Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Urban Outfitters' "New Black" Eye

Adopted children are not trendy accessories. Not fashion items. Not fads.

They are our hearts.

To URBAN OUTFITTERS, they are the butt of a cruel joke:


ADOPTING IS THE NEW BLACK

Ha ha. Sadly, most people don't hang with Angelina and Madonna, so they won't get the joke. Who will "experience" this fine foray into humor are adopted kids and their parents. They will be the ones who get the "pleasure" of being demeaned, of having their bond trivialized. Adopted kids are already prone to feeling like they don't really "belong". Imagine the "fun" of having their peers wearing these shirts which suggest that their parents acted not out of love but out of a desire to be "trendy" or "hip". How "cool" to have your existence equated to a Birkin bag, a Louis Vuitton or Ugg boots! And for adoptive parents, how "irreverent" to suggest that your child is a commodity, obtained thoughtlessly, for the purpose of self-aggrandizement and status.

What makes this all the more disgusting is that the founder, Chairman and President of the company, Richard A. Hayne, is a staunch supporter of a "family values" politician, Rick Santorum. I would love to know how the above T-shirt fits with Santorum's Christian beliefs and "pro-family" stance.

Evidently, Richard Hayne's idea of valuable customers don't extend to adoptees or adoptive families. Other customers Haynes decided not to value include those of Mexican descent, Jewish people and African-Americans. The store has featured shirts with the slogans "New Mexico, Cleaner Than Regular Mexico" and "Everybody Love a Jewish Girl" (the slogan was surrounded by dollar signs, showing that Shylock is alive and well in this century) and the board game GHETTOPOLY , which, I'm sure, had a very realistic portrayal of black, urban life.

Oddly, given his politics, he also decided it was cool to sell a magnet set in which one could play "dress up" with an image of a crucified Jesus... put him in a nice hat and a dress, for example.

I think we need to inform Richard Hayne that our children are not accessories.

Please join me in calling, writing and emailing Mr. Hayne to communicate our feelings on the way he chooses to make money:

Richard A. Hayne
Chairman of the Board of Directors and President

Urban Outfitters, Inc.
1809 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

richard.hayne@urbanout.com

Tel: 215-564-2313

Fax: 215-568-1549

PLEASE PASS THIS POST ALONG TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO CAN HELP TAKE ACTION!

68 comments:

abebech said...

Thanks so much for stopping by newflowerblooms, and thanks for providing the direct contact information. So much more effective than emailing customer service, I'll bet.

Kristi C. said...

Great work on this issue. I've also contacted UO, and have forwarded the info on to everyone I know, many of whom have already written in as well. Thank you for your updates!

Swerl said...

Thanks for caring!

Amy said...

Swerl, I sent an email! Thanks for doing the work for us.

haze said...

Thanks Swerl, I've emailed Hayne and the customer service.

blondie said...

Good on you for letting the blogging community know about this disgusting company and it's unscrupulous attempt to make money at the expense of those who choose to make their families through adoption and the kids themselves.

In Australia, we don't have "Urban Outfitters" and I am glad. I just hope they never make it down under. I will tell everyone I know to email UO and get the message across that this isd unacceptable.

Lorraine Woodward said...

I understand your outrage--but I also understand (though I don't condone) the reasoning behind this phrase. I think that the shirt is looking more to attack those "trendy" celebrities who are all adopting because it's the "thing to do" in the moment. I didn't at all take it as something to oppose your average mom and dad from Peoria who choose to adopt . . .

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