I’ve seen misunderstandings in my day and then I’ve seen mega-misunderstandings. The most recent example is a case in which the Los Angeles NAACP has attacked Hallmark Greetings for releasing what they believe to be a racist greeting card. On the card, two characters called “Hoops” and “Yo-Yo” (two brightly-colored, non-controversial and odd-looking animals) are celebrating their graduation. The theme of the card is “taking over the world,” and one of the characters says, “Hey world, we are officially putting you on notice.”
There is another part of the card’s audio in which a character says, “And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back.” This statement was made relative to the fact that you shouldn’t just take over the world, you might as well take over the universe.
The NAACP of Los Angeles took offense to the card, apparently unaware that the theme of the card is taking over the world/universe and that black holes are part of the universe. The organization thought that rather than saying “black holes,” the characters were actually saying “black hoes,” or “black whores.” Either way, they were wrong. For some reason, this has not stopped them from holding press conferences speaking on the fact that they believe the card is insulting to African American women.
Sorry to the NAACP in Los Angeles – this card was created by Hallmark, not the rapper Lil Wayne. With all due respect, I’m not sure why you would presume that Hallmark would ruin a multi-billion dollar corporate brand by referring to black women in a derogatory way. Perhaps a conversation with representatives at Hallmark can make this right, but I am hopeful that this issue can be squashed before you end up squashing your own credibility in the process.