The media creates a damaging image of Black youth and this portrayal leads to draconian laws such as the1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, signed by then President Bill Clinton. 20 years later, we are still seeing the effects. So it would be reasonable to assume, a corporation like T.J. Maxx and Levi would not perpetrate or be complicit in furthering the stereotypes, that lead to unjust laws and negative outcomes.
I thought the same thing, until I seen this picture.
The old racial stereotypes and practices will continue, if we do not call them out. And that is exactly what I did this morning via social media. Within, 30 minutes I received the following response from T.J. Maxx.
The essence of our youth are more than gangsters and lawless individuals. The sociopolitical forces of the dominate society wants us to believe the false narrative, while the police force has become marauding invaders in our community that unjustly imprison millions for petty crimes or no crime at all.
In closing, I will say, I don’t know if this is an old photo that resurfaced or not, but what I do know is we all have a voice to combat the negative images and stereotypes. Let’s use it! Our youth can be our fate or our future!