WikiHow is an online platform charged with teaching curious web-surfing individuals how to do literally anything.
But after they released a controversial illustration of three African-American public figures, the only lesson anyone could’ve learnt from WikiHow today is White-Washing 101 For Racists.
The website’s official Twitter feed posted an illustration of three white people to accompany an article on ‘How to Become a Congressman’.
Quickly, it became clear why the illustration of three white people chatting was so utterly, abhorrently offensive.
It seems the illustration team had failed to recognise the people in the template image they’d ripped off were in fact all African Americans.
To make matters worse, they are all citizens who have campaigned tirelessly to end racism in America.
Wikihow turned Obama, Beyoncé, and Jay Z white to explain "How to become a congressman." pic.twitter.com/QNTGz5wjaq
— Buy LEMONADE on iTunes! (@beyupdates_) January 22, 2017
That’s right. WikiHow white-washed the 44th President, Barack Obama and two of his close personal friends and associates, Beyonce and Jay-Z.
The Twitter feed were quick to remove the offending illustration and issue a full apology for their catastrophic mistake.
The statement explained that there is a disconnect between the illustrator and the colourist, who apparently didn’t recognise the trio of internationally renowned public figures.
1/ When we saw the whitewashed image of Obama, Jay Z & Beyoncé, we were disgusted & ashamed. It never should have been on wikiHow. https://t.co/tCIgpPpD2R
— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
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Jack Herrick, the founder of wikiHow, told The Guardian that the company had issued a style guide in September 2014 that requested more gender and ethnic diversity in images.
Although WikiHow is infamous for its often bizarre illustrations, which are circulated without context for comic effect on Twitter, this misguided illustration depicts a darker side of racial stereotyping, despite claims it was accidental.
In a world where there have been only 15 black CEOs in the history of the Fortune 500, it is clear that we have not yet reached a place of total racial equality.