June 5, 2010

NAACP calls Hallmark graduation card “racist”; egrets prepare for yet more hypotheticals


A graduation card sold at local stores has been pulled from shelves after a civil rights group raised concerns about the content. The group claims the card’s micro-speaker plays a greeting that’s racist.

It is a graduation greeting from Hallmark that says, “Hey world, we are officially putting you on notice.”

Members of the Los Angeles NAACP did take notice. As characters known as “Hoops” and “Yoyo” banter on, African American leaders hear offensive language.

“And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back,” the card vocalizes.

“That was very demeaning to African American women. When it made reference to African American women as whores and at the end, it says ‘watch your back,'” said Leon Jenkins of the Los Angeles NAACP.

When Hallmark was reached by phone, they said the card is all a misunderstanding. The card’s theme is the solar system and emphasizes the power of the grad to take over the universe, even energy-absorbing black holes.

The card company says the card speaks about the power the grad will wield.

“The intent here is to say that this graduate is not afraid of anything,” explained Hallmark spokesman Steve Doyal.

Yeah, well. Reasonable — and so reasonably offended — blacks heard something different from what you intended them to hear. Right there. In the text — which, as it isn’t bound to any intent, says what it says. That the conventions of a certain segment of the black community differ from those adopted by Hallmark is Hallmark’s failing. What’s “racist” is what someone hears as racist — else there’s no reason to pull the card from stores.

And before any of you chalky white folk chime in on this, remember: It’s a black thing. You wouldn’t understand. And if you are black and still disagree, you are inauthentic, anyway. So shut up.

Me, I just thank God no child or his dog were injured in the making of this textualist performative.

(h/t SarahW)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 7:59am

Comments (57)

  1. Is this a parody of a satire? These people simply cannot be for real.

  2. This is of course, not the first time that umbage has been taken at use of the utterly non-racial term “black hole.”


  3. Umbrage as well.

  4. Too bad SNL isn’t up to making fun of the NAACP over this.

    What’s South Park doing these days?

  5. When Hallmark was reached by phone, they said the card is all a misunderstanding.

    No, the card is not a misunderstanding. The card is just a card. The insane Colored People are having a misunderstanding.

  6. And here I thought it was a gravitational thing I didn’t understand (not least the dealio having a “back” to start with, nevermind its capacity to watch it), not to mention that it seemed both pleasing and odd to hear tell of a Hoops and Yoyo going on about astronomical objects.

  7. And Hallmark, and retailers, capitulated quite nicely to validate these fucking idiots’ paranoia. I swear I know plenty of black people and they are not cliched morons, but rather intelligent functioning human beings. How come the idiots amongst them get all the air time? Anyhow, I saw this and immediately thought of you, Jeff, hoping you’d put up a post and viola, here it is.

  8. The card company says the card speaks about the power the grad will wield.

    They in turn are getting a first hand lesson of how that “power” is being actualized.

  9. Time to queue up the Chris Rock bit again. (NSFW) Bullseye at 3:00.
    “Put it in your books!”


  10. I cannot for the life of my understand how anyone can’t understand your point Jeff. This is getting painfully obvious. All the hypotheticals in the world can’t possibly compete with this very specific real-world example.

    It’s getting embarrassing.

  11. It’s all the card designers’ fault for being so niggardly with the sound quality.

  12. I’d say you’re all RAAAAACISTS! who should be denounced and condemned, but perhaps that is getting tired. I know I’m tired of the willful ignorance displayed by progressives. They must see boogeymen in every closet to believe that Hallmark would put out a card meaning what they claim they think it means. They probably think that there are still separate drinking fountains in some places.

  13. “And you black holes, you are so ominous. Watch your back,” the card vocalizes.

    Doesn’t the stupid thing actually say “… And you planets, watch your back.”? These fucks can’t even get the little bits right.

  14. Can you still get some of those cards? I know a few people I would like to send them to.

  15. Yeah…Let’s put aside the whole, “ignorance of the celestial phenomena known to scientists as a black hole”, for a moment.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding things myself, but I seem to recall the less-than-flattering term being “hoes”, and not, “holes”. Now, not only do you have to worry about folks hijacking the intent of your speech, but that they’ll decide, arbitrarily and capriciously, what may sound too homophonic should the listener be so ignorant that they don’t even have a solid grasp on their own victimhood group’s alleged linguistic nuances.

    So, why don’t we ever have this problem with the saying, “a chink in the armor”?

