You Probably Won’t Like The Gap’s ‘MLK Event’

One retailer is making a day about a civil rights leader a troublesome sales event.

By Aura Bogado Jan 16, 2014

Monday is a federal holiday that observes the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Accepting the holiday proved difficult with some politicians and some states–so much so that organizers launched a boycott against the state of Arizona, and inspired Public Enemy’s By The Time I Get to Arizona. Today, however, MLK Day is observed without protest. Some people treat it as a day off, while others take time to remember the struggle for racial justice. I personally don’t let the day go by without reading King’s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

Some retailers use the holiday, however, to hold sales. Offering discounts on clothing on that holiday may prove offensive enough for some people–but The Gap is promoting what it calls an "MLK Event." The company’s website and emails to its potential customers do not include one mention of the civil rights movement, racial justice, or King himself–but do feature several white women, who are promoting 50 percent off 500 styles from The Gap. 

Are you going out shopping on Monday? Why or why not?