I ordered some new checks the other day. I usually purchase something cute and take a billion hours choosing the design. I saw these new Paper People Checks, which are absolutely adorable. I was thinking about ordering them, so I went further into the website to choose my people. I was looking for a cute little brown girl. I think there are approximately 100 characters to choose from, but none of them are brown. I found that rather odd.
If I'm going to buy something like a card with people, I look for one that has some diversity of people shown. They couldn't have one or two brown characters out of 100? They even have pets and random objects for some of the characters.
Again, my curiosity and irritation got the better of me, so I wrote to customer service saying how I loved their new line of checks, but why no brown people. This morning I received this reply.
"Thank you for contacting us. It is the artist's belief that her Paper People are just that.....Paper People....void of color at all and more about what is inside our souls rather than our external appearances. We appreciate your feedback and it will be forwarded."
This reminded me of someone who said to me that she didn't consider me black. Huh? I know that she considered it a compliment, but it wasn't. I think that she just meant that I differ from her idea of who is a black person and how "we" behave. I get that a lot and it irritates me to no end.
It's like the whole idea of a color-blind society. Ignoring color should not be the goal. People are different colors. Nature loves diversity. We should be able to acknowledge and embrace our differences, not merely be tolerant. The goal should be to not treat each other badly or differently based on color.
So after I read this email, I became curious about the artist, Laura Kelly. Her work is beautiful.
I don't know what the deal is with the Paper People checks. I agree that we should care more about what's in our souls than by external appearances. However, I think that the customer service representative failed to see that by choosing not to represent people with any color, by default all the characters are white. Just my two cents for the day.
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