I was sorting my mail tonight, and came across a catalog full of cheap tacky stuff. The catalog was clearly aimed at white people. Every model in the catalog appeared to be a nonthreatening middle-class white woman, and besides, who else would buy this stuff besides white people?
There are problems with manufacturing cheap stuff than nobody needs. & LIGHTING DIMMERS, APPLIANCE CONTROL. LIGHT BULBS, LIGHT FIXTURES, ETC. from Smarthome The production of this garbage harms workers who are exposed to toxic materials and toxic wages, and there are costs to the environment.
But there are other problems. That catalog contained this:
Cactus Planter Couple
What’s wrong with this picture? Well, white people owning figurines of people we* committed genocide against should make your stomach heave. The very idea of owning resin Native Americans should make you feel extremely hot and as though the room was spinning.
In case you didn’t notice it, there’s a problem with the representation of sexuality in these figures**. The context here involves making “jokes” about people of color. White people have treated people of color as less than human, and we’ve tried to control their sexuality as well. Women of color are usually represented as having high sex drives and willingly having sex with anyone. These supposed traits make them fair game for white men in America, and frankly, I can’t bring myself to imagine what the cacti as breasts really represent. No, it isn’t just harmless fun. Men of color are either demonized as a threat to all white women due to their raging, animalistic*** sexuality, or they’re mocked as impotent. This planter encourages people to keep that tradition alive.
One final thing: when you see racist items like these cactus planters displayed in a friend’s or relative’s home, or when they’re for sale in a store or online, PLEASE SPEAK UP. Lots of white Americans think there’s no problem with items like these. Maybe you see things like this and you cringe inwardly, but you don’t speak up. You don’t want to hurt your aunt’s feelings, or your best friend is “just like that”. That’s no excuse.
How far does someone have to go before you speak out?
UPDATE: Contact information for this company
P.O. Box 7985
Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-7985
By Phone: 1-620-584-8000
7 days a week, 6 AM – Midnight CST
By email: Use their form
Thanks for the suggestion, AD!
*Yes, I’m aware that you’ve only been alive for the last _____ years. Get over it, and get busy reading some books.
**Think a cactus for a penis is the funniest thing ever? Great! Please, put a large cactus down your pants. Be sure to take a picture of your wounds, and send it to me, because I need a laugh.
***Word deliberately chosen to reflect standard treatment of people of color.