“It” being a commercial. A misinterpreted quote. An advertisement. A product. A political platform. Or just a really bad joke. It’s as if we keep our Race Card neatly nestled in our wallet, right next to our driver’s license and Visa, ready to pull it out atÂ a moment’s notice.
Sure there are times when we must speak up and defend a blatant attack against our race. You’ve seen the Nivea ad that suggests we “Re-civilize [ourselves]”. Or the selling of the “nigger” bag by eBay. In fact, just last week singer Kelis was called a “slave” in a UK airport. To that – I say hold onto that race card tighter than Lil’ Wayne’s jeggings.
But other times, it’s just not worth it– or validated.
I present to you a quick story.
Recently, “American Girl” released an African-American doll, secondÂ to Addy.Â CÃ©cile Rey isÂ “a bold, confident girl from a well-to-do African-American family.” To accompany her is another AG doll, her friend Marie-Grace Gardner. She is white. I was proud of the progression and new route the company had taken. Yet as I read different comments about CÃ©cile on other sites, I was disheartened.
“Why does she need a white friend? Her being black isn’t enough??”
“Her hair is straight and her eyes are light…#FAIL!!! Might as well make her a white girl.”
“Where da afro?”
As much as I loathe poor grammar, there was a bigger issue at hand. Was it not enough to see that AG was diversifying its product, teaching thousands of girls another side of Black America? Or providing a pivotal history lesson through the usage of dolls and books (CÃ©cile is out of the 1850sÂ during the yellow fever outbreak in New Orleans)? No, she was attacked for not being “Black” enough. For being the Mammy to Marie-Grace Gardner’s Scarlett O’Hara.