Store Faces Backlash After Using #BlackFridaysMatter In Email Promotion

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Canadian clothing boutique issued an apology after many criticized its use of #BlackFridaysMatter in an email promotion.

The boutique, called The Serpentine, started an email promotion using #BlackFridaysMatter, a spin off of #BlackLivesMatter, reports The Huffington Post Canada.

The boutique sent out emails with the subject line#BLACKFRIDAYSMATTER.

“All Sales Can’t Matter Until Black Friday Sales Matter,” the email went on. “Mobilize Locally. Support Globally. 20-40% in store only. Friday Nov 25th-Sunday Nov 27th.”

It also included a picture of what looks like a civil right protest with the hashtag in the middle of the photo. The shop posted the picture on its Instagram account three times before removing it.

“We’re not going to address something so stupid. It’s not any kind of ploy to sell clothing. We sell the highest end brands in the city and we have great customers, black, white, Chinese, Indian, every culture,” Paul, a man who identified as the store’s owner, told Vice when asked about the email.

Paul also pointed out that the other owner of the store, Stephen, is black. The people criticizing the ad, Paul said, are just trying to find the worst in everything.

The Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter expressed outrage over the email promotion, calling it “very disappointing.”

“This is not a joking matter. Our movement is not something to be made fun of. This is a matter of life and death for many people. This is a matter of basic human rights,” Hashim Yussuf, a Black Lives Matter – Toronto member, said.

The store issued an apology for the email promotion and said that the hashtag was meant to be a “play on words.”

“The post was purely intended to reference the droves of people that shop for deals this coming Friday. The post was a play on words not meant to disrespect anyone or any group,” the statement read.

Some people felt that the statement did not apologize properly for using the hashtag.

“This was the Serpentine’s apology. This is not how you do it,” one person wrote.

“Nope. You did not apologize. You explained. You justified. Read your ‘apology.’ Then apologize,” another person said.

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