Xiamen Jinzhi, maker of Helen Keller Sunglasses
Chinese company Xiamen Jinzhi has branded its new line of sunglasses “Helen Keller.” This is no case of mistaken identity. From the Wall Street Journal: “Chen Wenjing, a spokesperson for the company behind the sunglasses, said that they were aware Helen Keller was blind, but what they valued was her philanthropist spirit which spread optimism around the world.”
I doubt that. For one thing, their ads convey no such message. Not even close. For another, the notion that the brand was intended to honor Ms. Keller resoundingly flunks the Oh Come On Test. For yet another, Xiamen Jinzhi might have done well to crack a history book. Helen Keller was not a spreader of optimism and philanthropy, but a prolific activist.
As a senseless teenager, I laughed at and repeated my share of now not-funny jokes, including some at the expense of Ms. Keller. I’m sorry. Happily, I am no longer a senseless teenager. It appears that the folks at Xiamen Jinzhi still have some growing up to do.
Please remind consumers who wonder what can be done to stop this sort of thing that it begins with not buying the product.