Have you considered the various implications of the clothes that you wear? I’m not talking about whether your clothes are made by machines or by exploited workers in Asia. The question that I prompt you to ask yourself is: “Are your clothes offensive?”
You may assume that people can quickly identify a hate symbol such as a slur, swastika, phrase, or an inappropriate stereotype.
However, the problem is that there are countless hate symbols that one may not be able to spot so quickly. For example, I’ve recently realized that an Argentinian brand called John L. Cook, known for selling clothing targeted at the wealthy upper class, has been using the confederate flag as a logo. As an Argentinian, I never knew what that symbol meant and its history until I researched the issue myself.
According to the ADL, a hate symbol database, “the flag also served as a potent symbol of slavery and white supremacy, which has caused it to be very popular among white supremacists in the 20th and 21st centuries.”
When I started to become more informed about what the confederate flag means and its association with hate, I became angry that people were wearing these clothes. Maybe they were oblivious about the history behind it. I knew then and there that I wanted to bring more awareness to the issue at hand, and I knew that education was the solution!
Education is the main factor in stopping ignorance. Schools worldwide should be required to teach about The Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, white supremacy, Jim Crow, and many more similar horrific events in human history. Take Germany as an example; every school must take their students at least once to education camps or memorials.
Hopefully, by informing my classmates on the derogatory nature of the clothing they are wearing, I can help educate them about tragic events in human history and make them think twice before buying a piece of apparel from John L. Cook.
Jackeline Sewrjugin Filipowski is a BBG from BBYO: Argentina who absolutely adores communicating with people from all over the world.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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