statement to Fortune.

A major “Marketing Faux Pas” that should have never passed the litmus test for “insensitivity” H&M now faces the backlash from promoting a product that culminated into a “marketing disaster” for the retail giant.

In the case of H&M—emails and tweets calling out the retail giant for the language on the hoodie created a stir on social media.  Based on the comments on the H&M website and Twitter comments—users branded the advertising as “unacceptable” and “racist.”

The barrage of complaints visible on the retail website and social media prompted H&M to remove the image promoting the hoodie from its online collection and replace it with a photo of the jumper.

New York Times Columnist and Author Charles M. Blow tweeted the retail chain asking, “Have you lost your damn minds?”

Another user wrote: “This is racist and insensitive. This beautiful boy doesn’t even know what H&M is making out of him. A whole team shooting and no one saw what’s wrong with this.”

“What universe do you live in that makes it okay to flaunt your racist ways in such an epic portion,” one user called Alexandra Foucard, wrote on Twitter, calling for other users to boycott the store. “I demand you remove this ad. This child is precious and should be treated as such!”

The controversy about the hoodie comes only a few months after the retail chain removed a hoodie bearing the words “Dogfight in Random Alley.” from its stores, after animal rights organization PETA complained that it sent a “dangerous” message.

The issue that PETA argued was that dogfighting is an illegal blood “sport” in which two dogs are pitted against each other and forced to rip each other to shreds as a form of entertainment.

As in most instances when controversy or opinions differ, some people were not offended about the visual—adding that H&M didn’t intend to offend with the image, but that the retail chain “should have realized” the language on the hoodie could perhaps create concern—suggesting it showed the lack of non-white executives.

“I totally understand the racist connotations around the word ‘monkey’ but, seriously, I don’t *think* that was their intention at all,” wrote one Twitter user.  “However, in this day and age, surely someone at H&M should’ve realized this may offend someone, somewhere?”

Another person wrote: “This is why companies need more non-white diverse executives to avoid these online disasters and accusations of ‘racist’ advertising.”

A spokesperson for H&M said the image had been removed, adding: “We apologize to anyone this may have offended.”

@LeNoraMillen        01-08-18

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Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92

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ABC NEWS

Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at her home in Houston, Texas. She was 92.

“A former first lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the age of 92,” reads a statement from the office of former President George H.W. Bush.

FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, former President George H. W. Bush, right, and his wife, Barbara, are greeted before a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston in Houston. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, the former president was admitted to an intensive care unit, and Barbara was hospitalized as a precaution, according to his spokesman. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Bush passed away shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health.

Having been hospitalized numerous times while battling congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she decided Sunday that she wanted to be “surrounded by a family she adores,” according to an earlier statement released by Mr. Bush’s office. (More)

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The ‘Beyhive’ is Swarming-The Politics Behind Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella Performance

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The 'Beyhive' is Swarming-The Politics Behind Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella Performance

Cedric Nettles Exposure Magazine/Entertainment Editor

The ‘Beyhive’ is swarming once again as Beyonce’ makes sure that the notion of  ‘blackness’ is not hidden from society and the history books. Her dazzling performance paid tribute to historically black colleges and universities in only the way she can.  From controversial Super Bowl performances that challenged mainstream America til it was red,white, and blue in the face, to this year’s Coachella performance, Beyoncé goes in.

 

Variety-

Black schools matter. That’s what Beyoncé said, in so many words, throughout her Saturday night Coachella performance. It was no ordinary show when she stepped on stage wearing a dazzling band leader number before what has been one of her best performances ever.

Her show was replete with a long list of references to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The high-energy majorettes, marching band, step show and probate that were part of her show are all prominent on HBCU campuses across the U.S. It was “one band, one sound” as 100 black band members danced while playing instruments typical to those at your average HBCU homecoming.

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Oklahoma Teachers Exercise their Voice

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Oklahoma Teachers Exercise their VOICE!

Oklahoma public school teachers banded together to strike for supplies and better wages

Have you heard the “tea” on the statewide teacher walk-out in the state of Oklahoma and the ripple effect it’s starting in the country? Well, if you haven’t and you’re the kind of person that need numbers and statics, which are important, don’t get me wrong. I hope that this article encourages you to take a deeper look into this now national situation and also, take a deeper look at your education system in your own backyard. However, in this article, I want to give readers a candid look inside of the protest from the perspective of a now local resident and a first time experience of anything like this.

I originally had no intention of attending the walk-out at the state capital here in Oklahoma City. To keep it all the way real, which I wouldn’t have it another way, I didn’t think it would last more than a day if it happened at all. Now I know, some of you are probably wondering why I’m glad you asked… While I’m not a public educator, I’ve lived in Oklahoma City for 10 years now and have worked closely with the public school system for the majority of my time here. Teachers have been complaining about things like lack of fair pay, little to sometimes no supplies and little to no budget to properly serve those with special needs, to name a few. However, even though this is a real problem, the teachers stay for something much bigger than themselves and their personal needs, they stay for the love of the children and communities they serve. Because, I know first hand of the passion and degree of selflessness it takes to continue to work under certain conditions, I didn’t think they would actually follow through with it.

