Monday, June 16, 2008

Very Small Business

I will continue my stories from Mexico tomorrow, but today I need to address a story making headlines here in Utah: the sock Obama doll. This cute and cuddly toy was thought up by a pair in Utah County as a way to "get kids interested in the political process." However, they decided to stop plans to manufacture it after people began calling it racially insensitive, calling for a boycott of the company, and issuing death threats. The couple behind the idea say they are shocked at the response they have received, and that they didn't mean any harm. And I believe them. Because some people are just that stupid.

How could anyone in this country make it to adulthood and not understand the basic social mores that have formed during the history of our country? The 1960's weren't that long ago, and I don't think that America's schools have gotten so bad that nothing about the Civil Rights movement is taught. And even if they didn't learn it in school, did they only turn on the television to see possible political candidates and decide which animals they look like? If they had watched ten minutes of news they would have understood the racial overtones going into this election, if for no other reason than the fact Obama is the first black Presidential candidate from a major party. Or, even if they don't watch television (god forbid), if they have the savvy to start an Internet company they probably looked around the web some. Even if they only browsed porn they would get some sense of the racial tensions that still exist in America. But I'm guessing that all went over their heads. After all, today the couple issued a statement saying they would not be manufacturing the doll, disappointing their "wonderful new customers around the globe." I hate to tell them this, but I'm guessing that most of those "wonderful" people also subscribe to newsletters disproving the existence of the Holocaust. I'm sure if they knew who David Duke was they would understand why he ordered three.

I actually kind of feel bad for the makers of this doll, because they have gotten a rather virulent response, and have taken it personally. In their statement they write at least three times that they can't believe people are acting like this in America. Well, I guess if they don't know about race relations they probably aren't that familiar with the Bill of Rights either. Or maybe they were talking about themselves. After all, if America is an
enlightened nation how can some of it's citizens not understand that racism is nothing to be toyed with?