We’ve come so far, yet obviously not far enough. According to an article on Parlour Magazine, Dutch fashion magazine Jackie thought it would be funny to offer its readers advice on how to dress like Bajan princess Rihanna without looking like, what they described as the “ultimate niggerbitch.”
Pause for dramatic soaking in of the ignorance
A quick translation of the article reads:
“She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren’t like Jamaican ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.”
Excuse me? “Niggabitch.” “Ghetto ass.” Even a journalism newbie could find more appropriate ways to “joke” about Rihanna and her style without being blatantly racist and offensive. Also, do Jackie readers even listen to Rihanna in their office, because Jamaica and Barbados are two totally different countries. Google much? Where were the folks who were supposed to be doing the editing and approving, how did this slip by them?
Clearly somebody dropped the ball and after the uproar Jackie Editor-in-Chief Eva Hoeke decided to post an apology on the magazine’s Facebook page:
First: thanks for all your responses. We are of course very fed up over this and especially very
shocked. However I’m glad that we’re engaging in a dialogue on this page — not everybody does
that. Thanks for this. Other than that I can be brief about this: this should have never happened.
Period. While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least. And that slipped through my, the editor-in-chief’s, fingers. Stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned. The author has been addressed on it, and now I can only ensure that these terms will no longer end up in the magazine. Furthermore I hope that you all believe there was absolutely no racist motive behind the choice of words. It was stupid, it was naive to think that this was an acceptable form of slang — you hear it all the time on tv and radio, then your idea of what is normal apparently shifts — but it was especially misguided: there was no malice behind it. We make our magazine with love, energy and enthusiasm, and it can sometimes happen that someone is out of line. And then you can only do one thing: apologize. And hope that others wish to accept it.
From the bottom of my heart I say it again: we never intended to offend anyone. And I mean that.
I’m sorry, but anyone calling themselves an “Editor-in-Chief” should have the good sense and moral integrity to know that in 2011 calling anyone, famous or not, a “niggabitch” or any other offensive and derogatory name is simply not okay and to refer to it as a joke just shows you what their stance really is.
What do think about the article?