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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Hazards of Social Media: A Lie is a Lie

Why is it that when we see something written on some site on the World Wide Web, we have a tendency to take it as true (or as a Christian might say, as "gospel")? In truth, what can happen--and often does--is that a huge lie is perpetrated and spread over the internet.  And once it's 'out there,' it's very hard to counter it or take it back.
This is what happened two days ago to my daughter's company, Baby K'tan, whose main product is baby-wearing carriers. Someone didn't like a photo on one of the Baby Ktan boxes, judged it as depicting "single Black mothers" as opposed to 'married White mothers' and attacked the company as "racist." That extremely false allegation was tweeted and re-tweeted with photos thousands of times. The company was inundated with negative and  hate phone calls and hundreds of negative emails. It was an onslaught of hatred; but really, it was an onslaught of utter stupidity and lack of fact-checking. The photo of the Black woman was missing a male figure, indicating (to this person's twisted mind) that Blacks had 'broken families' with no male presence; that Black women had their babies out of wedlock. Below are the photos of the two boxes, next to each other.

 This could not be further from the truth.  Not only does this company have a diverse staff, but since it was founded by two families because of their special needs children, they were very aware of discrimination by others. Their policy has always been to celebrate diversity and depict different cultures in their ads. If the person who began this campaign of hatred had checked, these were only two of the many box designs of the company. Many other boxes depicted single White women. What was their interpretation of those photos? Oh, wait, they didn't look for other boxes, nor did they call the company about it. And it seems to me that if a company were racist, they wouldn't bother photographing African American models, would they...?!

This was basically a campaign by unintelligent people with nothing better to do with their time. The truth doesn't matter. Just scream it out as loudly as you can, market it to the nines in social media--and everybody will start to say, 'well, if they're so outraged about it, it MUST be true, right?'

Use your head, people! Research something before you spew out lies which will go viral. And you followers, don't necessarily believe what you hear. Do your own research, and learn to think for yourselves.

 Here is Baby K'tan's response posted here in full. You can go to their Facebook page to see it.


STATEMENT FROM BABY K’TAN RE: BASELESS RACISM CLAIMS


A misleading photo circulating the Internet has spurred completely baseless allegations of racism, taking the models on our packaging out of context.  The photo in question shows two of our several packages, representing but a sample of our full line:
a Caucasian/Hispanic couple using our baby carrier, and an African American woman using our baby carrier.  Other Baby K’tan packaging currently in the marketplace portrays various mothers or caregivers holding their baby in our carrier.

Since Baby K’tan was founded in 2007, our mission is to provide great baby products for parents and caregivers all over the world. Our employee base and customers are diverse, and our company has prospered because of our focus on quality products and diversity and inclusion.
Frankly, it’s insulting that some choose to infer that an African American woman alone with a baby is automatically a single mother – that itself is a form of racism that has no place in our company whatsoever.
We wholeheartedly reject these false and unfounded claims of racism, and we will continue to showcase a variety of loving caregivers utilizing our nurturing and simple to use baby products.
We are a small company, founded by necessity when our own children with special needs required a carrier with more support.  To even suggest that we meant anyone any harm is both shocking and hurtful, and against everything we believe in as inclusive and caring business owners.
 You know the Shakespearean expression used as a figure of speech (often corrupted), taken from Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"? I believe it applies here.  The viewer of that photo on the Baby K'tan box was actually not reflecting what he or she thought Baby K'tan did; he was expressing his own doubts, and his own guilt. Psychologists might call it "projection."

 I have an idea: you feel that too many Black families are fatherless?That there are too many single Black mothers? So educate your people, raise your kids to respect fatherhood , to understand how important a father figure is, and to value the family. But don't project your feelings and blame the other guy for your shortcomings. Step up to the plate and be responsible for your own lives.



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1 comment:

Ari said...

Social media is just the evil tounge in hi-tech form and there is no way to stop it

 
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