A Racist Sock?

by Latoya Peterson


Y’all know this job gets to me sometimes, right? Everyday, I get an email inbox and a del.icio.us inbox full of racist goodies from here and around the world.

But I was really about to pack it in when I got an email about a sock.

A sock?

A fucking sock?

How are they going to make a racist sock? I’m used to racist tee-shirts, but a sock just crosses the line!

Then I re-read the email, and found out it wasn’t the sock that was racist, it was the marketing of said sock.

Reader Tennille writes:

Old Navy is now selling what they call border patrol socks for baby in sizes 0-6 months through 5T. Here’s the description and the link: “Fun socks feature military inspired embroidery sure to have your little man transforming everything he can get his hands on into an aerial assault vehicle capable of unstoppable fire power only to be used in the defense of the defenseless [...] The racist, xenophobic, and gendered messages in these socks are amazingly obvious and saddening to me. I thought this might make good fodder for a posting.”

Tennille sent me the email August 26th. I checked the link, saw it was as she stated, and the socks were called “Border Patrol.” Fail, Old Navy, Fail.

Now that I am prepping this post (a hot three weeks later), I notice some changes have been made.

The socks are now called “Military Graphic Socks for Baby,” and the description has changed:

Get his feet in fighting shape! Cute cartoonish graphics of helicopters and jets suit his adventurous spirit.

Well, they got rid of the racism and xenophobia – two out of three. I’m glad someone finally noticed and caught on.

But the original link still stands testament to what was there:

http://www.oldnavy.com/browse/product.do?pid=581576022&userSearchText=border+patrol&searchCID=26519&vid=1

Hmm…well, I’m glad they did change it after all. I wonder who is responsible for writing the website text for this kind of stuff anyway?