I heard something on the radio this morning, and I’m going to share it with you now. The DJ said that his daughter had recently celebrated a birthday, and that what she wanted for her present was an American Girl doll. Fine. Wonderful. Little girl chose Rebecca. Great. So they get up to the checkout line at the American Girl store, and the mom (DJ’s wife) was reading the doll’s story. Come to find out, Rebecca is Jewish! Exciting! Except that mom turns to her daughter and says, “We will have to put Rebecca back, honey, because she doesn’t align with our values.”
Wait. What?? Not where we thought the morning radio story was going, amiright? The child really wants the Jewish doll, likely for reasons that have nothing to do with religion, and the mom says no. Nope. Not the Jewish doll.
The host was joking about this, and other morning show hosts were teasing him, apparently. May I just take a moment to state the obvious? THIS IS NOT FUNNY. This is another one of those times when you can call me overly-sensitive and too concerned about political correctness if you would like. Knock yourself out. I don’t care. I do not care. This lady just taught her child that people who aren’t like them don’t belong in their house. Apparently the mom explained that the doll “wouldn’t celebrate Christmas,” among other serious issues. I bet Rebecca carries a little sign in her satchel that says, “Support Gay Marriage!” I bet she has an agenda. If her daughter brought home a doll like that she might catch Jewish? I don’t even know.
I also don’t know when we started saying that things “don’t align with our values.” Every time someone says that, I feel like what they’re really saying is, “I have a lot of the good kind of values that are about morality and sameness, and this thing that doesn’t align with them is different and bad and likely immoral in some way that’s beneath me.” If the child had wanted an ISIS doll, I guess I could get behind a decision not to purchase. Most of the world would agree that ISIS has very few, if any, redeeming qualities to be celebrated via action figure.
Somebody might point out that I am basically saying that what SHE did doesn’t align with MY values. Which is true. They don’t. I don’t want that little girl go to school and see a child with a different skin color and think, “That child cannot come to my house. I can’t be friends with her, she’s different from me.” I don’t know how to justify my values over hers. I just think that exclusion and homogeneity are much less likely to get the world where it needs to go than inclusion and compassion. Plus I think Rebecca’s outfits are awesome.