PRADA--Welcome to the 21st Century

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Prada's window display. Are they crazy?


In response to backlash, Prada agreed to remove its products resembling blackface and donate any proceeds from prior sales to an organization fighting for racial justice.

I'd like to welcome Prada to the 21st century, and to acknowledge that since the backlash to their racist Sambo-like display and their initial refusal to recognize the gravity of that campaign, they have since taken some measure of further action to rectify the wrong.

I thank them, at least, for hearing our voices when we called out these racist relics and their softening of symbols of historical oppression.

At the same time, this is not a one-off issue in corporate America, and addressing the underlying issues that would have led to this campaign moving forward will be a longer process.

Prada has said that they have answered our calls and will donate the proceeds already made on these products to "a New York-based organization committed to fighting for racial justice." I am eager to see what organization Prada works with and to ensuring that these funds are spent on that fight.

I would further urge that the company does not simply cut a check and hope the issue disappears, but rather engages with many groups, such as the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus in the New York City Council, and advocates such as Chinyere Ezie, who first called attention to this imagery, in order to further discuss the need for diversity and cultural sensitivity- not just in marketing management, but in the managers making those decisions.

Jumaane D. Williams
New York City Council Member Williams represents Brooklyn's 45th Council District

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