Popular clothing company Gap has felt the wrath of its mass consumers and decided to pull a controversial black and white “Manifest Destiny” t-shirt just weeks after its release.
According to reports, the decision comes after mounted up negative reactions to the shirt.
Gap has pulled from its shelves a black and white T-shirt printed with “Manifest Destiny” across the chest, after backlash from consumers who say the slogan is racist toward Native Americans. When the item first went on sale about a month ago as part of Gap’s GQ collection , people quickly took to social media, expressing their outrage. In addition to Facebook messages and plenty of email, a petition was created on Change.org, amassing more than 5,000 followers. (ABC News)
American Indian Movement (AIM)-Southern California Chapter director Corine Fairbanks reportedly led the anti-Gap charge.
“A supporter told me about it last Friday and I was in shock, but within three days we had communicated by Facebook and in other ways with about 10,000 people and nearly all of them were really angry that a major clothing chain would do this. … The designer of the t-shirt is not understanding how sick Manifest Destiny is, especially considering how our communities are still struggling with historical trauma and the ways it still affects us today. The dominant society doesn’t allow Indian people to be other than invisible, so they’re always surprised when something like this happens.” (Indian Country Today Media Network)
Both Gap and shirt designer Mark McNairy have since issued statements.
Gap responded Tuesday by removing the T-shirt for sale. In an email to Salon.com , the company stated that the t-shirt would no longer be “sold in Gap stores or online. We value all customer feedback, and wish to emphasize that our intention was not to offend anyone.” Earlier, the shirt’s designer, Mark McNairy, took to Twitter with “Manifest Destiny! Survival of the Fittest!” That has since been deleted and an apology issued. “I am sorry for survival of the fittest comment. It hurt me deeply to be called a racist as that is not me. I reacted without thinking,” tweeted @mmcnairy Tuesday afternoon. (NBC Los Angeles)
This all comes months after Adidas caught negative press and had to cease production of a controversial sneaker line.
German sports apparel maker Adidas has withdrawn its plans to sell a controversial sneaker featuring affixed rubber shackles after the company generated significant criticism when advertising the shoe on its Facebook page. The high-top sneakers, dubbed the JS Roundhouse Mids, were expected to be released in August, according to the Adidas Originals Facebook page. “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” a caption below a photo of the sneakers read. The June 14 post prompted plenty of criticism from around the Web, with many of those commenting saying they felt the shackle invoked the painful image of slavery. (CNN)