The headline in this morning’s NY Post was pretty clear. John Galliano has some serious chutzpah coming back to NYC to design after making some pretty awful slurs about Jews in recent years. The slurs were so bad that Natalie Portman severed her then ties to Christian Dior, the fashion house he designed for. It wasn’t the usual cheap-Jew, big-nose-Jew slurs we’ve all grown accustomed to from the time we’re children. It was siding with Hitler and suggesting we all should’ve been gassed that left a fairly bitter taste on kosher (and not so kosher) tongues worldwide. As a proud Jew, these things shocked me, but as a friend to just about every culture out there I was even more surprised that this level of intolerance is still tolerated. If Galliano made the same slur about my Asian friends, he’d likely have a good billion or so people boycotting his work (me included), or if the comment was made about African Americans you know his designs for Oscar de la Renta would never grace our first lady again.
I was quoted in the article in the NY Post saying that I’d steer clear of buying De la Renta while Galliano is there, but is that enough? What’s the right way to stand up to prejudice without becoming just as intolerant as the offender? I stand by my statement in the paper, but after several intense tweets at me this morning on my @brycegruber handle, I’m left wondering if there’s a way to please both sides. Can you stand up to an intolerant bully without becoming one yourself?
I’d love everyone’s opinions and thoughts on this one!