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Was this Card Racially Insensitive or a Mistake?

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Jun 19, 2018
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Was this Card Racially Insensitive or a Mistake?

Filled with barbeques and baseball games, Father's Day weekend recently came to a close.  Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and male role models were celebrated, commonly with a thoughtful gift and meaningful card.  Card stores, such as Hallmark, are no longer the only place where cards are sold; they are offered at many different stores throughout the country, such as CVS and Target.  

However, a recent uproar over a Father's Day card from Target is causing some consumers to re-think their card purchases.  Takeisha Saunders in Rockwall, Texas was appalled when she saw a card with a kissing African American couple on the front covered with cursive writing saying "Baby Daddy" across the front.  The term "Baby Daddy" refers to the father of one or more of a woman's children, especially one who is not her husband or current partner," according to Oxford Dictionaries (www.oxforddictionaries.com).  Saunders was the first person to speak out about the American Greetings card.

Once the card is opened, the inside reads: “You're a wonderful husband and father and I'm so grateful to have you as my partner, my friend, and my baby daddy! Happy Father's Day.”  The inside of the card, with this message negating the "Baby Daddy" meaning, was not displayed on her Facebook.  By reading the inside, a reader can tell the card was intended for a husband and father, not an absent father.  However, the word choice on the front indicates the latter.  

Posting a photo and caption on her Facebook page, Saunders wrote "You CANNOT be serious Target!!!! Really!!!?!!!!? This was the only Father’s Day card that featured a black couple!!!!!". She received support from many others on social media who agreed this card portrayed African American families and couples in a negative way.  By using the word "baby daddy" while featuring an African American couple, many believed "racial insensitivity" fueled its creation. 

Although Target was not the only retailer of this card, they issued an apology on social media to any customers who were offended by this card and wanted to hear others' feedback.  Similarly, American Greetings (the company that made this card) issued an apology as well: "Thank you for raising this concern and bringing it to our attention. This card was intended to be a playful husband card, but we have notified the product team that it missed the mark. Please accept our sincerest apologies and know we will do better in the future."  Target removed the card from the approximately 900 stores it was in shortly after the outrage on social media.  American Greetings had a similar response and removed the card from other stores it was being sold in.

What do you say? Do you believe that this card was purposefully (or non-purposefully) indicating that African American fathers are more often termed "baby daddies" as opposed to fathers and husbands? Do you agree with the card being removed from all of the retailers selling it?

Link (for article): https://www.ajc.com/news/national/target-apologizes-for-baby-daddy-father-day-card/DrKilsnvaFDex5KfhSLALN/ and

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/16/us/baby-daddy-card-target.html

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