UPDATED: July 24, 2010
We’re going to throw this story back up at the top for a day or two because we were looking through some back-articles and it appealed to us. No other reason than we thought we did a good job with this one. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t – but we think it’s worth a second (or first) look…
Welcome to Microsoft’s Tribute to Selma, Alabama, 1957
Sure, Microsoft has issued apologies all around after getting caught removing one of those horrid Negro persons from a marketing photo at Microsoft’s Polish website, but we at Barbados Free Press don’t believe the corporation should be let off the hook that easily. A simple apology is not enough. Nowhere near enough. (BBC News: Microsoft in web photo racism row. and Photoshop Disasters: At least they left the Asian Guy in.)
This business of corporations trashing acceptable values to embrace the racism of foreign clients must stop. We’re not talking about corporations being sensitive to the needs or cultural differences of foreign markets here. In this incident we’re talking out and out Klu Klux Klan racism by some Microsoft employees – and if the truth be known probably a couple of dozen employees who knew or participated to some extent.
There is no doubt that Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest would surely have approved the changes made by Microsoft!
Nathan Bedford Forrest’s “Negro Mart”
“Fresh supplies of likely Young Negroes”
As a plantation owner, slave trader, Confederate soldier and founding father of the Klu Klux Klan, one could say that Nathan Forrest had a certain perspective and worldview when it came to Negros.
Frankly, I see little difference between the values exhibited by Forrest and by Microsoft in this PhotoShop debacle.
Truly, a simple apology from Microsoft is not enough. Even a promise to “educate”, “train” and “monitor” staff so it never happens again is simply not enough. The penalty must not only fit the crime, it must be relative to the offender’s wealth so it does not become a license fee. As an example, the US$65 New York City parking fine would devastate my family’s monthly food budget, but wouldn’t even be noticed by MicroSoft’s Billy Gates.
What would be an appropriate penalty for Microsoft in this case?
Negros Sold On Commission – Highest market price always paid for good stock.
Just so we don’t lose sight of the incredible racism that MUST have driven the Microsoft decision to remove an unwanted race from an advertising photo, let’s further consider the values of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here is part of the wording from one of Forrest’s business advertisements prior to the American Civil War…
87 Adams Street, Memphis, Tennessee
Have constantly on hand the best selected assortment of FIELD HANDS, HOUSE SERVANTS & MECHANICS, at their Negro Mart, to be found in the city. They are daily receiving from Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, fresh supplies of likely Young Negros.
Negros Sold on Commission, and the highest market price always paid for good stock. Their Jail is capable of containing Three Hundred, and for comfort, neatness and safety, is the best arranged of any in the Union. Persons wishing to purchase, are invited to examine their stock before purchasing elsewhere.
They have on hand at present, Fifty likely young Negroes, comprising Field hands, Mechanics, House and Body Servants, etc.