Editor’s Note: Thank you Shongretta Williams IMAGES Media Coordinator, for today’s commentary on Urban Outfitters “Obama/Black” controversy.
Global retailer Urban Outfitters got a little creative with the description of a signature item on their website. Recently, a shopper noticed that the very popular Henley t-shirt was available in a new color; “Obama/Black”. The color option was removed from the website almost immediately, but of course bloggers got wind of the insensitive faux-pas and a screen shot was captured.
President Obama has been subject to praise and ridicule just as every other leader of the free world. But the one discerning difference is that President Obama’s race seems to be the subject of fodder on a daily basis. If it does not come from global retailers, it comes from national media. If not from media, it stems from juvenile water cooler humor. But in all situations, his race is mocked. The disheartening part of the Urban Outfitters fiasco is that no one from the company issued an apology, nor acknowledged the incident as a problem. By not delivering a much needed apology or explanation, the company appears to be culturally insensitive and socially irresponsible. The company has to do better. Someone should be held accountable for this prime example of a lapse in judgment. The label was politically incorrect and shame on Urban Outfitters top executives for not addressing this fiasco. Silence is a poor excuse for lack of knowing.