h&m: the new a&f?

A Filipino American woman is suing clothing chain H&M on allegations of anti-Asian and sexual harrassment, claiming that on a recent trip to the Magnificent Mile store, employees called her a "mail-order bride" and made fun of her ability to understand English: Woman Says She Was Harassed For Ethnicity At H&M. The sian American Institute has filed a discrimination complaint with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, seeking redress for Frannie Richards, who says that in addition to the "mail order bride" comments and ridicule of her English, an H&M employee made mocking "ching chong" noises at her. That's racist! And when she complained to management, they refused to do anything about it. What the hell?

Now, this kind of mocking and harrassment is nothing new—we've all had to deal with this crap on some level. It sucks. But this ain't the schoolyard. This is a freakin' clothing store. People should be able to shop in peace without feeling insulted and humiliated like this. It's ridiculous. Here's the Asian American Institute's press release on the incident: Asian American Institute Represents Filipino American Nurse Harassed by H&M Employee. And here's a Filipino American news report on it up on YouTube: H&M Racist.

I've heard rumors of a protest being planned for this Saturday outside the Magnificent Mile store. If anyone out there has further details about the gathering, let me know.

UPDATE: There is indeed a protest happening this Saturday, October 6th, at 10:00am in front H&M on 840 N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It's being organized by family and friends of Frannie Richards. For more information, and to see how you can help out, contact a.charlenehaze@gmail.com. They need folks to help direct movement, work with media, be responsible for signs and chants, and distribute flyers... and just generally give H&M hell. Be there!

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