With all the racist crap we seem to be bombarded with in popular culture lately (we’re talking to you, Katy Perry), here’s something that gave us hope.
It all started with Gap’s holiday ads with the theme of “Make Love.” One of the ads features actor and jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia, who happens to be Sikh. When New York photographer Robert Gerhardt forwarded a photo of the Gap poster outside a New York City subway that had been defaced with “Please stop driving taxis” and “Make bombs” instead of “Make Love” to Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor at the Islamic Monthly, Iftikhar tweeted the photo and it went viral.
Soon enough, the Gap took notice and not only replied to the tweet (“Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM (direct message) us? We’d like to know the location of this.”), it also immediately changed its Twitter banner photo to the Ahluwalia ad. A new Facebook page even popped up — “GAP, Thank you for featuring a Sikh model in your ‘Make Love’ campaign” — with hundreds of comments in support. One person tweeted, “Hey @Gap I just holiday shopped w/you because of yr anti-racist support of #Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia!”
“As the year 2014 inches closer to us, I want to live in an America where a fashion model can be a handsome, bearded brown dude in a turban,” Iftikhar wrote in an article on the Daily Beast yesterday. Amen.