i just received the link to an online petition for Richards v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz:
the petition demands:
1. That H&M terminates Joseph H. (the individual who made the anti-Asian, xenophobic, and misogynist verbal attack) AND discipline the managers who did not quickly intervene.
2. That H&M changes and enforces its cultural diversity classes.
3. That H&M recognizes and understands that ignorant and racial remarks towards H&M customers from H&M employees should never ever be tolerated.
4. That immediate and serious intervention should take place from an H&M manager when a complaint about an H&M employee is made by an H&M customer regarding a racial remark from the H&M employee.
I will not shop at H&M until this is resolved. As a customer, I should be able to go shopping at a retail store without being verbally abused by an employee who uses racial slurs.
please sign the petition and pass the word on... Boycott H&M!!!
just saw this chicago tribune article about the protest. and here's the cbs story and video that aired last night.
i attended the H&M protest today. :)
all the way there, on the metra, the L, the walk, i thought about how it was my turn to pick up the torch that generations of filipinos before me carried and i felt truly empowered. then i got there to find that i was the oldest sistah there. (old fart, much?)
later, some of our "elders" showed up. but i gotta say that after two and a half hours of marching, screaming and sign holding. i am plum tuckered out. and rethinking that whole torch bearing business... maybe i should leave this to the young'uns. ;)
i don't know what the organizers of the protest thought, but i was really happy with the turn out and the energy, positivity and dedication that the protesters brought with them. the majority of the protesters were filipino/asian but there were caucasian, latino and african american protesters too. every once in a while, passersby would stop to see what the protest was about and then actually ask for a sign to help protest.
if you're curious we screamed the following:
"2, 4, 6, 8, H&M discriminates!"
"H&M racist! H&M sexist!"
"What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"
there were about five people near the front door passing out flyers about the protest and i saw how they persuaded customers from shopping there today. unfortunately, we couldn't persuade everyone not to shop at the h&m store. at one point, an older woman (and i could have sworn she was wearing a neck brace) shouted at us that she would never stop shopping at h&m. it was disappointing to see so many women of color shopping there and it was especially heartbreaking to see a handful of asian people walk in to shop.
i haven't heard anything yet about whether or not H&M has taken any action re: their racist *ss employee. our local cbs news crew was there, the local filipino news show, CPR-TV was there, and there were what looked like reporters taking notes and quotes... there were also many video cameras and digital cameras out - hopefully, there will be some youtube videos.
already, pics are posted to flickr here, some are mine even! :)
hopefully, all of our hard work will have paid off. i can't express in words how proud i was to protest alongside such great people.
UPDATE: i just received this comment via my personal blog:
We wanted to post the final arrangements and clarify information regarding the protest in front of H&M on Saturday, October 6th. It will start at 10:00am and last until 11:00am! Media will be contacted and asked to cover the protest from 10:00am - 10:30am. Please meet in front of H&M, 840 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago no later than 9:55am. Who is leading it? Family and friends of Frannie (LosBañes) Richards, there is no specific person or persons. Do we need a permit? NO; just keep moving in sync in a line and do not block the entrance ways of the stores on that block or the street. Please do not disrupt traffic.
The previous tentative message & VIA Times presented a tentative time of 10:00-1:00pm. Because those were tentative times, we are informing you of when the media is informed to be there. We are hoping that you would be able to be there at that time. We apologize for such short notice. We understand that you have busy lives and truly appreciate all the support you have given to us! You are welcome to stay until 1:00pm but most of the people arriving at 10:00am are planning to leave at 11:00am. We were not expecting a huge crowd. Thank you for spreading the word! Please continue to help educate others on how discrimination towards any gender and any race is intolerable and unacceptable. We know you will act civil and that you understand this is a peaceful and informative march.
Thanks again for all your time and support!
Hope to see you there:
October 6th, Saturday
840 North Michigan Ave
Chicago , IL 60611
10:00AM CST-11:00 CST
h&m: the new a&f?
"A Filipino American woman is suing clothing chain H&M on allegations of anti-Asian and sexual harrassment, claiming that on a recent trip to the Magnificent Mile store, employees called her a "mail-order bride" and made fun of her ability to understand English: Woman Says She Was Harassed For Ethnicity At H&M. The Asian American Institute has filed a discrimination complaint with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, seeking redress for Frannie Richards, who says that in addition to the "mail order bride" comments and ridicule of her English, an H&M employee made mocking "ching chong" noises at her. That's racist! And when she complained to management, they refused to do anything about it. What the hell?
Now, this kind of mocking and harrassment is nothing new—we've all had to deal with this crap on some level. It sucks. But this ain't the schoolyard. This is a freakin' clothing store. People should be able to shop in peace without feeling insulted and humiliated like this. It's ridiculous. Here's the Asian American Institute's press release on the incident: Asian American Institute Represents Filipino American Nurse Harassed by H&M Employee.
And here's a Filipino American news report on it up on YouTube: H&M Racist.
I've heard rumors of a protest being planned for this Saturday outside the Magnificent Mile store. If anyone out there has further details about the gathering, let me know."