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L'Oreal drop Racist Model

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This morning, L’Oreal dropped Munroe Bergdorf, their first ever trans model, from their diversity campaign after a media storm which has seen her since branded as “anti-white” for statements that she made concerning the complicity of white people in widespread racism.

This entire episode, and in particular L’Oreal’s tone deaf response and failure to back Munroe, is part of a long media tradition of painting anti-racism activists, and particularly black women, as irrational anti-white furies. The exact same thing happened to Cambridge BME Society Campaigner Jason Osamede Okundaye when he made similarly cogent points about racial prejudice.

The ensuing backlash around her statements and her consequent firing continue to create the sort of conditions in which there is a greater material consequence for speaking out against racism than actual racist rhetoric. These right wing media attacks form part of an increasingly popular cycle of demonisation, where statements about racism and its structural and all-pervasive nature are decontextualised, interpreted in entirely bad faith and branded as “anti-white rants” that are then used to form the crux of a witch-hunt and facilitate twitter pile-ons and racist abuse.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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