H&M this week announced the launch of its new black and white minstrel clothing range for children.
The new kids’ clothing line is based on several different character sub-ranges that draw their inspiration from the old black and white minstrel shows of pre-abolitionist America and will feature such monikers as Mammy, Old Darky, Sambo and The Mullato Wench.
H&M’s Head of Unintentional Racism Mr. Jim Crow said, “After the recent runaway success of our ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ advertising campaign that featured a black child, our data shows that the use of unintentional racism is a great way to sell children’s clothing. We have therefore been scouring various historical archives for every racist stereotype that we could find to see if this approach to kids apparel can be developed even further.”
H&M says that the new range is intended as a light-hearted parody of early 19th century stereotypes that portray black people as being dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, happy-go-lucky and sometimes requiring as much looking after as the very children the new clothing range is aimed at in the 8-12 year old age category.
The fashion retail brand is also developing a new advertising campaign to further highlight its startling social naivety when it comes to offending the very people that spend their hard earned cash on its products and will feature: a Jewish child wearing striped pyjamas, a Northern Irish Catholic child wearing a bowler hat and an orange sash, a Muslim toddler wearing ISIS Pampers and holding a toy machine gun and even more shocking – somebody wearing a Manchester United football kit that’s actually from Manchester.
“We’re really going to go for it at the launch party of our new ‘Kiddy Minstrels’ clothing range. There’ll be lots of party games where the kids will have to, ‘earn their freedom,’ by performing whilst being chased by ‘hounds’ and we’ve hired someone to turn up dressed as the ‘Golli’ that used to be on the Robinson’s jam jar label,” Mr. Crow added.