Hallmark's Mahogany line: Racist or not?

So, I'm just supposed to be a mommy blogger who writes about playdates and poopy diapers, not race relations. However, as my name would suggest, I'm a very social being and celebrate events big and small. There are lots of ways to (cheaply) enjoy holidays, and sending cards is one of them.

But I gotta ask: Are Mahogany cards by Hallmark racist? I pose the question after shopping for Father's Day cards and making two observations:

  • Hallmark views black people as cheaper than white people.
  • Hallmark views white people as cheesy and not as genuine as black people.

I'm cheap. So naturally, when I shop for silly pieces of sentimental paper, I refuse to pay more than $1.99. There are usually options out there. Last week, the only ones were in the Mahogany section.

Why do I feel weird choosing a card with two black hands on it? Because my dad will think, "Why did she get me a card with black hands when I'm white?" This leads me to think about how black people (and other minorities) have felt since forever about not being represented on consumer products.

Aunt Jemima syrup's poor representation of the Mammy figure doesn't count. Shame on you, Quaker Oats. And Disney? Don't get me started...ok, one thing and then I'm done. Disney, for decades, you only have black actors voice the animals, never people, in your animated films. When you finally introduce Princess Tiana, she's a frog, for like, the entire movie! WTF? Ok, I'm good now.

Back to cards. This year, my dad and grandpa's Father's Day cards are from the Mahogany section. Not only were they cheaper, but the messages were WAY less cheesy, and just more genuine. Paragraphs have no place in greeting cards or power points. Keep it short, sweet, and simple. Hallmark did; they just seem to think that the African-American community is the only culture that appreciates this.

After visiting the Hallmark website and seeing African-Americans as the creators of the Mahogany section, I'm glad. But I'm also wondering why my taste in cards is considered "black"?

Why aren't all cards the same price? Why do we feel weird purchasing a card with another race represented? And why does Hallmark think that white people love snarky white chicks and cuddly creatures?

Agree? Disagree? Feeling in-between-grey on this issue? Please share!


Filed under: Social Events

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