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Now bra shades are racist? BLM has become the con artist’s secret weapon while the poor of all colors get shafted

Helen Buyniski
Helen Buyniski

is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

Now bra shades are racist? BLM has become the con artist’s secret weapon while the poor of all colors get shafted
UK retailer Marks & Spencer is the latest company targeted by grifters using the Black Lives Matter moment to sell their con. It’s a feeding frenzy for corporate panderers and scammers, but leaves behind those it claims to help.

The chain has issued a groveling apology over the “covert racism” supposedly implicit in the color options offered for a padded bra sold on its website, reversing course after initially defending the palette as an industry standard unrelated to race or skin tone.  

What changed? The complainer, a 29-year-old black customer named Kusi Kimani, went to the media to accuse the chain of deliberately naming its dark brown shade “tobacco” to evoke negative connotations, while lighter shades such as “cinnamon” and “fudge” carried more pleasant associations.

M&S, which left the “tobacco” option on its website for two months, quailed when approached by British tabloid the Mirror, promising to ditch the problematic hue and begging mercy for not doing so earlier.

Kimani and the Mirror hailed it as a victory. However, it’s hard to see how such bullying improves the lot of black people anywhere – even those who can afford to obsess over first-world problems such as the potential connotations of the description of a £13 piece of lingerie.  

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The bra incident is just one of hundreds of similar dust-ups in recent months, in which a multi-million-dollar corporation has been approached by a grifter wielding a ‘problematic’ racial issue and, rather than defend its product, acquiesces to a social climate in which defying political correctness is a fiscal death sentence.

These dramas play out similarly: the grifter, who may or may not be affiliated with BLM or any other social-justice organization but spouts their rhetoric like a pro, gets their 15 minutes of fame, a round of TV appearances, and maybe even a payout or a job if their scam is really good.

The corporation gets to apologize publicly, throw a few million dollars at BLM or a racism-focused nonprofit, and recast itself as newly ‘woke’, having learnt a Valuable Lesson about Systemic Racism without having to change its business practices at all.  

While these corporate apologies are invariably hailed in the media as victories against racism, disadvantaged minorities experience no increase in quality of life as a result. Their bank accounts don’t climb out of the red. Police don’t stop harassing them on the street. This is the case, whether it’s Amazon removing a shoe that inexplicably carried the name of a racial slur for months or M&S rethinking its supposedly offensive color palette.

Amazon continues to pay its warehouse workers poorly and drive bricks-and-mortar stores out of business, and M&S gets to continue selling clothing made in Bangladesh, where garment workers are paid less than half a living wage. Better still, now these activities can be passed off as ‘woke’!

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These apology campaigns might not help minorities, but they’re great for dividing societies along racial lines. White people begin to preemptively roll their eyes whenever they read a complaint about systemic racism, believing ‘real’ racial issues must have been solved if black activists (the ones they see on TV, at least) are focusing on harassing HBO for airing ‘Gone With The Wind’.

The media jumps on the bandwagon, attacking for their supposed racism everyone from women who wear make-up to men who draw My Little Pony fan art. Corporations begin preemptively offloading every product or slogan that can possibly be perceived as racist (though they always miss something). And finally, having run out of easy targets and built up their confidence, the grifters go after the building blocks of Western society: mathematics, history, even language

Expecting corporations to stand as the front line against the new thought police is begging to be disappointed, of course. But the grifters engaged in this giant scam are oppressing people of all races, and we’d be wise to work together to stop it.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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