Does it Matter If It’s Black or White?

The late great Michael Jackson once asked if it mattered if we are Black or White? On a record-No. Off the record-Yes! Hell yes, race matters! Race matters now more than ever in every place and every way.

This is even true when it comes to baby dolls.

You see the internet is currently ablaze with a sensational story about a White mother, her daughter, and race. The 2-year old daughter chose a Black doctor baby doll as a reward for her success in potty training.

When the mother approached the cash register, the elderly White cashier peppered the girl with questions about the doll selection.

The main question was, “Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?”

After the girl replied in the affirmative, the casher said, ‘But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.’”

The girl slayed the cashier with the following response:

“Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?’”

In her viral Facebook her post about the experience, the mother confirmed her happiness about her daughter’s display of colorblindness. She wrote, “This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren’t born with the idea that color matters.”

The mother attributed the cashier’s behavior to age, ignorance, and white privilege.

But truth be told, the mother’s views are also a byproduct of-wait for it-White privilege.

What I’m saying is this: Would this White mother minimize race if there historically were not an abundant supply of White dolls in America?

This is a question that is apparently important to Black mothers. So much so that the ABC sitcom “Blackish” dedicated a whole episode to race representation.

Diane receives a white doll from a neighbor. Rainbow’s response-exchanging the white doll for a black doll, preferably a doctor. But Rainbow becomes very upset when she and Diane find that the only available black dolls are an escaped slave and a Civil Rights protestor.

The moral of this story is this-There is not a huge supply for the Black demand for positive Black images in media and merchandise. So it very much matters to Black people that they are positively represented across the diverse spectrums of society.

This is also a matter of acknowledging that race and culture must play a conscious role in the lives of White people.

This will lead to between race ad within race representation that fosters racialized understanding and inclusion.

And we shouldn’t have to doll ourselves up to see this!

1 reply
  1. yohollo
    yohollo says:

    Really? I can’t help but wonder if this incident would be as poignant as the world has made it out to be if a black woman and her daughter arrived at the counter with a white baby doll? All things being equal, the cashier would have to be black too. Personally, I don’t think so. This story is relevant because the mother is Caucasian and privileged to be able to draw interest in an area that is very sensitive to people of color (black people).
    The little girl, of course, will take on whatever spirit is presented to/taught to her. Or has “Train up a child in the way that he should go,” lost it’s power? I applaud the mother for rearing her daughter in such a way that all the sweet toddler saw was a “Doctor Doll.”
    Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why this story has gotten so much traction. It’s hot. It’s emotional, but take off the rose colored glasses and look a little deeper. How many Caucasian people really thought the cashier’s questioning was odd/cold/racist? How many would confess to thinking just like the cashier?


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