Crazed mobs of people belonging to a militant socialist political party called the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spent Saturday morning vandalizing H&M stores at malls across South Africa over a monkey sweatshirt advertisement that the internet deemed to be “racist.”
The EFF is currently the third-largest party in both houses of the South African parliament.
That @hm nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism. All rational people should agree that the store should not be allowed to continue operating in South Africa. Well done to Fighters who physically confronted racism. pic.twitter.com/cgdedYGoOj
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) January 13, 2018
A declaration from the EFF states that the party “draws inspiration from the broad Marxist–Leninist tradition and Fanonian schools of thought in their analyses of the state, imperialism, culture and class contradictions in every society.”
The party has been repeatedly accused of racism against people who are not black.
“We [the EFF] are not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now,” the group’s president, Julius Malema, said during a political rally in 2016.
Malema has previously been convicted of hate speech for repeatedly singing “dubul’ ibhunu”, which translates to “shoot the boer [white farmer].” White farmers in South Africa are currently being murdered at a rate that many are deeming to be genocide.
The group is confirmed to have targeted stores in Sandton City, Menlyn and Mall of the South — and are believed to be planning to attack more.
Sandton City H&M. Right now!!! EFF boycotting "monkey" sweater. pic.twitter.com/wjjQCM9IAq
— Buhle Manyathi (@B_Manyathi) January 13, 2018
The destruction was over an advertisement by the company in which a young black child was wearing a sweatshirt that read, “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
Following backlash over the image being deemed “racist” the company apologized and removed the image from all of their platforms. They also pulled the sweatshirt from their shelves and have said that they will be recycling them.
That wasn’t good enough for socialists however — corrections and apologies are never enough.
[JUST IN] Protests at H&M Sandton City by EFF members. Video from eNCA's @YashPaddy pic.twitter.com/qRy63ilRNj
— eNCA (@eNCA) January 13, 2018
Terry Mango, the mother of the child model has also begged people to stop protesting the stores and “crying wolf.” She was present at the photo shoot and saw no issue with the slogan.
“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled,” Mango wrote. “Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here… get over it.”