On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

Some days, I think we are living in a new era, in a world that doesn’t see color, in a world more and more like the one Martin Luther King dreamt about.

And some days, I remember that we’re not.

There were a myriad of reminders about this for me today, most of which I can’t really disclose on my blog. Let me just say this: in therapy, the filter comes off. And some people say stuff to me having no idea that I have an African American son. (or that I would be completely offended even if I didn’t). It’s all cool until one of them wants to date your daughter. Nuff said.

Even though it’s complete ignorance, that stuff sinks my heart a little.

After work I made a Target run, because I wanted to grab a few stocking stuffers for the kids. I thought it would be cute to get them some High School Musical dolls that they could play with on our plane ride.

One of the things I LOVE LOVE LOVE about High School Musical is the racial diversity of the cast. So it was a little surprising to find that Target was only carrying dolls of the white members of the cast. Where was Chad? Where was Taylor? Not at my local Target. There were at least 20 versions of Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, her brother, and the random White girl who plays piano. Rows and rows of these kids, but no representation of the African American cast members.


Now, it would tempting, and maybe even reassuring, to think that a bunch of race-conscious parents had swept up the minority dolls already. But given the fact that there are very few African Americans living in Orange County, somehow I doubt that.

Which leads me to conclude that Target just didn’t order them, because they figured they wouldn’t sell. The same way last time I visited Pottery Barn at South Coast Plaza, the blonde-haired Harrington Family (Caucasian) was full-price and almost sold old, while the nearly idenitical but ethnic Thompson Family was drastically on clearance. Hmmm . . .

So this Christmas, I ask you: Are there dolls under your tree? Are any of them representing a minority race? What message does it send to our children when minority dolls are cast aside, or not even available at the store? Or when parents show racial preference in their toy selection? Something to think about as we all strive to move towards racial acceptance.