Fierce

Fashion Institute of Technology Had An Anti-Black Fashion Show That Displayed ‘Ugly Features’

Anti-blackness has proven to be sorely out of style in the past few decades but the fashion world seems to be behind the times on this one. We’ve told you this story time and time again but somehow the presence of racism, anti-Blackness and cultural appropriation has endured on the runways. Even at institutes of learning where you’d think things like this would now be 101.

So here’s the story once again.

The Fashion Institute of Technology is under fire after they allowed a graduate student to send a racist body of work down the runway.

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It shouldn’t be down to the models to have to refuse wearing blatantly racist accessories on the runway, especially not in a show thrown by an institution like @fitnyc. In an alumni show celebrating their 75th anniversary, MFA graduate Junkai Huang showed a collection that was meant to highlight the “ugly features of the body”. The choice of exaggerated bright red fake lips and “monkey ears”, as well as the school’s response, are leaving us shaking our heads. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nearing a breakdown, African-American model Amy Lefevre (@lefevrediary ) spoke up about the accessories, but was told by staff it was “ok to be uncomfortable for only 45 seconds”. It’s one thing when it’s a pair of tricky heels, but quite another when you’re made up to look like racist caricatures from the not-so-distant past. Multiple complaints had been made in the days leading up to the show as well, with several people objecting. One anonymous student who was witness backstage, said the show’s producer @richardthornn told the group to “back down and get away” when they brought up the issue again. The accessories didn’t end up making it onto Lefevre, but that didn’t stop them from going down the runway on other models. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a statement to the NY Post, FIT president Dr. Joyce F. Brown emphasized allowing the students the “freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative”, but said they would investigate further. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a time when luxury brands are taking swift action by pulling offensive products and implementing diversity councils in response to similar scandals, it’s a shame to see a learning institution dragging their feet. Shouldn’t they be the ones broadening insights for the ones who will lead fashion in the future and not reinforcing the same aspects that have made the industry notoriously problematic? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • #fit #fitnyc #suny #cuny #fashionschool #college #mfa #mastersdegree #alumni #fitalumni #fashiondesigner #design #designer #runway #model #blackface #racism #monkey #grotesque #sexdoll #bodyimage #lumpsandbumps #wiwt #ootd #runwaymodel #nyfw #fashionweek #dietprada

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For the FIT’s presentation which showcased the designers from their first MFA Fashion Design class, students sent models down the runway with thier own collections. FIT alum Junkai Huang was part of the bunch but his line stood out in particular because of its blatant racism. The FIT alum sent models down the runway wearing “large prosthetic ears and lips and bushy eyebrows.” Now people are saying that the images looked quite a bit like racist caricatures.  

On Monday, Diet Prada shared images from the show on Instagram after someone who had gone to the event told the New York Post that the designer aimed to showcase and highlight “ugly features of the body” using props that had been sourced from sex toys.

Amy Lefévre was a model meant to take part in the event but decided to walk out when she saw the props.

“I stood there almost ready to break down, telling the staff that I felt incredibly uncomfortable with having to wear these pieces and that they were clearly racist,” Lefévre told the Post in an interview. According to Lefévre she made the decion to not take part when someone had told her that it was “fine to feel uncomfortable for only 45 seconds.”

“I was literally shaking. I could not control my emotions,” Lefévre said “My whole body was shaking. I have never felt like that in my life. People of color are struggling too much in 2020 for the promoters not to have vetted and cleared accessories for the shows.”

Diet Prada later took to Instagram to share the situation, sparking outrage from many in the fashion community. “Sad times we live in when designers aren’t confident enough to have the clothing sell themselves,” wrote Olivia Dope while another commenter added, “When will this stop? Designers are hung up on controversy to sell cause these pieces can’t sell themselves, clearly.”

In a statement published by the Post, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, said that it would do its best to right the situation.

“This program protects a student’s freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative, so that they find that voice,” Dr. Brown said. “However provocative design and fashion might be though, my commitment to ensure that people are not made to feel uncomfortable, offended, or intimidated is also of the utmost importance not only to me personally but to the college community as well,” they added. “We take this obligation very, very seriously and will investigate and take appropriate action regarding any complaint or concern that is made in this situation.”

In a separate statement to the Pst FIT also issued an apology.

“Currently it does not appear that the original intent of the design, the use of accessories or the creative direction of the show was to make a statement about race; however, it is now glaringly obvious that has been the outcome. For that, we apologize — to those who participated in the show, to students, and to anybody who has been offended by what they saw.”

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Latino Man Whose Wife Died In Atlanta Spa Was Handcuffed, ‘Treated Like A Suspect’

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Latino Man Whose Wife Died In Atlanta Spa Was Handcuffed, ‘Treated Like A Suspect’

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

As we continue to learn more about the attack on Atlanta’s Asian-American community that left eight dead, we also are learning about Mario González – a survivor of the attack who was treated like a suspect by the Cherokee Sheriff Department.

Despite having lost his wife in the gunfire, police refused to share that news with González as he was handcuffed for hours amid the chaotic scene that was unfolding in the Atlanta suburbs.

A survivor of the Atlanta spa attacks says he was treated like a suspect instead of a victim.

The Latino man and husband who survived the Atlanta spa shootings that killed his wife says cops treated him like a suspect instead of a grieving victim — keeping him handcuffed for hours without telling him his spouse was dead.

