Unknowingly Wearing Racism

To those for whom racism is unacceptable, and even to those for whom it is: what would you do if you found out a designer that you have purchased product from in the past was a “closeted” racist and portion of their product selections were targeted at consumers of the “darker persuasion”?

Considering how I would react in this situation came to mind when I received second-hand information from a mutual friend of  the “Source” who is an acquaintance whom I don’t communicate with on a regular basis. The conversation pertained to a well-known Second Life designer (the “Designer”)  and his/her views on race during personal time.

I have purchased product from this Designer in the past and, personally, will not continue to do so following this revelation. Neither will I put forth the Designer’s store brand as an option to those who, from time-to-time, ask where to find certain products. The store name is off my mental list of referrals.

Out of personal curiosity I asked other for their opinion on the matter. Several residents from a variety of backgrounds and interests provided their input. Some are designers themselves; some are culture and/or fashion writers, DJs/DJanes, photographers and other such entrepreneurs*.

Some, whom you will see an indication of, were given additional information regarding the circumstances under which this particular person’s bigotry surfaces. The Source has noted on several occasions, when in voice chat with the Designer, his/her racist viewpoint surfaces.

What would you do/how would you feel or react if you knew a well-known designer was a “closet” racist; his/her views being expressed in personal time when not surrounded by the attention of the fashion community at large? Would it influence your future purchases or opinion(s) of their brand? Why or why not?

The responses of polled persons included:

A full-on boycott of that person’s products should be in order. If they really wanted to be in business they should [have] kept themselves professional.

Once I knew I would be extremely reluctant to shop at their store. Whether it’s in their own time or not it doesn’t change anything in my mind, I couldn’t be comfortable supporting someone if I knew their views on something like race were so far skewed from my own.

In consideration of the use of alcohol: A disgusting opinion is still a disgusting opinion even if someone hides it most of the time.

It depends how strong the views are, if it’s just plain ignorance I may not react in anyway. If the views are very strong and damaging and also I had definite proof they said these things I would not shop at their store.

In consideration of the use of alcohol: I agree [that] people are less inhibited when they are drunk and more likely to say what they feel. It would still be important to me to know exactly what they said and to know that they definitely said it before I made a judgment.

The “Emily Post”-like topics should be kept in mind: speak only of the weather; never politics or religion.

In consideration of the use of alcohol: I wouldn’t change my mind. I’m still a no. [I’ll add] the designer being tacky when wasted to the list.

It would be difficult to support someone like that for the same reasons as “Beatrice”. Not that it makes a difference, because is racism no matter what the world.

In consideration of the use of alcohol: It doesn’t affect their ability to design but …. it affects my desire to be around them or their work.  It’s my opinion that alcohol only tends to make people more open about what they say … not change who they fundamentally are.

I wouldn’t shop at their store and I wouldn’t miss using/wearing their products. I don’t shop at other stores for less serious reasons, so, this racism would be a huge deal for me.

In consideration of the use of alcohol: It’s hard to hide your innermost feelings when you are drunk.  People are more likely to be their core selves – up front – when they are inebriated.  It’s harder to put up a more “politically correct” persona when you have alcohol running through your body.

I’d be offended, but don’t see what them being a well-known designer has to do with it. It’s equally offensive from anyone.

I do feel that some designers should just keep their mouths shut for the good of their business. There are some ….  who can carry themselves well and professionally. There are others …. who can’t seem to stop opening their mouths and I’m pretty sure it makes business suffer.

I agree with “Beatrice”. I’d be a bit reluctant to shop somewhere where I knew the designer was racist, as racisim is something I strongly oppose. Although some could argue the point their beliefs don’t affect their ability to design, but I think it’s whatever makes you more comfy … and I think I’d feel uncomfortable.

In consideration of the use of alcohol: No, it wouldn’t change my opinon, I’d just think they couldn’t hold their drink well and wonder what else is going to come out, ‘cause often the truth comes out more when intoxicated, right?

In this case, the Designer’s behaviour has resulted in a damaged relationship with the Source. If information was to get out to the larger community, I’m certain it would impact his/her brand profitability – not to mention causing some short-term drama and social unrest.

