Virgil Abloh Apologizes For Insensitive Comments Amid Black Lives Matter Protests
Text: Dylan Kelly
Virgil Abloh has come forward to apologize for his remarks amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, spurred by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police last Monday.
Yesterday, Abloh posted a video to his own Instagram of the Round Two vintage store in Los Angeles after it was looted, writing, “Case & point # 81 why I said ‘streetwear’ is dead.”Further, the visionary posted a photo of destroyed art pieces at Chicago’s Fat Tiger workshop with a caption reading, “Our own communities, our own shops … this shop was built with blood sweat and tears.”
Abloh’s comments, on top of a tweet of his donation of only $50 to Miami’s Fempower, an organization dedicated to bailing out protesters, received mass backlash across social media as many questioned his priorities regarding the protests.
In response, Abloh took to Twitter to write: “As a black person, I have felt anger, sadness, and pain every time one of us is held victim of prejudice or systemic racism. I am proud to stand in solidarity with every movement to eradicate racism and police violence. Racism has to stop. It is literally killing us.”
He continues, “I feel sick that George Floyd and generations of black people have been unjustly killed by police. Every police officer involved in their deaths needs to be charged and convicted. UNEQUIVOCALLY. We, the people of the world, should protest however we see fit.”
The creative went on to address his Instagram comments, saying, “I apologise that my comments yesterday appeared as if my main concerns are anything other than full solidarity with my movements against police violence, racism, and inequality. I want to update all systems that don’t address our current needs. It has been my personal MO in every realm I touch.”
“As many have said, buildings are brick and mortar and material things can be replaced, people can’t,” he says. “Black lives matter. In this moment, those other things don’t.”
“People who criticise ‘looting’ often do so as a way to make it seem like our fight against injustice isn’t legitimate. I did not realise the ways my comments accidentally contributed to that narrative. If looting eases pain and furthers the overall mission, it is within good standing with me.”
He further addressed his $50 donation to Fempower, claiming it was part of a social media chain where friends matched each other’s donations. “I can understand your frustration if you think my contributions were limited to $50. Purely false when it comes to the total. I have donated $20,500 to bail funds and other causes related to this movement,” he explained.
“I will continue to donate more and will continue to use my voice to urge my peers to do the same. I was on the fence about publicising total dollar amounts because I didn’t want to look like I’m glorifying only higher amounts or that I want to be applauded for it,” he writes.
“In this case, my hesitation led to false assumptions on my personal spending. I encourage everyone to band together to match funds of their own proportion, regardless of what you have. Every dollar counts,” he finishes.
Read the full post, below.
— virgil abloh (@virgilabloh) June 1, 2020