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.”

A Black Man Says A Group Of White People”Attempted Lynching” Him And It Was Caught On Video

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A Black Man Says A Group Of White People”Attempted Lynching” Him And It Was Caught On Video

Vauhxx Booker / Getty

In Indiana, the culture of white supremacy remains alive and well. According to RTV6 Indianapolis, Indiana at the Ku Klux Klan’s peak, the governor of Indiana, over half of the state’s legislature and nearly 30 percent of all white men born in the state were members. That culture, while not totally alive and well in Indiana revealed itself recently when authorities in Indiana shared that a Black man said he was attacked by a group of white people who attempted to lynch him.

The incident, which went viral on Sunday, was captured in a series of videos posted to Facebook.

The Black man involved in the incident, Vauhxx Booker, is a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission and described the incident which took place in Bloomington’s Lake Monroe saying that five men took him, pinned him to a tree, and beat him while pulling out his hair. The incident happened after Booker said he had mistakenly trespassed on private property “At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck,” Booker in the post shared to Facebook. “I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.”

In his post, Booker said that bystanders attempted to help him and yelled for the men to let him go.

When the men assaulting him replied to the protesters they said “We’re going to break his arms,” and yelled, “Get a noose.” While the comments were not captured on video, Booker has described the attack as a hate crime. He also claimed that he was “almost the victim of an attempted lynching.” “With me still pinned underneath them they kept telling onlookers to leave the ‘boy’ and that everyone else (all white) could go,” Booker wrote in his post.

In response, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed in a statement that they had responded to a report of a battery in the area on Saturday “on private property adjacent to Monroe Reservoir property.”

According to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the FBI said that they were “aware of the incident and is monitoring the situation.”

Video captured of the incident reveals a group of white men holding Booker against a tree.

I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching. I don’t want this to have happened…

Posted by Vauhxx Rush Booker on Sunday, July 5, 2020

In one of the videos, when the person who is filming moves closer to the assailants he says “Please, let him go,” and one of the white men replies “You go.” “You go and we will let him go,” one of the women replies.

In another video posted to Facebook by Booker, a man without a shirt can be seen calling Booker a “nappy-headed bitch.” “We were having a great time and you invaded us,” another man yells in the video “You stupid f******* liberal f****.”

In his post about the incident, Booker wrote that he and a friend were heading to the beach at the lake to attend a lunar eclipse gathering. A man with a Confederate that followed him on an ATV and told Booker and his friend that they were on private property.

“We relayed to him that we believed the organizers had received permission from the property owners to cross, but apologized and went on to our beautiful site just off the water without any further incident. When we arrived we told the event organizer of the encounter and it was relayed that the individual wasn’t the actual property owner and the organizer apologized. Even still, we advised our folks still en route to use the public beach way to avoid any possible conflict arising,” Booker wrote in the Facebook post. “We later found out that these individuals had blocked off the public beach way with a boat and their ATVs claiming that it was also their land. When folks tried to cross them, the assailants yelled, “white power” at them. Honestly, we thought it might just be the one drunken individual with the confederate hat we had encountered earlier who might be instigating the conflict. We decided to just walk back and attempt to simply have a conversation with some of the more sober seeming group members and see if we could smooth things over a bit. We were calm and polite, but looking back now, it’s apparent that these individuals began targeting our group the moment they saw myself, a Black man and were looking to provoke a conflict.”

Booker said that once they came across the people on ATVs they initially seemed calm but “quickly became aggressive” so he and his friend attempted to leave.

Booker claims the group then followed them and then two “jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground,” Booker said. “Yet DNR refused to arrest any of these individuals, even with multiple the witnesses several who filmed the event and collaborated our accounts. Instead, the officers stated they contacted the Prosecutor’s office who relayed there was no immediate need to arrest anyone, and that the officers would simply file a report. To reiterate, this attack occurred on public land and was recorded by numerous individuals who made statements against the attackers for assaulting them and me. I’m gravely concerned that if any other people of color who were to cross their path they could be killed.”

Booker’s attorney told the Indianapolis Star that no one has been arrested in connection to the incident.

Donald Trump Taunts NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace And Promotes The Display Of Confederate Flags

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Donald Trump Taunts NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace And Promotes The Display Of Confederate Flags

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

As of late, many a user on Twitter are convinced that the President of the United States is attempting to stoke the fires of a race war. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but there’s no doubt that at the core of Trump’s recent messages of hate, he has no desire at all to help our country heal during this time. Let alone assuage the current culture wars.

Recently, in another one of Trump’s twitter rants, he made a slew of racist attacks and defended the Confederate flag.

During a rant, he unleashed on Twitter, President Trump defended the display of the Confederate flag, attacked former Vice President Joe Biden, made false claims about coronavirus, and said he was victorious in his pandemic response. 

After putting blame on China for the coronavirus, Trump spat out a series of racist attacks which included his defense of the Confederate flag.

Included in his tirade was a verbal attack at Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. Recently, Wallace was involved in an incident in which FBI investigated a potential hate crime against him. The FBI investigation ultimately found that a noose found by his car’s stall wasn’t a racist attack against Wallace. It turned out that the noose had been hanging in the garage for months before he was moved to it.

About the incident, Trump wrote, “Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?”

Trump went on to rail NASCAR for its “politically correct” decision to ban Confederate flags from events.

Trump lampooned NASCAR for inciting its “lowest ratings EVER” because of the decision. Hours later, Trump made more callous comments, when he referenced recent announcements that the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland were considering changing their team names. Trump said American Indians “must be very angry.”

Later that same day, he attacked media outlets for their reporting on the coronavirus.”Deaths from the China Virus are down 39%, while our great testing program continues to lead the World, by FAR!” Trump wrote in a tweet that was untrue. “Why isn’t the Fake News reporting that Deaths are way down? It is only because they are, indeed, FAKE NEWS!”

While outlets like The New York Times recently reported that COVID-19 deaths in the United States are down to nearly 600 per day which is much better than the U.S.’s peak of 3,000 per day in April and May, Trump overlooked the fact that new infections continue to climb. According to CNN, “Public health experts say the increase in new cases and a simultaneous decrease in deaths and the death rate is likely a function of the virus infecting a higher percentage of younger people, who are less likely to be killed by COVID-19, improved disease treatment and expanded testing.”