Imagine going on Instagram and finding your photograph from a store posted without your consent. This is what many African American customers from a party store in Detroit found on Instagram. It is not the photograph that upset them at all. It is the racist comments on the photographs from the party store that has the customers raging with anger.
According to Andrea Isom from Fox 2 News, the photographs were taken with cell phones. Most of the photographs are so disgraceful and disgusting that they cannot be shown in media. Although the level of racism varied in the photographs, no one was safe. African American children were even victims of these racist comments. To find answers to this phenomenon, the customers went to the news station.
What’s even worse about these photographs were that they were posted by the sons of the store owners. The comments mentioned in the video were all stereotypical notions of African Americans. The first photograph of two African American women with dogs had comments stating how the women stole the dogs. The comments of an African American baby in a stroller discussed how the child was homeless while his mother bought alcohol and drugs, while another comment called the child an unusual monkey. There are countless of other photos with comments of African Americans being gang members, monkeys, and attempting to bleach their skin.
When the fathers and store owners of the party stores were questioned about the racist comments, one of the store owners apologized while the other store owner claimed that his son’s identity had been stolen. It can be inferred that this was simply a joke; however, racism is never a joke. The comments of these young boys and their friends reinforce stereotypes of African Americans since the Reconstruction era. Since Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, African Americans have been portrayed as monkeys and lazy. The stereotypes only evolved to include drugs, alcohol, and gangs.
It is sad that these young men decided reinforce stereotypes, especially in an area that a mass amount of their customers are African American. Their comments only reveal their subtle racism towards an entire race. Because their comments were directed towards customers of their families’ businesses, their families’ reputations and businesses have suffered from their acts. Should these young men be punished more than being fired from the establishment? What does this reveal about subtle racism present in the United States today?