Again, South Africans attack H&M Clothing Line over racist model
Members of South Africa’s radical opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have once again stormed clothing chain H&M at the Mall of Africa, near Johannesburg, TimesLive reports.
The move is part of its ongoing protest against the fashion chain for advertising a brand with a controversial picture of a black child, which was interpreted to be racist.
The picture, which H&M apologised for several days ago, had shown a young black boy modelling a green hoodie with “coolest monkey in the jungle” written on it.
The company was widely criticised on social media for the advertisement.
On Saturday, EFF members stormed H&M stores in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town leading the fashion chain to the close 17 stores, IOL reports.
Meanwhile‚ the foundation of the late anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, said the H&M management and marketing division should undergo anti-racism and diversity training so that “there can be a change of attitude within the company around issues related to race”.
South African protesters vandalized a half-dozen the stores Saturday following the clothing brand’s racist advertisement that prompted outrage earlier this week, according to Reuters.
The EFF targeted six stores in and around Johannesburg, saying that “there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!”
“The time of apologies for racism are over; there must be consequences to anti-black racism, period!” EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi wrote on Twitter.
H&M’s website recently featured a young Black boy modeling a green sweatshirt with the phrase “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” printed on the front.
The organisation has since apologized more than once for the advertisement, and they have lost deals with stars like the Weeknd and G-Eazy.
Local reports say that South African police had to use rubber bullets to disperse some of the protestors.
“Police had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets,” Police spokesperson, Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, told local News24.