Eli and I were having lunch and decided to look at the Halloween store next to the restaurant.
We FOUND a bunch of “racist product” stickers and also FOUND that these stickers were put on some of the racist costumes in the store.
How strange to FIND such a thing! A+ anti-racism work!
…congratulations, you made some poor retail employee’s job that much more frustrating and annoying by setting them up with the work of removing all the damn stickers, which of course the store manager will make them do. Great blow for humanity, people. Especially when the stores that sell these typically get them from a third-party company. Want to see less racist costumes? Take it to the company that makes the stuff, not the retailers (often local, often independently-run business simply trying to stay afloat) who’re carrying it to fill customer demand.
That assumes that we should be supportive of retailers which decide to carry and retail those kinds of costumes. I sympathize with the employees and their plight, but they are complicit in a system, and I will not admonish this kind of protest because it is effective in increasing the cost of retailing those products. We can argue back and forth about how effective it is and whether or not the retailers are the appropriate targets of the protest, but you’re expecting me to support the retailers and their employees.
Consider the analogy of being in the middle of a war zone. Do you concern yourself with the well being of the frontline soldiers that are just following orders when you are the target of those orders?
I consider arguments that costume shops and the costume industry should not survive if this is what they’re going to be making and retailing to be valid arguments. The employees are unfortunately collateral damage deliberately put in harms way by those making the profit from those employee’s labor.
No. when it comes to a choice between politics and being able to feed and support my family, I know where I have to place my decision. Same goes for anyone with a job, especially in today’s job market. People work the retail end jobs simply because they need the money.
Not that I’m not suggesting you buy the costumes- that would be supporting the retailers and producers- what I am suggesting is simply not making a pointless attack that does nothing but make a minimum-wage-earning employee’s job a little harder for a shift or two of scraping off stickers.
I worked at a costume store for a season and this exact thing happened a week before Halloween, fortunately on a shift I didn’t work because, oddly enough, I was working a crappy retail job to make enough to pay my bills between steady employment. EVERYONE working the floor during that shift, though, were denied their paid breaks and had to peel stickers off instead as punishment for not paying attention to the customers. They were also taken off the schedule and replaced with names from the very long list of applicants the owner kept.
People who do this aren’t sending a message to the companies who make the product; hell, they aren’t even inconveniencing the retailer. They’re hurting the employees who have no choice but to work a terrible job at minimum wage. Also, they’re making us liberals look like vandals. I’m glad you think of us little-guys who have no choice but to work retail as cannon fodder so you can ‘send a message’ to people who will likely never receive it.
I agree with winneganfake. If you want to send the message that you find a product disagreeable, WRITE TO THE COMPANY. You think they don’t read their mail? Believe me, they do. Even if you get a canned response, you’ll know they opened the letter. And if more people do the same, they will take notice. However, they’re not going to notice if someone goes around putting stickers on their product because when you see a costume in a retail shop, it’s already been bought and paid for by the retailer and it’s out of the manufacturers hands.
Or if you want to do something more personal rather than anonymously plastering costumes with stickers, GO TALK TO PEOPLE and convince them (politely) that they shouldn’t buy X product for Y reasons. If you can convince one person that no they shouldn’t be Pocahontas for Halloween that’s one less costume that’s sold (and who knows, maybe they’ll write a letter too). Retailers buy what’s profitable because they don’t want to have to unsold stock sitting around for a year (that’s why they have after Halloween goodies sales) and if they don’t sell any of X costume, guess what? They’re not going to buy it again the next year and THEN the manufacturer will take notice.
Seriously, if you want to help, sit down and think about what’s most effective and how you can go about POSITIVELY correcting a problem rather than committing an act that doesn’t help and worse, hurts people and possibly turns them off to having a positive conversation about race issues in the future.