While shopping this week, I happened to spot this little number at H&M. I immediately thought, “wow! How cool!!” Considering that H&M is a major corporation which caters to all men and women, I didn’t think that they would ever sell merchandise that could potentially be political or controversial, or at least about a topic that makes people uncomfortable. I imagined people wearing these shirts in public, spreading ideas of love and equality, and beauty among all people. I guess that sounds a little good to be true. I thought about it a little more, even hesitated to try it on. Is this aversive racism? What do you think? I thought that maybe it was promoting colorblindness, however it says “different colors all beautiful” not “different colors all equal“. Because I do agree that people of different colors can be and are all beautiful, but it feels like the shirt is sending a greater message, like equality, probably because of the “say no to racism” part. As we learned, just “saying no to racism” isn’t that simple, since racism is so heavily embedded in our society and structural systems. So is wearing a phrase so simplistic only further hiding the problem? Like, “Cool! If I wear this then everyone will know I’m not a racist!!” This only leads to further denial that you are, in fact, are racist because of society.
What I do like about this shirt, though, is that it brings attention to racism. Although it may not solve any of the issues behind racism and prejudice, I can imagine that seeing someone wear this shirt in public would definitely spark attention and provoke thinking about it. What do you guys think? Would you wear it?