Letter to the Editor: Race based fashion isn’t in this year

General Opinion Graphic

Christian Wagner, Kinesiology major

I was disappointed to read many of the beliefs voiced by Darius Northern in the article: “Identifying with fashion”. I applaud the creativity and commitment to justice displayed by Northern, but I think he falls victim to dangerous ideas that undermine his positive message.

Northern’s brand “People of Color” sets up an unhealthy dichotomy that stems from racial essentialism. Blackness and whiteness as prevailing ideas originate in the plantation era and directly lend themselves to the kind of us v.s. them thinking that allowed racism and slavery to exist.

Instead of opposing this pernicious narrative, Northern plays into it. He states that he wants to “make something for us” and that selling his products to caucasians “just didn’t feel right”. By marginalizing people based on their skin tone, Northern unintentionally justifies the horrible ideas of white separatists like Andrew Oswalt, confirming their narrative of race essentialism.

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It is up to the good people of our community like Darius Northern and the members of the Barometer to stop feeding the bad actors like Oswalt emboldening narratives. Regardless of your skin tone or country of origin, it is time to stop playing the game of racial separatism.

Christian Wagner

Kinesiology Student