Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth’s?

From the state of Louisiana,

Black Barbie Sold for Less Than White Barbie at Walmart Store

In the story, psychologist Thelma Dye said,

The implication of the lowering of the price is that’s devaluing the black doll…While it’s clear that’s not what was intended, sometimes these things have collateral damage.

The markdown was due to economics and had nothing to do with race, at least from Wal-Mart’s end of it. However, the perception of hypersensitive people will be that whoever made the decision is racist.

I don’t know, perhaps racism does play a role but it would be from customers who aren’t buying up these dolls at the same rate as they buy the “white” ones.

Or maybe it just has to do with the fact that whether we like it or not, human beings tend to gravitate towards people or in this case, dolls, that look like them. While this is often seen as racism, it’s not in all cases.

What buying a doll that represents someone of a different race has to do with the buyer being or not being racist I do not know.

What I do know is that one of the most prejudiced and racist people I’ve known had a few dark-skinned dolls in her house. Granted, they were “mammy” dolls but who’s counting.

All this raises the question, if Wal-Mart is capable of so brazenly “devaluing the black doll”, what’s to stop them from offering up Aunt Jemima’s syrup for half the price of Mrs. Butteworth’s?

The question lingers overhead…

Advertisements