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The October window display on the East Houston American Apparel has sparked a Change.org petition for being "culturally insensitive." The window in question depicts "faux sacred Fon iconography," and has so far garnered over 4,000 signatures asking for its removal.
The Vodoun-themed window display, using faux sacred Fon iconography, is culturally insensitive, as it insinuates that a world religion that has been viciously and incorrectly maligned for centuries is "spooky" and upholds the specious belief that African and African-derived religion and culture are "seasonally appropriate" to sell Autumn/Hallowe'en-inspired items.
An opinion post on the Ebony.com website from earlier this month reads:
This isn't the first time that American Apparel has engaged in problematic practices concerning the treatment of other people's cultures. Nor are they the only company to profit off of misappropriated cultural dress during Halloween. It baffles me as to why a store would make the decision to mis-appropriate a sacred spiritual system that is old as time in Africa itself. Alas, we know that even hipsters—for all their self-congratulatory "progressive" ways—can be just as bigoted and racist as any one else.· A petition to have the window display removed from American Apparel [EVG]
· Petitioning American Apparel Inc. [Change.org]
· American Apparel, Our Culture Is Not Your Trick, Nor Your Treat [Ebony]