Critics of Ebony magazine's September issue have set off a large scale Twitter controversy — just not the one they expected.
The upcoming issue of Ebony features Trayvon Martin-inspired covers. Several variations include black celebrities and their children wearing hooded sweatshirts, the article of clothing that supposedly made George Zimmerman deem the 17-year-old suspicious prior to following and shooting him.
Participating celebrities included Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade, filmmaker Spike Lee, and actor Boris Kodjoe. A fourth cover features the mother, father, and brother of the slain teenager.
The covers were meant to further the conversation on gun violence and were sparked by the black community's response to Zimmerman's acquittal. As Ebony's editors put it:
We encourage you to pick up this month's special edition of EBONY; you will be struck by the poignant covers of notable African-American men with their sons in hoodies, you will be informed by the in-depth coverage on the trial and the aftermath, and, most importantly, you will be inspired by the hope for the future that resonates with each page.
And thus began the internet uproar. Critics took to social media to voice their displeasure with the covers. The conversation erupted with people calling the cover racist — and offering their own racist commentary in return.
Comments on the conservative-friendly site Breitbart.com hinted at the possibility of a boycott of Ebony magazine. That's when the real fun began.
Ebony and its supporters came out in full force to defend the magazine, but also took the opportunity to take some sarcastic shots at their critics. Turning the criticism on its head, the black twitter community created the hash tag #WhitePeopleBoycottingEbony.
Check out the progression of the conversation below:
Ebony called out its own critics, retweeting claims that the covers were unfair:
Then came rumors of a Tea Party protest against the magazine:
And the magazine's response:
The rest is Twitter history. Black Twitter took to their screens to share their thoughts on #WhitePeopleBoycottingEbony: