#BlackWomenAreGorgeous has been trending on Twitter, and at first, lots of us were celebrating the hashtag as a recognition of chocolate beauty. Turns out, though, that the person behind the movement is getting called out for being a hypocrite.
Russell Schiller, a white 20-year-old HBCU student, said he started the hashtag after growing frustrated with white celebrities like Kylie Jenner appropriating Black culture and style. “I thought it was only right to start something that all people can see where the credit belongs and how truly beautiful this culture is," he said in an interview with Beyond Black and White. "It’s a true passion of mine. I really love black women. They are the standard for beauty, in my opinion.”
Sounds great, right? Well, somebody dug through Schiller's old tweets and found that he has a history of appropriation, himself. Looks like Schiller has a habit of liberally using the n-word on Twitter and, we're guessing, elsewhere.
Schiller received quite a bit of positive press before he was exposed as a hypocrite and while a few are springing to Schiller's defense for using the terminology, some of the "gorgeous Black women" he claims to love so much are deeply offended. One woman shared her outrage, even reposting several instances of him using the n-word on Twitter (if you click on her tweet below, you can see the screen grabs of Russell's problematic tweets for yourself. Due to the profanity we can't repost it here, and it looks like he's since deleted them. Let us know if you're cool with his use of the N-word in the comments):
According to Beyond Black and White, Schiller grew up in a predominately Black neighborhood and then went to Howard University, which we guess he thinks gives him some kind of pass. He appears to have started the hashtag to profit off of Black women for his photography business.
Like Rachel Dolezal, Chet Haze and countless other cultural appropriators, looks like Schiller took his "love" for the community a bit too far. So, is Schiller an ally or an appropriator?
Schiller has released a statement and apology regarding the discovery of his use of the n-word. "First and foremost I would like to apologize to any and every single person I may have offended based on my actions and/or tweets," he writes. "The #BlackWomenAreGorgeous campaign is a campaign created from a genuine place...created to help bring more attention to an already growing movement of recognizing and appreciating strength and independence black women exude."
Read the rest of the apology here:
Are we buying his apology?
(Photo: Russell Schiller via Twitter)