    I guess that I won’t be able to use the term renege anymore less, you know, some folks get the wrong idea of just what it is I’m sayin’…

  16. So, why don’t we ever have this problem with the saying, “a chink in the armor”?

    er, Bob… recall earlier this year when the city of Atlanta’s Rapid Transit District added a Yellow Line to its Red, Green and Blue lines … local racemongers called it “RAAAACIST!!!!”

  17. Armor with chinks in it really gets my Irish up, but then I get in dutch.

  18. call the paddy wagon

  19. Sorry Darleen, I’s missed that one. It’s just another example of Atlanta going to hell in a handbasket.

  20. Oooops, I’s = I’d. Wouldn’t want to be accused of caricaturing or anything.

  21. No, you showed your true colors there, Bob.


  22. I know bh, what an unfortunate slip to make after working so hard, for so long, on my posturing…

    Did JD give you liscence to denounce in his stead?

  23. Heh, Bob. I’m bringing competition to the denouncing business. With so many RAAAAACISTS roaming about, we can’t have any inefficient monopolies.

  24. @2: The mental image of the office spewing out tickets at an infinite rate (ala a white hole) did make me smile, admittedly.

  25. #8 – quite so.


  26. #2: I don’t even live in Dallas proper and that embarrassed me.

    #9: I love that clip. And I just wish I had the talent to make the mirror skit, “White Folks vs White Trash”. Like that motherless jackass from South Carolina yesterday. Time for a wholesale recycling.

  27. who wears short shorts?
    wear short shorts!

  28. all the infections
    the sun sucks up..
    sit on it fonzie

  29. asses are made to bear
    and so are…
    who ears short shorts?
    weeeble wobble but they don’t fall

    far from the wobble tree..

  30. It’s… it’s… it’s like they WANT us to hate them…

  31. Pingback: Fitness Insanity Workout

  32. #Comment by pdbuttons on 6/5 @ 2:42 pm #

    who wears short shorts?
    wear short shorts!

    Good to see ya!

    To answer your question…

  33. What’s he on about serr8d? Is he suggesting that the race-baiting morons at the LA NAACP are correct?

  34. “…on about…”

    Somehow, statute is to be carved off from other sorts of speech as exceptional, i.e., utterly unlike other kinds, is how that appears.

  35. Spiny

    two followup tweets show DDA Frey thinks it is all about HIM.

    “@kimsch Indeed, the pretend offense is predictably absurd (as is the implicit attempt to suggest that I support it).”


    “@kimsch Because I believe in a textualist reading of statutes, it is implied that I believe in a textualist reading of greeting cards.”

    incoherency and paranoia are no way to go through life, Pat.

  36. What’s implied, I think, is that if Pat doesn’t think a twisted reading of greeting cards is appropriate, then he ought reasonably to consider that an identical treatment of statue, methodologically speaking, would be equally inappropriate. But he can’t get there, it seems, from where he has put himself.

  37. It’s simpler than that, sdferr. Mr. Frey just doesn’t like to lose, and when he does, he’s not so very graceful about it.

    He’ll simper for awhile, like he did post-December meltdown, then find a way to flare up again. The zit that refuses to pop.

  38. “It’s simpler than that, sdferr…”

    I don’t suppose you are wrong, serr8d, but only that we two, you and I, are concerned with two different questions here, namely, you, on the one hand, with a psychological account of the matter, and I, on the other, with the underlying questions of the linguistics or semiotics at issue.

  39. if Pat doesn’t think a twisted reading of greeting cards is appropriate, then he ought reasonably to consider that an identical treatment of statue, methodologically speaking, would be equally inappropriate

    But carving out an exception for The Law(tm) suits Pat’s agenda. He wants things to mean what he wants them to mean without doing the skullsweat of discovering the intent of the authors.

    He wants an “A” on his algebra test even if he guessed at the answers and never shows his “work”.

  40. Of course Frey, the oh-so-strange LA DDA, is to be found snuffling around…

    WTF is that? It’s like he’s living in some other dimension or something.

  41. here is was the youtube music spotlight today cheesy but also kinda neat reworking of the Soft Cell

  42. ‘feets! You and pdbuttons on the same thread. Good times, eh?

    I mentioned you earlier today.

  43. howdy you! There are end-times and then there are end-times. This time round it’s just the end of our little country I think. TSI’s video last night nailed it about the weakness and the cowardlyness and the profligateness and the general loseryness what holds sway in our little country.

    That we let our cocksucker president shut down an entire industry for no fucking reason speaks to what weak failshits we are as a people.

    America: nice idea, piss-poor execution.

  44. I officially will not use the word b—- in any discussions or correspondence. I will also refrain from mentioning any person of that racial group because I have a great fear of being persecuted.

    Out of personal fear that color and race have ceased to exist.

