Diary

Racism everywhere, Walmart edition

Someone noticed that a Walmart store had a white Barbie and a black Barbie that were otherwise identical except that one had been marked down to half price. They took a picture of them and posted it on-line. The comment from Walmart is exactly what anyone with an IQ above single digits would expect.

A Walmart spokeswoman, who could not verify the exact store shown in the photo, said that the price change on the Theresa doll was part of the chain’s efforts to clear shelf space for its new spring 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.

BTW – in an MSM article about political correctness, shouldn’t she be called a spokesperson instead of a spokeswoman? But I digress…

One of the two excerpts below is accurate and in the other one I have changed two of the quotes a bit. See if you can guess which is which.

But critics say Walmart should have been more sensitive in its pricing choice.

“The implication of the lowering of the price [of the white doll] is that’s making it more difficult for a family who decides to buy 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 are going to squeeze a few extra dollars out of black customers because political correctness forced us to carry a second doll,” said Lisa Wade, an assistant sociology professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles and the founder of the blog Sociological Images.

“Black children develop perceptions about their race very early. They are not oblivious to this. There’s still that residue. There’s still the problem, the overcoming years, decades of racial and economic subordination,” Harvard University professor William Julius Wilson told “Good Morning America.”

Wade said that Walmart could have chosen to keep the dolls at equal prices in an effort not to “reproduce whatever ugly inequalities are out there.”

…[R]etail analyst Lori Wachs said Walmart may ultimately regret their pricing choice. The discount giant, which reported a quarterly profit of $4.7 billion last month, could have absorbed whatever loss it might have suffered had it kept [the white Barbie’s] price the same as that of [the black Barbie].

“I fully respect retailers rights to mark things down as they see fit but I also think they need to look at the bigger picture,” Wachs said. “I think there are certain things companies have to be sensitive about and clearly this was one of them.”

But critics say Walmart should have been more sensitive in its pricing choice.

“The implication of the lowering of the price [of the black doll] 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.

“Black children develop perceptions about their race very early. They are not oblivious to this. There’s still that residue. There’s still the problem, the overcoming years, decades of racial and economic subordination,” Harvard University professor William Julius Wilson told “Good Morning America.”

Wade said that Walmart could have chosen to keep the dolls at equal prices in an effort not to “reproduce whatever ugly inequalities are out there.”

…[R]etail analyst Lori Wachs said Walmart may ultimately regret their pricing choice. The discount giant, which reported a quarterly profit of $4.7 billion last month, could have absorbed whatever loss it might have suffered had it kept [the black Barbie’s] price the same as that of [the white Barbie].

“I fully respect retailers rights to mark things down as they see fit but I also think they need to look at the bigger picture,” Wachs said. “I think there are certain things companies have to be sensitive about and clearly this was one of them.”

Go here to find the answer.