April 2, 2018, was the first day of the protest and over 35,000 we’re said were in attendance. In my gut, I didn’t think it would last but thought they put forth a gallant effort to get the attention of Governor Mary Fallin and legislators. Day 2 a reported 38,000 was reported to have been in attendance, the people weren’t backing down. In fact, they said they weren’t moving until their voices were heard! I had the exhilarating experience of attending Day 3 of the protest at the capital with, again well over 30,000 people in attendance, standing strong. By this time, teachers from Tulsa Oklahoma banded together to make the 107-mile walk to the capital and the public educators in  Kentucky started a protest of their own. I’ve never actually experienced anything like that in my life and I wanted to give you my raw perspective on what it was like up close and personal.  I’ll start by saying that seeing the coverage is one thing but actually being there has had an entirely different effect and perspective for me as an individual.

On my way to the capital, I didn’t know what to expect, it was bumper to bumper traffic down 23rd street. I saw people walking from as far as three miles back with bright signs, picketing on their way to the capital. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t say a little prayer driving past them, just hoping I had a closer parking place just for me… whoa yes! Keep in mind, I just started doing research that morning and even with that, I didn’t know how deep it would be. I found a spot a little under a mile from the action and for that, I was grateful.

  Upon the first exit of my car, I felt an almost magnetic pull in the atmosphere that drew me towards the masses. It was a surreal feeling as if I couldn’t help it. I don’t think I’ve experienced a situation where I was standing near or in the middle of a crowd of people where most of the attendees stood in agreement of what they saw as the greater good for humanity. Sure, this amount of people fill-up arena venues and stadiums all over the world every day with numbers larger than this. However, this was an entirely different energy that surged among the masses.   

Coming alone to something like this definitely has its pros and cons, but I decided to make the best out of this situation and take it all in. I took my time and literally observed everything before I actually arrived and walked straight into the nucleus of the action. To be honest, my mind was blown before I got there. The first thing I noticed was the amount of school age kids that were there to either stand with their parents or support their teachers. I’m not kidding, there was an almost equal ratio of teens to adults. Most made very creative signs that reflected their personal feelings and viewpoints. People of all races, colors, and creeds stood together in unity, standing for what they believed was right. 

  I was overwhelmed by the number of people that wanted to be a part of my candid coverage for Exposure Magazine. I walked next to different groups of people and gained many different perspectives, from both sides, although mostly from one, how affected the public education community and the children that are in it really are. Because people were literally standing there ALL DAY there were food vendors who volunteered their foods and services to the cause. Other services that we might not think of like water and restrooms were also provided and school-aged kids 18 and under had everything provided for them free of charge, from snacks, water, meals and even some local events were held around the city, and childcare in some places as well.

The photo (on the left) depicts not only the unity but the faith exercised by some of the teens in attendance at the protest rally. However, I must acknowledge some of the views from the opposing side as well. People were concerned that a rally like this could cause an uproar in not only the state of Oklahoma but the country as a whole, which could threaten not only overthrowing the government at a state level but eventually the country. There were also some angry parents across the state that were concerned that, they weren’t properly informed or considered during the uprising in standing against both local and state officials. Parents that are accustomed to their children going to school all day. The walkout could cause other unforeseen charges such as childcare, extra food, and transportation expenses. Some parents are concerned, if this goes on much longer, they too, are at risk of not having a job.  Some people think this entire protest can help create a lose/lose effect on children both home and at school. I completely understand and see this side clearly. Seeing this side so clearly made me want to take a deeper look at another viewpoint, just to even out the playing field so to speak.

 

As I walked through the massive amounts of people, reading the signs, listening to conversations and observing the different emotions throughout the capital, I found myself almost at the front of the stage which to me, served as the nucleus of the protest. This is where I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing teacher of Del City school district Joy A. Glenn Ahmad. She has been a teacher since 1976 and explained her viewpoint with literal tears in her eyes. Ahmad explained that the teachers demanded 200 million dollars from local and state officials which would cover a $6,000 raise to teachers, some whom haven’t seen a raise for over a decade and some who are only making it with the help of there spouses income to sustain their own family. The rest of the money would be used for much-needed supplies and educational material for the 700,000 students the public school system serves.

Students stand together and pray with teachers during Oklahoma Teacher Walkout 2018

Teachers voices were in fact heard and they were granted 50 million dollars, a quarter of what they were asking, which only would cover the much-needed raises for the teachers. This offer was rejected by the teachers and the strike continued as planned. Teachers claim that this was less about them and more about the students they serve and they refused to take a raise and leave the students needs out. To give me a clear perspective she shared the picture with me you see to the left.

The book cart shared among teachers and students

  I know, it seems like a cart with books on it, what’s the big deal, right? I thought the same thing until she explained to me that this was the cart of books shared between classes for teaching materials for both students and teachers. This cart is the only access to educational materials for the entire high school. I was shocked, to say the least, I couldn’t help but wonder if the parents who are against the protest are aware of the true condition of their children education. Were they aware that this was perhaps the reason for Oklahoma having the lowest test scores and reading scores in the country? Or, does the need to survive and provide for their families now take precedence over the future of their children and possibly the future of the leaders of the state of Oklahoma. This is obviously an “elephant in the room” that couldn’t be ignored anymore. What do you think? Are you aware, truly aware of your education system in your own backyard? This movement that now, has national attention will continue for week 2 in the state Oklahoma. Teachers claim, they will not back down until their voices are heard! This protest has potential to change the education system not only in the state but in the country. Don’t forget to keep up with both local and national news for up close and personal coverage. 

#thatsall 

 

-Deonna Marie

 

Deonna Marie | The Gift of Voice, Professional Classical Singer, Vocal Coach, and Speaker

Facebook: @thegiftofvoice

Instagram: @thegift_ofvoice

Email:  deonnamarie2003@gmail.com

Youtube: Deonna Marie Cattledge

 

 

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