It was inevitable I suppose. Many of the more vocal critics of American Apparel come from the nether regions of the political spectrum. They make it a point to take a company that successfully runs its business in an undeniably progressive manner, to task for not being sufficiently progressive.
How is American Apparel progressive? Twenty percent of their garments are produced using organic cotton with plans to increase that to 80%. A significant part of the factory’s electricity comes from a massive array of rooftop solar panels. American Apparel employees receive wages and benefits that are significantly higher than those enjoyed by others in the industry, even when compared to Union shops. Employees can also get free bicycles with which to commute to work. I could go on and on.
And how is American Apparel not progressive? They’re not unionized. American Apparel offered to allow the employees to vote on unionization but the Union refused to accept the offer knowing that they would be trounced. The mostly Latino work force work hard for their money and are not exactly clamoring to give up a chunk of their pay check to a union that couldn’t possibly give them any more benefits than they already enjoy. They are also distrustful of a labor movement that has traditionally sought to exclude Latinos from the labor market. Their ads are too sexy. Uh… these people have clearly not opened up a fashion magazine in a long time. It’s the nature of the beast and even within that context, American Apparel’s use of real men and women as models flies in the face of Madison Avenue’s preference for impossibly thin, enhanced and airbrushed depictions of beauty. Dov Charney, head of American Apparel, is a sexual predator. All but one of the lawsuits against him have been dropped and NONE of the lawsuits ever even alleged that Charney sexually propositioned anyone. We could go on and on but feel free to read more about this company on Jewlicious or read the report on the company at knowmore.org.
But now the campaign against American Apparel has gone up one more notch. Now progressive and right-thinking individuals have to boycott the company because, according to the Dissident Veteran for Peace blog:
CEO and owner Dov Charney is a Zionist. AA has opened a Tel Aviv store this year in violation of the international boycott and divestment campaign against apartheid Israel and apparently plans to open more…
Obviously this blogger hasn’t read about how that whole divestment thing is like… totally over. Even our unidentified blogger, we’ll just call him or her DVFP, recently failed to have Veterans For Peace adopt a resolution that called for the organization to support a one-state solution to the Israel / Palestine conflict and that until such a solution is implemented, that Israel be completely isolated and that it be subject to boycotts and divestment.
DVFP is a total hardliner who supports Hizballah and is unashamedly completely anti-Israel. DFVP’s stance is harsh and unforgiving. American Apparel has over 120 stores worldwide and the existence of one store in Tel Aviv makes Dov Charney, who hasn’t visited Israel in over 15 years, an evil Zionist. The existence of that one store justifies imperiling the jobs of 5000 mostly immigrant employees. Wow.
Unfortunately, DVFP does not abide by his or her own standards. The intel chip used in the computer that DVFP uses was developed in Israel. Blogger, the platform used by DVFP is owned by Google and Google has a major R&D facility in Israel. But the very worst act of hypocrisy committed by DVFP involves the theft of MY Zionist bandwidth. DVFP links directly to a photo on Jewlicious – meaning that every time someone visits the Dissident Veteran for Peace blog, they are pulling a photo from our server, thus using our bandwidth at our expense! That’s not a nice thing to do, and, as I am about to demonstrate, it’s also a very stupid thing to do.
Here is a screen cap of the Dissident Veteran for Peace blog post as it originally appeared:
The image in question is of American Apparel Employee Dan Abenaim flanked by two American Apparel fans. They were both female members of the IDF serving in a combat unit. One was from Toronto and the other was from San Francisco. Abenaim was in Jerusalem scouting locations for another store.
Now here’s what the bandwidth stealing blog looks like now:
The graphic in question states: “I heart Israel. Dissident Veteran For Peace is a Bandwidth Thief. Having Opinions that are different from ours is fine. Using our photos without our permission, that’s ok too. But stealing our Zionist bandwidth? That’s not cool. Shop at American Apparel.” This went up at 3:30 am EST. I wonder how long it will take the stupid, hypocrite to figure it out. Sleep well DVFP!