L’Oréal drops transgender model for saying all white people are racist
September 1, 2017
Racism is a system of oppression that all white people benefit from. Because of these benefits, all white people participate in this system of racism in one way or another.
It’s a fairly simple concept, but for L’Oréal Paris, it is apparently too much truth to bear.
According to the blatantly racist Daily Mail, the brand’s first transgender model, Munroe Bergdorf, launched an “extraordinary Facebook rant” that got her fired only days after she was announced as the “face of modern diversity.”
If by extraordinary they mean searingly true, then sure, the 29-year-old’s words were definitely that. In response to literal white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, VA, Bergdorf posted a status that read in part:
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people anymore. Yes ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this shit.”
“Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege,” she continued. “Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.”
In response, L’Oreal isssued the following statement:
“We support diversity and tolerance towards all people irrespective of their race, background, gender and religion. The L’Oréal Paris True Match campaign is a representation of these values and we are proud of the diversity of the Ambassadors who represent this campaign. We believe that the recent comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with those values, and as such we have taken the decision to end the partnership with her. L’Oréal remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty.”
As I mentioned earlier, racism is a system of oppression, so obviously reverse-racism on the part of those who are being oppressed isn’t a thing. It’s clear that L’Oréal is not truly interested in breaking down barriers, because a foundational part of breaking them down is getting white people to reckon with white supremacy. Instead, the brand is only interested in “diversity” when it doesn’t challenge any of the systems that make diversity necessary in the first place. That way they can both benefit from the status quo and get pats on the back for pretending to care about changing it at the same time.
But Bergdorf isn’t backing down. The British model followed up news of her firing with more posts elaborating her position:
It’s clear that L’Oréal is seeking to make an example of Bergdorf. The message is clear: you can be accepted and even celebrated by us, but only if you don’t challenge everything that goes against you. We aren’t fooled.