When you leave Hobby Lobby, you might walk out with a lighter wallet and bags filled with home decor items you didn’t know you had to have. Daniell Rider of Killeen, Texas had a much different experience.
She walked out offended by a particular decoration. She left with a photo to post on Facebook.
Rider posted the photo on Hobby Lobby’s Facebook page along with a caption that has received a lot of attention. The photo showed vases at Hobby Lobby filled with realistic looking cotton stems.
Rider wrote, “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.”
She continued, “A little sensitivity goes a long way. PLEASE REMOVE THIS “decor”.”
This post has received over 78,000 reactions so far. An overwhelming number of reactions were the “haha” laughing smiley face reaction on Facebook.
Many people thought that Hobby Lobby was not showing any insensitivity by selling the Cotton Stem decoration. Rather, many commented that the issue was Rider’s own sensitivity.
Facebook user Robert Hix wrote, “Millennials like Daniell Rider can’t help themselves from a perpetual offense. This has got to be one of the dumbest snowflake demands of the year and proves you can take any benign object, pretend you’re offended and gain fame at the expense of someone else.”
Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry received quite a different reaction when the same decor item was used as a centerpiece for a dinner at his home. African American students were invited to share their experiences at the school over dinner.
According to Instagram user nakaylayvonne, a student asked President Lowry about why the centerpieces were specifically chosen for dinner that night. He thought that the cotton stems looked “fallish.”
He then said something to the effect of “it isn’t inherently bad if we’re all wearing it.” Lipscomb University posted a copy of an email written by President Lowry on their Facebook page.
He wrote, “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.”
So I attend Lipscomb university and as most of you know that is a predominately white school. Tonight AFRICAN AMERICAN students were invited to have dinner with the president of the school. As we arrived to the president’s home and proceeded to go in we seen cotton as the center pieces. We also stood and ate dinner, there were no seats to sit in and it felt very uncomfortable. We were very offended, and also the meals that were provided resembled many “black meals” they had mac n cheese, collard greens, corn bread etc. The night before Latinos also had dinner at his house and they had tacos. They also DIDN’T have the center piece that we HAD tonight. A couple of minutes went by, the president was coming around and asking for our names and what our major was. He finally got to our table and my friend @kay_cyann asked why there was cotton on the table as the center piece. His response was that he didn’t know, he seen it before we did, he kind of thought it was ” fallish”, THEN he said ” it ISNT INHERENTLY BAD IF WERE ALL WEARING IT ” then walked off. Later on all of us that were there were invited into the home, and we had the impression that we were coming to speak about how us as Black people feel about Lipscomb. The whole entire time we were in their home they only talked about themselves( how they met, got married and ended up at lipscomb) & the ONLY question that we were asked was our transformation coming to lipscomb. A couple of women answered the question but they sugar coated it. They said any other questions that we may have can be emailed to the advocate for the Latinos and that a second meeting may be held. Also we don’t have an advocate on campus, the only African American advocate we had, no longer works here. The only advocate available to us is the advocate for the Latinos. They claim to have funding for minorities, BUT you have to live up to the expectations of a typical Black family to even get the 1000$.There is NO FUNDING for just us black students. #share
Rider and students at the dinner all found this particular decoration offensive or in poor taste, whether it be using cotton as decoration or specifically using it at a dinner for African American students. What do you think of the Cotton Stem decoration item?