“They had me at the police station for all that time until they investigated who was responsible or what had happened,” Mario González said during an interview with the Spanish-language news site Mundo Hispanico. “In the end, they told me my wife had died.

“They knew I was her husband,” Gonzalez said. “Then they told me she was dead when I wanted to know before. I don’t know, maybe because I’m Mexican,” he said. “Because the truth is that they treated me very badly.”

Law enforcement hasn’t responded to the allegations but are already facing severe backlash.

Representatives for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Sunday, but the accusations leveled by Mr. González come after the agency had already faced scrutiny after a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office described the gunman as having “a really bad day.”

The spokesman, Capt. Jay Baker, was no longer the office’s public representative on the case, and the sheriff, Frank Reynolds, apologized and defended Captain Baker as not intending to disrespect the victims or their families. “We regret any heartache Captain Baker’s words may have caused,” Sheriff Reynolds said.

González and his wife had been on a date night when the massacre took place.

The couple had arrived to Young’s Asian Massage for a fun date night, where they’d both enjoy a relaxing massage. They arrived shortly before the shooting started, Mr. González said in the video interview, and they were ushered into separate rooms for their massages.

Mr. González had met Ms. Yaun at a Waffle House restaurant, where he was a customer and she was a server. Ms. Yaun had been a single mother, raising a 13-year-old son. The couple married last year and had a daughter, who is now 8 months old. “What I need most right now is support,” Mr. González said in the interview.

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Racist Officers in Florida Filed a False Report Against a Latino Man After Assaulting Him

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Racist Officers in Florida Filed a False Report Against a Latino Man After Assaulting Him

Credit: Lake Wales Police Department

While deaths at the hands of police officers have fallen since the racial reckoning of last summer, there is still a long way to go. All it takes is a few bad apple police officers to erode trust between communities and law enforcement. Take, for example, a recent incident in Lake Wales, Fla. Two racist officers assaulted a Latino man named Chris Cordero before filing false charges against him.

According to local reports, two racist officers lied on their police report when they accused Chris Cordero of attacking them.

The story is truly shocking. According to Chris Cordero, 37, the entire incident with the racist officers began when he was driving home from Publix with medicine for his young son. Cordero became wary when he noticed a police cruiser was following him for a long time. So Cordero stopped to ask the police officer what was going on.

“I get out of the vehicle to ask him what’s going on because he’s been following me for a while,” Cordero told WFTS Tampa Bay. And here is where Cordero’s story and the police officer’s story differ.

Cordero told reporters that Officer Colt Black “requested that I go to the back of my car and put my hands on the trunk. Because he wants to search me to see if I have a weapon.”

It was then, Cordero says, that Officer Black “sucker punched” him on the back of the head.

“He sucker-punched me from the back, right here, cracked a piece of my tooth out. I landed on the ground,” Cordero said. Cordero says that it was then that a second officer, Officer Travis Worley, arrived. The two men began to assault him while he was on the ground, handcuffed.

“They both jumped on me and beat me up really bad,” Cordero said. Cordero also alleges that Officer Worley called him a “spic n—-r”, “a piece of sh-t” and told him to “go back to New York.”

The police report told a very different story. The cops alleged that “Cordero immediately exited the driver door and began to charge towards my patrol vehicle.”

Officer Colt Black said he “delivered an elbow strike to the left side of Cordero’s head” thinking Cordero was “reaching for a weapon.”

They charged Cordero with resisting arrest, assault on a law enforcement officer and making a death threat to a law enforcement officer. The charges could’ve landed Cordero in jail for years.

As soon as Cordero was released on bail, he revisited the neighborhood and went door-to-door hoping to find home surveillance footage of the incident. Luckily, he found some.

The footage clearly showed Cordero waiting by his car for around 30 seconds before Officer Black approached him and assaulted him. Cordero submitted the footage to the police. Officer Black claimed he wrote the false report because his “perception was altered due to the high stress of the incident.”

The State’s Attorney’s Office, immediately dropped the charges against Cordero. The Lake Wells attorney revealed that this wasn’t the first time members of the community complained about these particular officers.

“These officers who have issues with power and control target people who they know won’t be believed,” she said.

Since the footage came to light, the racist officers have been reprimanded. Officer Colt Black resigned. Officer Travis Worley is on administrative leave.

The two racist officers have a history of complaints against them. Members of the community have accused them of blatant racism and excessive force.

A Black female officer claimed Officer Worley used a racial slur while on a call–a claim he denied. He later tried to have the woman fired, saying “the longer she is allowed to continue working here, the more of a chance she will have to harm good officers and their families.”

Another complaint was filed by a local high school principal, who heard Officer Worley use a racial slur in front of students. “Quite simply,” the principal wrote, “he is not the same caliber as the other officers I know are–not even close.”

Despite the multiple complaints and investigations surrounding him, the police department always cleared Officer Worley of wrongdoing. He was even named “Officer of the Year” in 2019.

Chris Cordero hopes this incident with the racist officers prompts the city to make body cameras mandatory on police officers.

“How many more innocent people are sitting in jail?” he asked WFTS News. “How many people in the community are scared to come forward about these officers?”

“All police are not trying to intimidate people. That’s not the case,” said Lake Wales City Commissioner Terrye Howell. “But when you have one or two bad apples, then they’re spilling that bad apple part to other officers, then that bunch starts growing.”

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