Jeffree Star released a video titled “Racism” a little over 2 weeks ago and the online Youtube-focused sphere lost its shit. As things have calmed, I have decided to voice my opinion.
Disclaimer: I have not watched the video and do not intend. Instead I read a detailed summary.
I personally believe in actions over words, and the actions and words of J* tell me that he isn’t actually sorry and hasn’t changed his views. I have never given him my money or views, and despite his apology video, I NEVER will. I come from a diverse heritage but identify and present most heavily as Black. As a Black female, I am not going to accept an apology from a racist and I do not have. Nothing redeems a racist to me.
Racism is not pedantic. Racism isn’t just saying “I hate black people”. Racism exists in subtle forms. Every White person in society built to benefit them based on an uncontrollable factor such as skin color is to some degree, even subconsciously, racist (i.e., implicitly biased) due to being raised in a racist society. Saying “I’m not racist” ignores that implicit bias, and ignores that J* snapchatted/tweeted/said those things because of racism. It also ignores that J*’s displays a particular brand of racism that targets Black women especially.
Frankly, I do not consider him to be sincerely sorry. I think he is business professional who has realised that the conversations about his racism and cyberbullying are detrimental to his business.
I understand a lot of people, especially White, are willing to overlook his behavior because his brand’s products are cruelty free and vegan, but there are lots of cruelty free brands you can support. I know J* can be thought of as radical because he does not conform to gender stereotypes but after all of his racism, classism, transphobia and misogyny it’s apparent he’s a garden variety racist and sexist white man wearing makeup.
I would like to think the point of buying cruelty free & vegan products is to buy more ethically. Therefore, it seems pretty backwards to buy a product that isn’t tested on animals but lining the pockets of a terrible individual. There is no acceptable excuse to me when there are so many other options in the currently saturated makeup market.
It literally takes no effort to ignore one person’s videos or not buy their products. You make a conscious effort to take the time out of your day to watch or buy. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who willingly supports by watching, buying or just ignoring what has occurred because of a desire to keep politics separated from makeup/your hobby is racist and sexist, or at the very least complicent.