Well, I'm not surprised at Kroger's reply to my letter criticizing their use of stereotypes during Black History Month. As I expected, they wanted to assure me that they didn't mean to offend at all, but that's just it: without trying to, they were appealing to tried and true caricatures of black people. Hot sauce, chicken, and ribs are just the go-to marketing ploys, I presume. Indeed, I was informed that my concerns had been sent to the Advertising and Marketing Department.
The full letter appears below. Note that while the author of this letter repeatedly uses the first person ("I"), the author's name doesn't appear once in the letter. The letter isn't even signed. What if I did want "further assistance" from this person? Hmmm....
Dear Ms. B.,
Please allow me to thank you personally for contacting The Kroger Executive Office. We always appreciate comments and suggestions from our customers regarding the Kroger Co.
I apologize if you found the Black History month edition of the My Magazine to be offensive in anyway [sic]. It is not our intentions to use stereotypes or offend any of our customers. Our only intentions were to acknowledge Black History month and offer in store savings with coupons.
Again, I apologize for any concern this may have caused you. Please know your comments have [been] forwarded to our Advertising and Marketing Department for their review.
Thank you again for contacting us. Please let me know if I could be of further assistance.
What are your thoughts on this letter, folks?
About this Blog
The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.