“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Standing up and speaking out so YOUR voice can be heard isn’t always an easy thing, especially when it’s done alone, but that’s exactly what Raury, 21 year-old Atlanta musician, did last week during the final walk of Dolce & Gabbana’s Milan Mens Fashion Week fashion show.
When I came across the image of Raury holding his right first in the air during a fashion show with “PROTEST D&G”, “GIVE ME FREEDOM”, and “I AM NOT YOUR SCAPEGOAT”, I was immediately curious to know the back story and there’s actually two. I’ve done my research for the full story but I’m just going to get to the point here and leave you guys the link to my main source.
If you didn’t know already, amongst all of the major brands that deliberately aren’t, Dolce & Gabbana are proudly dressing Melania Trump, y’all current FLOTUS. Upon learning this, non-Trump supporters were angered and of course spoke out. D&G’s response to this was to release a $245 t-shirt that reads “#BOYCOTT DOLCE & GABBANA” with an image of a heart underneath (with #dgfamily on the back) and go create a commercial of young people protesting the brand in the shirts. Basically, D&G were trolling the people speaking out by mocking them.
Fast forward to the day before the show: Upon arriving to Milan, Raury (as well as all of the other millennial models) had no prior knowledge of D&G proudly dressing Melania Trump, the $245 t-shirt, or the mock-protest commercial. He didn’t find out until the day before the show when researching the designers to be able to tell them apart when he met them. Raury isn’t a Trumo supporter clearly and he didn’t want to be associated with anyone who supported him or anyone associated Cwith him. D&G were mocking the people speaking out against their brand and that’s something else Raury was again. Our ancestors protested and boycotted and their actions paved the way for so many doors to be open for us. If it weren’t for them, the opportunity wouldn’t have even been there for Raury to be in that very show. D&G mocking something so serious and something that gives people a voice to fight for what they believe in is disrespectful and disgraceful. Conflicted with the fact that he might not be asked to work with any other fashion brands, Raury weighed pros and cons and decided that it really didn’t matter when it came down to his voice being misinterpreted by silence.
On the day of the show, the models were asked to wear the $245 t-shirts, to make Snaps in them, and to speak about how much the supported the brand. Raury refused. Before the show, he pulled some friends aside to asked them to joking his protest and they declined. One of them even said that it’s just be him vs. a giant corporation and it wouldn’t be a smart move.
Raury spoke out ALONE. He used is platform and this opportunity to let his voice be heard. We honestly need more young people, like Raury, to use their platforms and followings to speak out on truth. Sometimes there’s not always a movement to back you up either. Sometimes you have to do what is right because it’s what is right and you have the power to change things.
D&G uses their mellenial models. Knowing that they had no knowledge of what was going on, they took their voice from them before they even know they were suppose to have one. I want to hear the opinions of any of the other models from the show. I want to hear the D&G’s reaction to this. A shirt with Raury on it this time?
What do you think about Raury’s protest? Agree or disagree? What would you have done if you were in his place? Speak out or remain silent? How do you feel about Dolce & Gabbana after these two controversial moments they were behind?
Link to Article Further Explaining the Protest: Raury Explains Why He Protested Dolce & Gabbana From the Runway