A recent editorial that appeared on Complex’s website took aim at the heritage-inspired menswear trend that has been popular over the past few years. The author, James Harris, makes the claim that by buying into this slice of menswear you are consequently buying into everything that existed at the time the manufacturing techniques or textile production or whatever else that is being repurposed, originated – including all forms of racism and bigotry. His words put it best: "My problem with Americana and heritage clothing is that this harking back to the goodol’ days implies that all aspects of that society were positive."
Oh. According to Harris' reasoning, my high school English Lit teacher, who taught Faulkner, must have also just LOVED the Jim Crow Laws. The line between Harris being Actually Confused and Intellectually Dishonest is especially blurry here.
His logic is essentially thus:
You know that raw denim you love because it’s easy to wear and looks good? Well, the looms that helped create your jeans were manufactured at a time in America in which SOME FORM OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE EXISTED. Oh you knew that? RACIST!
Mr. Harris gets so wrapped up in his thesis (i.e. everything that occurred before 1980 should be forgotten because of the social injustices of the time. (Wait, but then we had the crack epidemic and AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s. So, let’s not “romanticize” those either. Basically, anything pre-2000 is off-limits. But wait, gays still can’t get married, and so, let’s not count the 2000’s either. And that leaves us with…)) that he poses the following question to the reader - "Would you go back and admire the durable stitching on a black man’s trousers as police dogs are turned upon him for peacefully protesting?"
SERIOUSLY, dude? Hyperbole and insincere appeals-to-emotion aside, this is such an extreme logical reach that it is actually impossible to debate without getting second-handedly embarrassed. The author cannot possibly believe that when menswear aficionados opine over the superior manufacturing on a pair of pants that they also secretly wish to return to a pre-Civil Rights America. Do better, Complex. Seriously.
Read the rest of James Harris’s tirade against logic and also clothing here.