What are your thoughts?
Comment away.

* Names of residents above have been changed to protect anonymity.


12 Responses to “Unknowingly Wearing Racism”

  1. I think I would need to know all the facts before making a decision. What was said, was there a translation issue, was it clearly racism or was merely ignorance etc. If I believed after knowing all the details that this was indeed a racist statement, I would NOT shop there regardless of the person’s intoxication level at the time.

  2. Personally, I have had enough of the racist a-holes. If I found out someone was racist (would have to hear it from a VERY reliable source OR hear it first hand to believe it) I would NOT shop at their store OR any other store on a sim they owned OR at any shop owned by someone who knows said person is a racist and continues to support them. It might sound a but harsh but I’m tired of it. I’ve already ended friendships in SL when I found out the person was racist or homophobic, it would NOT be hard for me to just stop spending somewhere. There are plenty of fabulous people who would welcome my money.

    P.S.- If there really is a closet racist designer out there let me know who it is so i can stop buyign from them 😛

  3. OK i am adding this…Spill it. Who is this? LOL

  4. Question for the questioner:

    Why isn’t this supposed racist named? If the author of this post believes the supposed transgressions are egregious enough to warrant his/her personal boycott and all-around shunning, a decision to ‘shield’ the transgressor seems – I’m sorry to put it quite this way, but – cowardly.

    And this:

    “Considering how I would react in this situation came to mind when I received second-hand information from a mutual friend of the “Source”…”

    Ah yes, the ever-common “second-hand information” – otherwise known as gossip.

    No, gossip certainly isn’t on par with racism, when it comes to Man’s Inhumanity To Man ™ but, gee, it *does* tend to undercut whatever air of moral superiority the author seems to have been striving for…

  5. Omega Althouse Says:

    We’re all racist. Seriously. All of us. There’s not a person on the planet who isn’t. Don’t beleive me? Do this test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ – the results might shock you.

    Some of us do our best to overcome this conditioning, and some revel in hate.

    There are a number of content creators in SL who I won’t support because of their racism, sexism, homophobia.. there’s nothing in SL any of us really “NEED”.. and I am profoundly uninterested in putting money in the pockets of hatemongers.

    So this is a cause we can all get behind. Having it presented in this way though… really diminishes credibility.

    This whole post smacks of dramamongering to me… “Would you support a racist?” No! we all cry out.. and now for the big reveal!!!! There’s something nasty going on here.

    As Helena said above.. gossip is its own kind of evil. And what possible defence does this person have now this claim has been laid at their feet? (How, exactly, does one prove that they are NOT a racist?) At the moment they don’t even have the right of reply.

    Without context, without knowing what was said, without knowing the details… all any of us can do is speak in generalities.

    Do we support racism? No, of course not. Does that mean we don’t support the individual(s) that all this is aimed at?

    More data required.

  6. Skinkie Winkler Says:

    Firstly, alcohol plays no part in this. People are responsible for what they say and do whether they are intoxicated (drink or drugs) or not. And I say that as a recovering alcoholic, judging myself by the same measure (pun intended).

    Secondly, this really is the absolute worst way you could possibly have gone about dealing with this. Based on second hand gossip you have written a series of riddles that you KNEW would make your readers, well known for their love of drama, demand more, demand names. Just the mention of the word racism is enough to set a pack of hungry wolves braying for blood, whether there’s any to be had or not. It’s a highly emotive issue, rightly so, but as such this label shouldn’t be passed out to anyone, named or un-named, without absolute certainty of their guilt. Not based on hearsay and gossip.

    Did you speak to the accused first and ask their side? It seems not. Surely that should be the very first thing you do before putting them under trial by commitee.

    I’d be very very careful about sharing this persons name without absolute proof and certainty. Not only do you put their reputation (and possibly business) at risk even if you’re wrong, but you risk being accused of slander/libel.

  7. Mistletoe Says:

    The entire post seems too vague to me to be able to offer any kind of informed opinion. “Racism” of course is one of those instant-reaction words that will set *anyone* on edge. Nobody who is racist actually believes him/herself to be, and I doubt there’s a person on the planet who would knowingly use the word to describe him/herself.

