Walmart are being accused of Racism for marking down a Black Barbie to $3.00USD while selling the White Barbie for the full price of $5.93USD. Some argue Walmart needed to be more sensitive to issues of Race in the marketplace and that the company needs to sell all Barbies for the same amount.  Walmart replied, with a stone ear against a burning fire engulfing them, that they needed to move inventory and the Black Barbies had to be discounted so they would sell better.

Does Walmart deserve ridicule or credit for the pricing-by-skin-tone business scheme?  Walmart can’t say skin color didn’t have an influence in their decision making because they admitted they needed to clear out the weaker selling dark-skinned Barbies.  Is that Racism or good business?  Can you cleave the color from the consumption?

Are we taught at an early age White is better than Black?

In 1970, Toni Morrison wrote “The Bluest Eye” and, quite clearly, made the case that traditional European features — light skin and light eyes — torture young Black children with the preference of exclusion right in the midst of their own culture.

Why do all children prefer to play with White-skinned dolls over Black-skinned dolls?  Is it because they are innately Racist or have they been genetically pre-assimilated into the “White is Winsome” from the moment of birth?

If Light-Skinned-Black Beyonce Barbie outsells Pure-White Barbie — is that a sign of a sea change in thinking — or it is just a momentary fluke stoked by the facade of popularity?

If we ever hope to get along with each other, we need to figure out his skin preference color thing because it is not only infecting our now, but also our future children, and our daily choice in discounted plastic as well.

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.


  1. Gordon Davidescu March 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

    It’s rather frightening, David. I would have thought that the Barbies would sell equally well. Then again, when you see Barbie on television you only see the pasty white one, not the darker skinned ones.



  2. Right. I don’t know if there’s a way out of this, Gordon, because it seems the majority sets the cultural tastes for everyone. I wonder if in Africa Black Barbies would be preferred over White Ones? In China — would an Asian Barbie sell better than a White Barbie?



  3. […] Wal-Mart is trying to lure shoppers who would love to shop online but aren’t interested in paying with anything other than cash by offering a new online program that will let them pay exactly how they want. Essentially, a person goes to the Wal-Mart web site and selects the items that they wish to order. They check out and then proceed to their local Wal-Mart brick and mortar store where they pay for their order with cash. As soon as they hand over the money, the cashier inputs this into their computer and the order is finalized. […]



  4. […] I was a child I actually wanted to have a Ken and Barbie doll set. I liked the idea of dressing them up and playing with them. It was not to be, however, as it was […]



  5. […] Ma at Obama’s first inauguration; and the second time around — we’re stuck with No Mo’ […]



Share Your Thoughts:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s