‘Wear Their Names’: Pro-BLM jewelry brand selling victim-named items made of shattered glass from riots shuts down after backlash
Paul Chelmis and Jing Wen went viral by selling a jewelry collection made out of glass left lying around after protests in Charleston, South Carolina. The idea was to “make something beautiful out of the rubble.” Thus the brand ‘Wear Their Names’ was born, a play on the BLM slogan ‘Say their names’ which refers to black Americans killed by police.
In a move of questionable self-awareness the couple decided to individually name their designs after the victims. The screenshots of a now closed online storefront show, for example, ‘The Breonna’ – a $240 pendant, ‘The Trayvon’– a necklace for $95. The pricing ranged between $45 to nearly $500, with all proceeds supposedly going to Black Lives Matter.Also on rt.com BLM-inspired performance on Britain’s Got Talent triggers HUNDREDS of complaints to Ofcom
The online community did not appreciate the jeweler’s gesture, which to many felt disrespectful and eerie. Some said that the two were “exploiting black death for commercial gain.” Others were troubled by the mere image of price tags being attached to black people’s names.
1000% disturbing and unethical, this is insane like who sees tragedy and thinks ‘I should exploit this for monetary gain and further rub sand into the still open wound’ like who raised these people to think this was ok🤯— Kaitlin Kowalec (@kaitlinkowalec) September 8, 2020
Also is it just me, or is naming each accessory after victims of police brutality & then pricing them differently giving.....slave auction-ey vibes??? It’s as if the name attached to the product determines the monetary value of each life. That’s what I’m getting, it’s disturbing.— sophie the cat lady (@sophieming_) September 8, 2020
This is disgusting. SHAME on Shanshui for exploiting Black death for commercial gain. No matter how much they donate, they stand to benefit financially and in other ways. This is reprehensible and offensive. This line needs to be pulled ASAP!!! https://t.co/LjfrnfrOxb— Denmark Vesey Co-Conspirator (@mikagadsden) September 4, 2020
The idea of jewelry made from the broken glass at protests I can live with. The naming of the individual pieces???? Go directly to hell.— ✨🌸 đặc biệtch 🌸✨ (@fulljungleazn) September 8, 2020
The online community seems to have been unanimous in rejecting Chelmis and Wen’s attempt at solidarity. The two quickly shut down their website, Instagram account, and issued an apology.“So sorry to those we offended or harmed,” the statement read. “While our intentions were pure and we consulted with a wide variety of people before launching, it is clear that there are issues with the approach we took.”
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