To be real, I would rock a knockoff, not a retail. And wear it defiantly. I would grease the palm of a street hustla for this in a heartbeat.
Because it’s true, I am the coolest monkey in the jungle. Racist tropes be damned.
Since childhood, I am a self-proclaimed “monkey boy.” I love to climb, swing, jump and run like nobody’s business. Sheldon knows I don’t need no stinking ladder to get over a fence. I don’t worry about gate codes or boarding passes when I am in a hurry. Teria remembers what it’s like to go rock climbing. Whatever you’re locked out of, I got you. And I know it can sometimes be embarrassing to my friends when I make them lookout so I can try to climb something new. I think I am still banned from the MGM Grand and Mirage. I love being light on my feet.
I hate it when I get admonished by people for “promoting a racist stereotype.” I don’t let preconceived notions define my self-image. It’s not a Black thing. Monkey Boy isn’t about the color of my skin. It’s about my mischief mindset and my agile abilities.
And all the racists who want to mock me, for being able to do what you cannot? Haters gonna hate. My feelings aren’t hurt.
Be the best you can be, regardless of the haters. Embrace what they revile. Don’t let their limitations limit you. Your fearless is your freedom. Be the coolest monkey in the jungle.
*I want to add to this post the context of racism in marketing and advertising. Europe has a much different sensibility to racial/ethnic depictions in marketing, especially in fashion. Sometimes it’s intentional, but not meant to be offensive (appealing to perceived ideal racial traits, for example), and other times, it’s a blatant jab for racial mockery or promotion of White supremacy. I take each example on a case-by-case basis. In this case, I consider the depiction not racist, but racially insensitive. There’s a difference. Racist is an intentional spite of another race. Racial insensitivity is usu just an attempt at humor or commentary that isn’t meant to offend, but does anyway.