When I was at Faith in Action's peace vigil today, a young woman asked me to sign a petition for the "NATIONAL ABERCROMBIE BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN". Having never been a fan of Abercrombie's corporate omnipresence and their Hamptons-esque brand of snobby glamour, I gladly signed. |
This particular campaign is organized by the National Abercrombie Campaign (NAC) of Columbus, Ohio, and takes aim at a series of tee-shirts that the organization feels "promote racial stereotypes". Indeed, the "Asian" series features a shirt that says, "WONG BROTHERS: TWO WONGS CAN MAKE IT WHITE", with mid-Century style charicatures of Asians on it. The campaign is supported by a coalition of concerned students from colleges and universities across the nation.
The NAC describes the situation this way: "Asian Americans are already stereotyped on TV, film and other media as uncultured foreigners who can't speak English correctly. In promoting this myth in their new line of graphic T's, Abercrombie promotes this and other negative racist stereotypes. College students launched an admirable nation-wide protest against Abercrombie in order to let Abercrombie know that consumers and Asian Americans will not tolerate this form of stereotyping and racism."
NAC is demanding that Abercrombie & Fitch "permanently remove the entire line of offensive 'Asian' T-shirts", "publish a public apology from the Company's Chief Executive in the form of an one-page advertisement in all major national newspapers", "encourage consumers to return 'Asian' T-shirts", donate money to "non-profit organizations which promote racial awareness", "increase diversity in the Company's catalogues", "develop an educational advertisement campaign which promotes the diversity of our nation", and "ensure company-wide sensitivity to minority issues", among other things.
The young woman I talked to filled a whole page with signatures while I was there. Great going !! There are many forms of activism, and its always great to see kids getting involved.
For more information on the campaign, and to download petitions of your own, visit: boycottaf.com. This site also offers quarter sheets, coverage of Abercrombie protests across the country, and store locations for planning your own actions.