    There’s not much I can add that hasn’t already been said: it all sounds a lot like hearsay. It would not be admissible in a court of law, for sure.

    Question, for clarity’s sake: What do you mean when you say “darker persuasion”? Do you mean darker skin color, or darker in a more figurative context (i.e. evil)?

  8. Thor Odinnson Says:

    Have to agree with Omega Althouse above, in that we are all racist and tribalist in some form or fashion.

    It need not even be of an obvious sort, involving white sheets and burning crosses, and lynchings… or alternatively, hate crimes (such as the grisly Channing/Newsome murders) directed at people of European descent by people of colour.

    Oddly enough, it is among those same Euro-Americans (and by this, I mean whites), especially in the USA and Canada, who are the most sensitive on issues of race, lest they be seen to fail in their endless apologies for their ancestors’ sins of colonial injustice and inequity.

    Even the most minute instances of this racism show up – when a man or woman crosses the street when seeing a small company of people of another race; or it may be the quietly tolerated jokes about “beaners”, ‘n****rs”, or crackers” that dared no be uttered publicly (well, perhaps “cracker” jokes might go unchallenged by some liberal Euro-Americans, who maybe inclined to chalk it up as their just due – white guilt – for their forefather’s original sins)

    It shows up when a white man blames the multiple-generations of fatherless/husbandless black women who “milk the system”, set up 2-3 generations ago by FDR, and ‘improved” upon by LBJ. Likewise, when the black man complains that all of his woes in life are due to the unseen hands of evil whites plotting to “keep a brotha down”.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    What a bunch of hogwash.

    If there is a reason why the “Melting Pot” of America is failing, and springing so many leaks, it is this:

    As far as God is concerned, there is but one race – the race of Adam, and they come in one of either two families: the redeemed, brothers and sisters in the household of god’s Firstborn, Jesus Christ… and the those whom Jesus said “Ye are of your father, the devil”, that is, those who are still lost to sin and the devil’s power.

    Black, White, Red, Brown, whatever.

    The thing that the Devil is laughing his fool head off (foolish compared to God, but much smarter than mere humans) is that we can spend so much time quibbling over superficial differences in our skin colour, or the “cultural identity” we attach to such insipid physical markers, as we all march lockstep down the broad, smooth path into the very pits of eternal, fiery Hell.

    We can try to beat racism in our own resolve, but it seldom ever works, and most often, makes matters worse.

    There is however, a way more perfect, a way that only becomes possible, when we die to our own foolish ideas… and trust on Him who made us all, from Abel to Zechariah: His name is Jesus.

  9. I’m gonna back away slowly from this one considering the comment above this one ^^ just turned it into a whole new, even more annoying, enraging and possibly damaging discussion.

    I’d love to know names, but honestly, it was TL;DR. I’ll find out through the grapevine at some point if it’s ever leaked, I’m sure. Peace, folkses.

  10. This post is too long. Allow me to summarize:

    “What would you do if you heard from somebody that someone you know said something so unthinkably heinous, that you would be shocked to the very core of your being?”

    Who was it? What did they say?

    “I can’t tell you that, but what I will do is quote a lot of anonymous people giving their opinions on it”

  11. Mistletoe Says:

    … and trust on Him who made us all, from Abel to Zechariah: His name is Jesus.

    Point of order: Jesus didn’t make people. There were people before there was Jesus.

    The rest was TS;DR.

  12. Rosie Shark Says:

    It seems to me that this post was intended to ask the question about how certain things may affect people’s decisions to buy in SL. I think that who did what is secondary and never really intended as the point of this post, though I could be wrong.

    In my case, I’m not as righteous as I should be when it comes to whether or not I’ll shop here or there. I don’t know this scenario, and I don’t want to. It’s ugly all the way around. I don’t know if I’d be more influenced if I actually knew all the gritty details. All I can say is that there have been times in the past where I did not like someone, something they said, or did… yet I shopped at their store. Damn talented miscreants!

    What I think everyone is hung up on is the whosis. I don’t think that particular issue is at hand. Moreso, how would this affect your shopping decisions??

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