For those of you not familiar with my blog, the Raaaaacism Industrial Complex is a phrase I coined for those individuals who go out of their way to find racism lurking under every stone or even manufacture racism out of think air (see Maureen Dowd).
Raaaaacism Industrial Complex member ABC News has come out to fight the evil intentions of that great foe Walmart who had the audacity to sell Black Barbie for 50% less than White Barbie at one of their stores!
When question about why Black Barbie was selling for 50% less at one of their stores, Walmart responded that it was a matter of making room for new inventory:
"To prepare for (s)pring inventory, a number of items are marked for clearance, " spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien said in an e-mail. "... Both are great dolls. The red price sticker indicates that this particular doll was on clearance when the photo was taken, and though both dolls were priced the same to start, one was marked down due to its lower sales to hopefully increase purchase from customers."
"Pricing like items differently is a part of inventory management in retailing," O'Brien said.
For members of the Raaaaacism Industrial Complex, such an answer reeks of cover up and immediately requires further investigation. ABC News then heads off to find all those people who see raaaaacism in Walmart’s actions. Enter Thelma Dye, the executive director of the Northside Center for Child Development:
"The implication of the lowering of the price is that's devaluing the black doll," said Thelma Dye, the executive director of the Northside Center for Child Development, a Harlem, N.Y. organization founded by pioneering psychologists and segregation researchers Kenneth B. Clark and Marnie Phipps Clark.
"While it's clear that's not what was intended, sometimes these things have collateral damage," Dye said.
Other experts agree. Walmart could have decided "that it's really important that we as a company don't send a message that we value blackness less than whiteness," said Lisa Wade, an assistant sociology professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles and the founder of the blog Sociological Images.
The ABC News article goes on like this for two and a half pages, with psychoanalysts, sociologists, and cultural analysts. The one type of person ABC New did not bother to interview were economists.
After reading the story, I immediately consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics and what did I find? Unemployment among whites is currently at 8.8% while unemployment among blacks is a staggering 15.8%! Note, these figures do not include underemployment, which is sure to be higher. At 15.8% it would seem that there are a whole lot of black parents who simply cannot afford to buy their little girl a Barbie doll of any color!
So while ABC News and its analysts may want to look at that a 50% off sticker as a sign of devaluing black skin, I willing to bet there are a whole lot of black people out there who will look at that sticker as the difference between treating their daughter to a new Barbie doll or nothing at all.
By the way, ABC News has a video clip of an experiment where black children get to choose between a black doll and a white doll.
I would suggest to ABC News if they are going to conduct this experiment in the future, that they exclude mulatto children. Mulatto children obviously are going to have a mixed reaction since they can readily identify with both races and thus skew the results.
Via: ABC News