From Ethics Alarms “The Truth Hurts” Files: Target’s Fathers Day Card

Target came under fire for putting out the Father’s Day card above, and apologized, especially for having only a black couple version.

Interesting: what exactly is wrong about the card? It depicts the state of black fatherhood as it is: about 72% of black births are to unmarried couples, while about 32% is the white figure. Is the perceived problem that the card shames African Americans, or that it appears to give couples having children without bothering with marriage a societal pass by celebrating their lack of responsibility? Not being married to a child’s mother vastly increases the likelihood of absentee fathers, and being raised by single mothers is statistically linked to many social pathologies that disproportionately plague black communities.

Maybe Target isn’t the one who should be apologizing. One incensed critic wrote on Twitter, “This is an insult to black fathers and a slap in the face to the African-American community as a whole.” No, that would be true if the card’s implication wasn’t true. It is true. Now what? Getting angry at Target is a deflection.

Of course, the likelihood is that Target wasn’t thinking deeply about this at all. It just thought the “baby daddy” card opened up a new Fathers Day market.

11 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Family, Gender and Sex, Marketing and Advertising, Race, U.S. Society

11 responses to “From Ethics Alarms “The Truth Hurts” Files: Target’s Fathers Day Card

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    As we’ve come to know over the past few years, It’s not politically correct to air aggrieved minorities’ dirty linen in public. The fact is that too many members of the aggrieved minorities are a little too comfortable with the mythology they’ve built that everything is just fine, and all their problems are the result of outsiders. Some are just uncomfortable with the fact that outsiders can see right through them and know damn well what’s going on, others are in denial. Few of them are comfortable talking about it, and almost none of them are comfortable talking about it with outsiders. Some get very defensive about it.

    My people have been there and done that, although with different issues. None of us Italians were at too comfortable with talking about the concept of omerta (self-help, keeping community business in the community), nor at all comfortable talking about ahem, family business. None of us Irish were too comfortable facing up to the fact that we were ok with a lot of the same stuff that al-Quaeda visited upon the US, as long as the targets were the Brits, although few of us knew any Brits. I loathe the IRA and all it stands for, but I was ready to punch out a UK lawyer who said you Irish were all fine with terror until 9/11, the thought being it was not for him, an outsider, to judge my people. (I did not do so)

    This kind of thinking is unhelpful in the long run. The necessary first step to solving a problem is admitting that there is a problem, and the necessary second step is being honest about the cause. The black community will do neither. As far as they’re concerned, they’re all just honest, hardworking, church-or-mosque-going, peaceful people, often the sons or daughters of superwoman single moms because dad was killed (murdered by a cop, otherwise accidentally caught in the crossfire of bad people), locked up unjustly (always), or disappeared because he couldn’t provide (because the white patriarchy kept him from getting a decent job), who are doing their best to make it in a nation where they start with two strikes against them because of their color, where if they are male the police are gunning for them from the time they hit puberty, and where no one who isn’t black will ever give them a break, a chance, or the benefit of the doubt.

    This card just shook their comfortable cocoon of mythology.

    • they sound just as entitled as incels.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Incels are also big offenders in the entitled class that fails to see where they fail. As far as they can see it they’re just honest, hard-working, old-fashioned good guys who keep losing out to the jerk jocks and smarmy preps because all women are shallow anyway. Feminists are huge offenders too. Believe it or not, hard-core pacifists are big entitlement offenders also. As far as they’re concerned they’re just good, gentle souls who really believe fervently in whatever, doing their best to deliver their message to those who won’t listen, so sometimes they have to resort to trespassing, vandalism, etc.

  2. American Greetings designed and produced the card. I would be surprised if Target was the only distribution for the card…I suppose it could be a Target exclusive. It amazes me that people are “upset” or “outraged” by things like this. You could probably find a card like this in a joke shop like Spencer’s and definitely on the internet. I can’t wait to see people to start showing outrage about something they saw / read on the Internet….

  3. One report stated that this was the only card featuring a black couple on the cover, but there is little information about it. I would bet dollars to donuts that Target didn’t even know the card was in its catalog of Father’s Day cards, but it distributed it and now has a PR nightmare on its hands.

    jvb

  4. In all seriousness though… I have no idea what the answer is here. If you don’t address the issue, nothing changes. If you address the issue, you’re seen as picking on minorities and racist. And even if you were of a mind to suffer the slings and arrows of progressive slander (which, topically, just cost the SPLC 3 million dollars, Google Maajid Nawaz.), the answers aren’t clear…. How do you get people that grew up without parents to become parents?

  5. Chris Marschner_

    To be brutally honest I am offended by the actual use of the term “baby daddy” as a synonym for father. The term only identifies which male provided the sperm that resulted in a birth. Fatherhood means something entirely different. Fatherhood means to protect, to give guidance, to help nurture as well as many other positive verbs. One need not be a sperm donor to be a father nor are all sperm providers fathers.

    Perhaps the main complaint is that too often multiple baby daddy cards would have to be bought for multiple sperm donors. I suppose they are arguing that this is disproportionate impact.

  6. WAHJR

    Target is an enigma. They’ll stick their neck out for something as ridiculous as unisex bathrooms, which fly directly in the face of science, but it will go to the mattresses apologizing for the truth. I just don’t get it. They seem hellbent on destroying the company.

    The truth of the matter is there are many behaviors which still deserve and desperately need a stigma to be attached to them. Irresponsible single motherhood is behavior number one. The key word being irresponsible. I realize sometimes the situation is unavoidable. However, NOTHING short of a nuclear bomb is more deadly to our culture than spitting out fatherless humans left and right. The statistics prove it. It’s about time to acknowledge the truth about certain issues and assert pressure on the problem to stem the hemorrhaging of Western Society. I am for whatever shines a light on this dirty little not so secret. Be it by passive-aggressive means or calling the perps exactly what they are by bringing back good ole terms like whore and bastard. Frankly, I don’t care if it hurts. We are going to nice ourselves right out of existence if we don’t, and I am sure whatever system comes after the fall won’t be as kind to utter stupidity.

    • The truth of the matter is there are many behaviors which still deserve and desperately need a stigma to be attached to them. Irresponsible single motherhood is behavior number one. The key word being irresponsible. I realize sometimes the situation is unavoidable [emphasis added].

      Quite. Carrying on the recent theme of funerals, in the last two weeks I have been to two funerals, of a 41 year old man and of an 84 year old man (I feel uncomfortably bracketed). The former was a minister who left a widow and three and a bit young children, the bit being one on the way (the first three are all boys still under the age of nine, for what it’s worth). I am sure the widow will get as much support as can be given, but she and her children definitely fall in that “unavoidable” category.

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