Monday, June 23, 2008
This is part ten of a continuing series, background here. Previous drawings can be found here, here, here, and here, and a billboard for the other six here. This appears in the classroom and office building stairwell nearest my office, and has been left up for months.
I am not interested, for those who have asked, in having this display taken down. It's not my job to decide what the university wants to present to students, staff and visitors (read: parents and incoming freshmen visiting campus for orientation). I would rather have this material out there for people to see, as it is my opinion that this is what the campus views as part of its function.
Certainly there was an attempt to make Band-Aids look the color of the people they covered, but even in the Caucasian world there are many colors. Littlest Scholar liked her Garfield Band-Aids when she was small, and they can still be part of a fashion design.
Stores, of course, market to their customers. When I am in a downtown hotel on business and have forgotten something in my toiletries, I go to a nearby druggist. In many, because their client�le has a higher share of people of color, there is a separate section for hair products aimed at people of African descent. For the very same reason, I cannot buy most of the Middle Eastern food products I like to eat here in St. Cloud; this is not an act of discrimination but an act of marketing, of lowering transactions costs for the greatest number. I instead travel to the Twin Cities when I want to buy, say, halvah treats for the house. In contrast, because my family likes Asian foods and St. Cloud has a substantial Asian community, I do not have to go to the Cities for those products. So why isn't the Band-Aid story analogous?