• Olivia Dopest

Gucci Gang, Gucci Gang, Gucci Gang...

Living in a nation so deeply divided by race, in 2019, racist stereotypes continue to be used to entertain [finger quotes]. Racial tension is at an all time high and recent backlash involving blackface controversies have added fuel to the fire.

Throughout history blackface characters denoted African Americans to be either chronically idle, inarticulate, or unintelligent. In recent news Virginia’s Governor, Ralph Northam, admitted to wearing blackface after a yearbook photo surfaced featuring one individual in blackface and another in KKK robes. Social media post go viral daily with videos and pictures displaying racist images of African Americans. If that wasn’t enough here comes Gucci with the blackface BS!!

The label recently removed a balaclava sweater featuring a mouth cutout surrounded by what appeared to be a pair of exaggerated lips. The sweater resembled blackface caricature, Sambo. [quick history lesson] Blackface not only distorted our features but has also skewed our culture, language, dance and deportment.

Gucci’s blackface inspired sweater has caused an uproar in the black community with artist including T.I., Soulja Boy [tell’em], Joe Budden, Wocka Flocka and Spike Lee calling for a boycott of the brand. Hashtag F**K Gucci flood timelines, but as you burn the Gucci bag sis grab the Prada and Moncler as well. Racialized pickaninny characters hang on Prada bags and blackface bubble coats grace high fashion runways…. the only thing missing is watermelon and a bucket of fried chicken.

Companies like Gucci, Moncler and Prada continue to capitalize at the expense of African Americans. The question is …when will furor over racist acts and disgusting depictions of our people amount to F**K it for real? When will we start only supporting businesses that respect us?

We are fashion. We are Music. We are the shit. We are Gucci without Gucci [PERIOD]!

I ain’t one to gossip, but I had to give y’all the tea!

-Olivia Dopest