Finally there’s a new ruckus in the news to fill the void left there by other boring controversies involving amorous golfers, politicians, athletes, entertainers and
A recent news story reveals that Wal-Mart has incurred the wrath of activists because the retail giant reduced the price of this doll by $2 while keeping the prices of the white dolls the same. Clearly they are sending a message here, right? They are, according to Thelma Dye, the executive director of the
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman countered this racist allegation by emphasizing that “both are great dolls, but the price was cut $2 for a black Ballerina Teresa Barbie from the $5.93 for the white version because the black Barbies weren’t selling. Pricing like items differently is part of inventory management in retailing,” she added. Despite this logical explanation, Dye warns that engaging in this type of pricing strategy “can have collateral damage.”
Uh oh, Wal-Mart! Sounds like someone is on to your segregationist plans! Are you scared, Wal-Mart? Do you dare risk the wrath of Thelma or will you continue to court “collateral damage” by persisting in this highly suspicious principle of economics known as supply and demand? Just how many of your executive officers are affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan? Is there a KKK discount? And how much is it? Inquiring minds demand to know the truth.
Everyone knows that Wal-Mart is headquartered in
A Los Angeles sociology professor, Lisa Wade, was quoted in the article saying that Wal-Mart could have determined “that it’s important we don’t send a message that we value blackness less than whiteness,” but noted that the black dolls might not be as popular because white parents are less likely than black parents to purchase dolls of a different race for their children.
But what about light-skinned black dolls versus dark-skinned black dolls? Has anyone done the research into the sales trends of these dolls? (Sounds like a great masters thesis, doesn’t it?) How would an X-Men “Storm” doll do against a Wesley Snipes “Blade” doll? Does the buying public value lighter skin moreso than darker skin? And how confusing then is it to buy a Michael Jackson doll?
As a former child myself, I think that kids have much more influence over what toys they receive than their parents. Kids are very picky these days and if they want a black Barbie or a black G.I. Joe doll or even a Spiderman with his black costume, then that’s what they usually get. Otherwise they throw a hissy fit and lock themselves in the bathroom and keep flushing the toilet until they get what they want. (Oh, like you didn’t do that too.) And for the record, I would say that kids today are far more colorblind with regard to their toys than their parents ever were.
As an example of this, black rapper dolls outsell white rapper dolls one million to one. Yeah, the K-Fed rapper doll sold a total of 12 units. And they were all bought by K-Fed and given to his 10 family members and friends. The other two were given to his fans…Vanilla Ice and Gerardo. Similarly the action figures of black athletes sell equally well or better than their white counterparts in every sport with the possible exception of hockey and NASCAR.
Seriously, I have to laugh at these weirdos and their race-mongering rants appealing to our collective white guilt like they were Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The whole idea of lowering the price of a particular doll being a veiled attempt to demean black people is ludicrous. While there’s no doubt that all dolls are manufactured equal, there’s no question that people who give a rat’s ass what skin color a child’s doll has are just born stupid.