In the 21st century,a fresh wave of consumerism has taken over. People are desperate for the newest fashion trend or newest gadget. Along with it, a new wave of rebellion has washed over Western culture almost parallel to that of the 60’s and 70’s. Oddly enough, the media does not often cover the impact of the clashing of the two generational waves. Madison Van Oort explains the mingling of the two in her writing piece Shut it Down!
What’s shown in the news way more often than not today, is the “violence” of the Black Lives Matter movement. Combined with the already obscene and vulgar language of rap music today, it is clear to see why someone’s idea of the black community could follow the guidelines of “violent, obsessed with high priced clothing, and uneducated.” However, what they rarely ever pick up on is the piece that Van Oort crafts about her experience in the middle of protestors and fashion stores. On top of accounts of direct and indirect racism from store representatives, people of color tend to be on the exploited end of Western fashion trends. Holidays such as Black Friday are great targets, as Van Oort points out, for black protestors to make their statements. Black people have always been on the bad side of consumerism. We buy super expensive clothing, but instead of being acknowledged for being able to afford like everybody else, there is always suspicion or harassment. Unfortunately, black people have gotten sucked into capitalism and consumerism as deep as they were meant to. Coming from a place of no money and having to endure years of having nice things being dangled over your head and told, “if you work hard enough you can get it too,” but not seeing the end of the deal, is frankly hard to overcome. From this exact stance has BLM pushed back on the fashion industry. Blacks being the top fashion consumer in the country, fashion companies have definitely attempted to turn the appeal towards the task of trendsetting this new black generation has put on its shoulders.