Friday Ephemera
At Last, Socialist Football

When Activists Hallucinate

Readers may recall my post on the absurd race hustler Jane Elliott, in which I wrote the following:

Note Elliott’s disregard for context, motive or objective criteria. “Perception is everything,” says she. By which she means the perception, or misperception, of one party only.

The point above is illustrated by some unwitting surrealism care of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People:

A graduation card sold at local stores has been pulled from shelves after a civil rights group raised concerns about the content. The group claims the card’s micro-speaker plays a greeting that’s racist. It is a graduation greeting from Hallmark that says, “Hey world, we are officially putting you on notice.” Members of the Los Angeles NAACP did take notice. As characters known as Hoops and Yoyo banter on, African American leaders hear offensive language. “And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back,” the card vocalizes. “That was very demeaning to African American women. When it made reference to African American women as whores and at the end, it says ‘watch your back,’” said Leon Jenkins of the Los Angeles NAACP.

No, you didn’t misread that.

When Hallmark was reached by phone, they said the card is all a misunderstanding. The card’s theme is the solar system and emphasizes the power of the grad to take over the universe, even energy-absorbing black holes. The card company says the card speaks about the power the grad will wield. “The intent here is to say that this graduate is not afraid of anything,” explained Hallmark spokesman Steve Doyal. But that’s not what some people heard. “You hear the ‘r’ in there. ‘Whores,’ not, ‘holes.’ The ‘r’ is in there,” said Minnie Hatley of the Los Angeles NAACP.

I’ve listened to the video below five times, quite carefully, and have so far failed to detect any trace of subliminal gangsta racism. Perhaps you’ll have more luck.

Hallmark sent Eyewitness News a transcript of what the card says, but Hatley says that the actual audio raises questions. “It sounds like a group of children laughing and joking about blackness, again,” said another NAACP member. Hallmark is now notifying all of its stores to pull the card. Walgreens and CVS are doing the same. “In any situation where there is a circumstance that we need to be sensitive to, we try to learn from that experience,” said Doyal.

Readers may wonder exactly what Hallmark is learning in its rush to be sensitive. Perhaps Mr Doyal is realising that, for some, context, motive and objective criteria matter not one whit. 


Above: Ms Hatley detects racism with her superhuman hearing.

Via the invaluable Protein Wisdom.