Recently, Wal-Mart has drawn fire for cutting the price of a black Barbie doll to nearly half of that of the doll's white counterpart at one store and possibly others. Thelma Dye, the executive director of the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem N.Y. says, "The implication of the lowering of the price is that's devaluing the black doll. While it's clear that's not what was intended, sometimes these things have collateral damage." (Read the entire story here.)
Really?!?! It's 2010. Forty-seven years have lapsed since the March on Washington and fifty-five years since the Montogomery Bus Boycott. We are currently one year into the presidency of Barack Obama, our first black president (well half-black, but I have conceded defeated on that topic). Yet, we still cannot get past these simple-minded games. Yes, we can still make great strides in race relations in this country, but we are no where close to where we once were. Let's stop playing these games and get on with our lives.
If we spent the same amount of time working to improve race relations in this country as we do finding reasons to divide our nation, we might finally live in a world free of prejudice and injustice.
The bottom line is simply this, the decision to mark down the black Barbie was simple economics; supply vs. demand.