President Trump stirred up controversy when he condemned violence on many sides after clashes between white supremacist protestors and Antifa counter protesters resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Hyer. President Trump suggested that the calls to tear down statues of Confederate generals was just the beginning. He has been proven right again.
Facebook user Daniell Rider stirred up a national debate after releasing a now-deleted attempt to start a campaign against Hobby Lobby, demanding they remove their fake raw cotton plants, claiming the plastic plants are an insult to the descendants of African slaves. A screen capture of the post is still available on Twitter.
“This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton… A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves,” Rider wrote on Facebook. “A little sensitivity goes a long way. PLEASE REMOVE THIS ‘decor.'”
According to the Independent Journal Review, the original post reached virality and was commented on over 100,000 times, and shared over 10,000 times.
Decor pieces inspired by raw cotton are becoming trendy as many Americans are preparing their homes for the fall season, but not all shoppers are prepared to embrace the earthy trend.
All of us benefit from the products constructed from cotton, including denim jeans, most t-shirts, underwear, socks, and luxurious bath towels. Cotton is used to produce fishing nets, fire hoses, and paper. American money is printed on a 75 percent cotton blend.
Despite the fact that all of us use, wear, or handle cotton each and every day, it wasn’t until Hobby Lobby started to sell raw cotton that the “oppressive history” of the plants became a matter of national debate.
Students from Lipscomb University in Tennessee contributed to the controversy earlier this week after being invited to dinner with University President Randy Lowry.
Lowry invited a group of black students over to his house for dinner. The president was hoping to learn from the experiences of his black students in an effort to create a more inviting campus atmosphere. Yet the black students were outraged by Lowry’s raw-cotton themed centerpieces.
“As we arrived to the president’s home and proceeded to go in we seen cotton as the centerpieces. We also stood and ate dinner, there were no seats to sit in and it felt very uncomfortable,” one of the guests wrote about the dinner.
“We were very offended, and also the meals that were provided resembled many ‘black meals’ they had mac n cheese, collard greens, cornbread etc. The night before Latinos also had dinner at his house and they had tacos. They also DIDN’T have the centerpiece that we HAD tonight.”
One of the students confronted Lowry, who was confused at first. He said cotton could not be inherently offensive since everyone wears it. The students disagreed.
Lowry eventually capitulated and apologized for displaying the raw cotton decor. “The content of the centerpieces was offensive, and I could have handled the situation with more sensitivity. I sincerely apologize for the discomfort, anger or disappointment we caused and solicit your forgiveness.” Lowry groveled.
Our nation simply must recover from its addiction to being infinitely offended. After all, there is nothing in the US Constitution that guarantees a right not to be offended.