Racist Dutch Fashion Magazine Rescinds Apology for Rihanna ‘Ultimate Niggabitch’ Piece

A slow news cycle combined with ugly and abhorrent language means it’s been impossible to miss the story of Jackie, the Dutch fashion magazine that published a piece declaring Rihanna the “ultimate niggabitch,” complete with a handy shopping guide. Now, the publisher says no apology is necessary, especially since an entire staff of “mixed origins” signed off on the racial slur.

Screenshot via Parlour Magazine

Lest you get hung up on the offensive title, the article itself goes on to describe Rihanna’s “ghetto ass,”  and reference Jamaican winters. Because obviously there’s no difference between Jamaica and Barbados (the Caribbean country Rihanna is actually from) when it comes to “niggabitch” shopping guides.

After Eva Hoeke, who was editor-in-chief of the article, got a collective tap on the shoulder from the internet to let her know that racial slurs are a touch inappropriate these days, she issued a half apology on the magazine’s Facebook page.

Translated, it read:

While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least. And that slipped through my, the editor-in-chief’s, fingers. Stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned…

Furthermore I hope that you all believe there was absolutely no racist motive behind the choice of words. It was stupid, it was naive to think that this was an acceptable form of slang — you hear it all the time on tv and radio, then your idea of what is normal apparently shifts — but it was especially misguided: there was no malice behind it.

Well, that explains it! It was a joke! And of all the slang terms they could have chosen, the writer just happened to choose one which is highly offensive to black people when describing a black woman. And why would you assume there’s a racist motive when the article includes “ghetto” asses and Jamaicans?

Shockingly, Rihanna was indeed offended, found the whole thing racist, and issued a delightfully unfiltered, non-PR response on Twitter:

“I hope u can read english, because your magazine is a poor representation of the evolution of human rights! I find you disrespectful, and rather desperate!! You ran out of legit, civilized information to print! There are 1000’s of Dutch girls who would love to be recognized for their contributions to your country, you could have given them an article. Instead, u paid to print one degrading an entire race! That’s your contribution to this world! To encourage segregation, to mislead the future leaders to act in the past! You put two words together, with the intent of abasement, that made no sense…”NIGGA BITCH”?!….Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you…FUCK YOU!!!” –Rihanna

After speaking with publisher Yves Gijrath, Eva Hoeke responded by resigning and issuing an even sillier justification: it’s America’s fault! Cue the world’s tiniest violins.

“The term ‘niggabitch’ came from America and we solely used it to describe a style of dress. […] I regret that I have taken a stand too quickly regarding an article in Jackie – which moreover had no racial motive at its basis. Through the course of events, me and the publisher have concluded that because my credibility is now affected, it is better for all parties if I quit my function as editor-in-chief effective immediately. After putting my heart and soul into for Jackie for eight years, I realize that these errors – although not intented maliciously – are enough reason for leaving.” – Eva Hoeke, former editor-in-chief, Jackie

Putting aside the fact that “niggabitch” is hardly an American pop culture term anywhere, even if the words make it into some songs individually, how is the racism not apparent when the term was reserved exclusively for a black woman with a “ghetto ass,” from some island (can’t be bothered to look that up) with black people? It wouldn’t have been any less offensive if it were directed towards Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, who also wear brightly colored, revealing, somewhat crazy costumes, but it wasn’t. And that seems to make things pretty black and white.

And while that should be the end of this, it isn’t.

Today, publisher Yves Gijrath clarified that Hoeke’s real mistake was not in throwing out a racist term that she at best did not know the meaning of, but in failing to defend their ignorance of using an offensive term they purportedly did not realize was offensive.

“[T]here is nothing wrong in the magazine. [Hoeke] presented it as a joke, but it most certainly was not a joke. It was an interpretation [of a fashion style]. […] She should have said: “we did not realize this interpretation is such a touchy subject. We never meant any harm and offer our sincere and upright apologies.” But because of all the fuss, Eva started to wiggle in all directions, and therefore we have come to the conclusion her credibility has been undermined.” – Yves Gijrath

{Translated quote via Jezebel}

Additionally, all these racism allegations are completely off base since “Jackie is even produced by an editorial staff that is of mixed origins.”

So there you have it. Jackie is a (racist) magazine produced by a (racist) editorial staff of various origins (nice that they can all unite around their shared ignorance), with a (racist) publisher whose head is so far up his (racist) non-ghetto ass that it’s all your fault that you got all touchy and weird over his (racist and offensive) interpretation of a pop singer’s fashion style. Nevermind that in spite of the fact that said pop star shares a style similar to many non-black pop singers, she was the only one described with this term. The previous editor may have started to realize that the (racist and offensive) article was indeed racist and not appropriate, and they prefer their (racist) staff members to stand firm and proud of the (racist and ignorant) content they produce.

Read the last paragraph with the parenthetical inclusions if you’d like the reality check version appropriate for 2011 (not 1911) of this whole, pathetic, mess.


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