  45. I mentioned this type of behavior by black organizations in another post and I was accused of being racist. A mexican and a puerto rican said I must think anything without a caucasian in it is ghetto. Then my black friend chimed in ad said “no, that I was absolutely right” this leads me to know without a doubt that the majority of black citizens are trying to represented by the very few radical over the top racist blacks. Its really a shame for the millions who are educated enough to know better.

  46. james is a common name that willie the racist hilljack skin flute player uses.

  47. Politicians (and politically minded civic leaders) took offense – consider the audience – POLITICIANS. To be politically correct, science had previously attempted to rename the black hole…Super High Gravity Locations… http://forums.somd.com/archive/t-104964.html Now, isn’t that better? Are we all happy? You Super High Gravity Locations better watch your backs! (Sure I’ll get feedback someone has taken offense to this comment. Those, like me, who are gravitationally challenged will be offended…) Personally, I was offended that NAACP leaders would consider Hallmark was referring to African American women as “black holes” (before I realized they heard “whores,” rather than “holes”). That would be truly rude!

  48. That is crazy!!! I have to wonder if their education system failed them in the fact that they do not know what a black hole actually is. Turning in a nation of uneducated wimps!

  49. I am so tired of some Black people living their their skin color and taking offense to EVERYTHING. Sometimes I am embarrassed to be Black because this same crap ALWAYS comes up. This is why the world don’t get us. This is why we are always looked down on. We don’t make a contribution we are always whining. The world doesn’t know YOUR LINGO so don’t expect them the know other interpretations that could be DRAGGED out from things they choose to do or say. Get over your political correctness, rise up to the human level and stop acting like your skin color and mindset are it for this life. Living solely through your skin color is a wasted life. And don’t argue. It is a wasted life. Can’t you see that?

  50. This just tells me that the naacp has outlived it’s usefulness. When they have to go out and invent racist things that are not there to begin with in order to make claims of racism, then everyone has to believe that they just need to fade off into the sunset, there is no place for them in this country anymore. I wonder if they realize the most powerful man in the United States is black, and that’s in a country were the whole black population barely makes up 30% of the total population. How could that happen in such a racist country? I personally will never purchase another Hallmark product ever again because a Gestapo like organization demanded it be pulled. “And before any of you chalky white folk chime in on this, remember: It’s a black thing”. This from a black who supposedly has had to live in this racist society all his life, yet has no problem being a racist himself. But I do agree with him about it being a black thing, this can all be traced to either a medical condition that mostly blacks suffer from, the constant listening to hip hop where the term “BLACK HO” is used in every verse, or a cultural thing, when they are at home yelling down to their mama’s, and now a scientific term, black holes, must be stricken from all scientist’s and the layman’s vocabulary, because of it being closely related to a word that blacks made up in the first place(wrap your brain around that one). So like I said naacp should be de-funded and closed and a new civil rights organization should take it’s place, something in keeping with the new victims of racism in America, I also have a name for this new civil rights group IOTBWIA which stands for It’s OK To Be White In America. That group of people really need the help nowadays from rampant racism directed at them…………

  51. I’m Black, but come on, doesn’t the NAACP know the difference between a “Hole” and a “Hoe?” Gees, How exactly is it spelled on the card itself?
    If it is spelled “Hoe,” then I can understand the complaint, but if it is spelled, “Hole,” then they don’t have a valid complaint…plain and simple!

  52. The same example I gave of the difference between the spelling of “Hole” and “Hoe” also applies to the spelling “Ho.” The NAACP is way off base and just showing profound ignorance in trying to make an issue out of something where there isn’t any issue at all and demonstrating their ignorance of the Universe.
    As I said before, I am Black and glad I have never associated myself with an organization that still uses the terms “Colored People.”

  53. The average “Back” or “African American” should at least consider some things about what most of us are genetically. (Certainly not all, but the majority) We are mostly of a mixed breed and I should not have to defend that fact if you are honest about our history and the fact that the vast majority of us are mixed with African, European, Native American, Asian, and Hispanic DNA. A so called African American could possibly have 65% European DNA and 35% African DNA and most likely come out looking more African than European, because the characteristics of the African DNA will usually express itself in an individual more noticeably than the European characteristics will. But for some reason, “African Americans” are forced by social prejudice to gravitate to the African side because society does not care what you are biologically, they go on what you look like. Now, if you become the President of the United States, then people will acknowledge that you are half White, but if you are on welfare, and you are half white, “they” will not claim you as being half White, in that case you are just a nigger. Isn’t it interesting how that seems to work? These issues are more about class than they are about race.