Several black women have posed for the September covers of top fashion magazines — including Beyoncé for Vogue, Rihanna for British Vogue, and Lupita Nyong’o for Porter — ushering in what many have called an inspiring and long-overdue push for diversity.
James is one of those cheering on this celebration of women of color. The newly minted Laker and I Promise School founder took to Instagram to share new covers featuring the likes of Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, and the cast of Pose.
Many of the cover stars featured — including Tracee Ellis Ross, Zendaya, and Yara Shahidi — responded to his tribute with heart and praise emoji, while comedian King Keraun commented, “Ain’t black beautiful.”
The post has more than 437,000 likes — and countless comments expressing love for fashion giving black women their due. Amid all this positivity, however, several commenters found James’s post to be “racist,” because it excluded white women.
“We are all equal, so yes it is racist to say nothing is more beautiful than a colored woman when in reality each person is just as equal as each other,” one offended commenter wrote.
“Sounds racist to me,” chimed in a troll. “Shut up and dribble, LeBron.”
“What about white women?” added a follower.
“I’m proud to be white,” read another comment. “I’m just as powerful, influential, and beautiful as any other woman. We are all equal.”
Others tried to reason with the critics, explaining that James’s post was about elevating women of color, not attacking white women.
“Let me explain this to those who are getting upset,” one woman wrote. “For hundreds of years, white women were praised and raised that they were better than women of color. People of color have been enslaved, tortured, and continued to be treated as unequal. The injustice they encounter daily is very real, painful, and [has] long been ignored.
“Speaking as a white woman, it empowers me to see women of all colors being celebrated as strong. Women of all colors are powerful and strong. We, as women, have the power to change this world, this country. We start by supporting each other. Much love, @kingjames.”
“Dear white people: We say ‘black lives matter,’ you say ‘all lives matter,'” added another James supporter. “We say ‘colored women are powerful,’ you say ‘all women are powerful.’ For once, stop trying to devalue our culture and our feelings. You’re forever trying to take take take from us. You’re literally the only people on earth who do this to other races. The s*** is tiring.”
James hasn’t responded to the backlash and is letting the September covers speak for themselves.
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