Here’s a recent letter we were forwarded from Dwight McBride, author of Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch: Essays On Race and Sexuality.
I am 26 year-old male from southern California. I earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2007. After graduation, I worked as a substitute teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District while looking for full-time employment related to my educational background. For the last nine months, I’ve had a difficult time landing a job and found employment with Abercrombie & Fitch working as a Manager In Training (MIT) just after the new year. A close friend of mine was already working as an MIT with their Hollister brand and thought it would be an opportunity for me to financially stabilize myself until I found another job more suitable to my needs. While I was aware of their discrimination issues, a need for money forced me to take the job and I was hired on the spot…literally (they needed Black folk).
Going to work was an everyday struggle for my friend and I, two conscious Black men who saw through all of the BS. Two weeks into my tenure, my friend departed the company having found a much better opportunity. Things for me got even harder at the store as time passed because I knew their entire operation was based on glamorizing the white-male, “beefcake” image. It was as if I aided in the encouragement of white-male supremacy by selling the Hollister product. After two and a half months, I couldn’t take it anymore. This past Monday, three hours into my shift, I walked off the job. It was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done! That evening, while visiting my girlfriend at her apartment, I came across some of her sister’s text books. Her sister, who studied Sociology as an undergrad, had a copy of Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch on her bookshelf with other books from her undergraduate days. I was beside myself when I saw it and began reading the essay.
I am unemployed now, but I am happy. Everything happens for a reason. Learning of your text sure made me feel good about my decision.