Multiculturalism run amok: Can a white kid enjoy a black doll?

Here's a new corporate-blunder story: A white two-year old picked out a black doll as her reward for potty-training and the Target cashier, according to her mom's Facebook post, asked her:

‘Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?’ Sophia finally found her voice and said, ‘Yes, please!’ The cashier replied, ‘But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you,’” wrote Benner in the online post.

The mom wrote that she was angry but the little one justified the choice of dolls far more engagingly:

“Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?”

The mainstream press will probably play this up as racism, but I suspect something else is going on - excessive multicultural ghettoism. This is the post-modern claim that white parents can't adopt black children, or that black children can't enjoy playing with blonde white dolls because it will hurt their self-esteem, that nobody who isn't black can imagine what the black experience is like, and now, that a white toddler can't enjoy a black doll. There's also a school of thought that calls a white toddler playing with a black doll a 'cultural appropriation' or 'imperialism' if you want to get really over the top about it.

Let me inform this dumb cashier something about little girls since I used to be one: Little girls enjoy dolls of all race colors. I did as a child during the 1960s and 1970s and so did all my little friends. As an adult, my good friend's black daughters love playing with blonde Barbie dolls and they have told me that is really what they want, they don't need dolls to match their own skin color, sometimes they enjoy something different. Little girls don't care about color, they love the dolls the way they are in all their variety and they enjoy using their imaginations to imagine and project all sorts of people. I have since learned teaching kids that black kids should not be pressured to create black figures in their art either - I recall encouraging one African American little girl that her St. Augustine could be portrayed as an African or North African in our bag-puppet art project since he was from Tunisia. My little girl would not budge. She wanted that guy blonde. I learned to just respect how she wanted to express herself. There was nothing malign about it, and no, she didn't have low self-esteem. It was simply what she wanted and she really didn't like being pigeonholed into cultural niches which made her feel different. She wasn't different.

It calls to mind that little kids know what they are doing on affairs so primal to their development. They love dolls of all colors. They love art of all color. They like dying their hair the color they like, and they love their parents, whatever their color. It's normal. Multiculturalist pigeonholing doesn't work too well with little kids who already have a natural multicultualism about them. They should all have the dolls they like best.

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