L’Oréal Fires Its First Trans Model After She Called Out White America’s Racism

By Lilly Workneh, HuffPost Black Voices

L’Oréal Paris has fired its first transgender model to join the brand just days after announcing the partnership.

L’Oréal released a statement on Twitter Friday morning saying the company “champions diversity” but decided to cut ties with Monroe Bergdorf, saying her comments calling out white America’s racism in a recent Facebook post are “at odds” with their values.

Bergdorf received big buzz earlier this week after L’Oreal announced her inclusion in a YouTube video ad for L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation. But Bergdorf’s excitement was short-lived.

Santiago Felipe via Getty Images

By Friday, the company had disavowed comments the model previously made on social media, which surfaced in a report the Daily Mail published on Thursday.

The damning piece blasted Bergdorf over her comments, claiming she wrote that “all white people are racist.” Spectators highlighted how her words had been misrepresented and taken out of context, with some even suggesting that the story was a deliberate attempt to downplay Bergdorf entirely.

Bergdorf’s comments, which call out systemic racism in America and how white people benefit from special privileges, have since been deleted from her Facebook page but have been published elsewhere in full.

“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” Bergdorf reportedly wrote, going on to address the privileges afforded to them. “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 s***.”

“Come see me when you realize that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege,” she added.“Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.”

On Friday morning in the U.K., many expressed outrage with L’Oréal’s decision to denounce Bergdorf’s message, saying it highlights the hypocrisy of the company claiming to be “champions of diversity” while only embracing inclusion for goals driven by profit and actively condemning Bergdorf, a black trans woman, for speaking out about racism ― an issue that impacts people of color most.

“If you truly want equality and diversity, you need to actively work to dismantle the source of what created this discrimination and division in the first place,” she wrote. “You cannot just simply cash in because you’ve realised there’s a hole in the market and that there is money to be made from people of colour who have darker skin tones.”

Read the full article here.

Read about the history of race here.

Read more Breaking News here.

John McEnroe, Serena Williams and the Erasure of Black Female Excellence

By Maiysha Kai, theroot.com

Scott Barbour/Getty Images

“If [Serena] played the men’s circuit, she’d be, like, 700 in the world.” —John McEnroe

“If I were a man, then it wouldn’t be any sort of question.” —Serena Williams

John McEnroe cannot be serious.

He couldn’t seriously think that he could question or attempt to qualify the greatness of the goddess known as Serena Williams—patron saint of tennis and all things badass and Amazonian (seriously, she’s our real-life Wonder Woman)—and not also anticipate that we, the people, would collectively side-eye him and his cheap attempt to promote his new(er) memoir, But Seriously. (His first was appropriately titled You Cannot Be Serious.)…

Is it because her 23 grand-slam singles titles make her the most consistent winner in the sport? She more than triples McEnroe’s seven (not to mention her four Olympic gold medals, to his zero); Roger Federer has 18….

And while I personally think that asking him to qualify “female” was both a ridiculous question and a bit of a setup by NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, he stupidly took the bait. Or, rather, he stepped in it, when he not only decided to compare Williams with a man (how original), but also claimed that she would rank 700th if she were one….

(Photo: Getty)

McEnroe is likely too arrogant and oblivious to consider how his stance upholds a long tradition of white, male-centric supremacy. In fact, he claims to be called a “feminist” by his daughter and continues to rightly insist that Williams is the best woman ever to play the sport. (Thanks, Captain Obvious.) But he isn’t blind to the nuances of how race and gender affect perception, even acknowledging inequities in the criticism of Williams’ sportsmanship versus his own in a 2013 interview with CNN:

Serena’s way better than I am (in terms of keeping her temper). There’s no comparison. I think she’s held herself and she’s needed to—obviously being a woman and, second, being looked at closer because she’s black; so I think she’s got a couple strikes against her before she even starts….

As an acquaintance on one social media thread remarked, Williams’ very presence there reminds us: “Black skin matters. Black babies matter. Black mothers matter.”

Yes, it is the audacity that makes them uncomfortable.

Read the full story here.

Read more Breaking News here.