Ethnic crayons

The Crayola company is at it again.  They have unleashed on the market the Multicultural line of coloring utensils.  The goal is to provide children with a variety of realistic skin tone colors. 

I am no fan of political correctness.  It is an institution which has practically made a sport of being offended.  But it’s a game no one can win because the rules are different in everyone’s game, they change depending on the audience — it is an unfair enterprise.  But apparently, the “flesh tone” colored (can I say colored in a discussion about race?) crayon both offended and crushed the self-esteem of children whose skin tone was not “flesh tone”.

As I take a trip in my way-back machine, when I was a school age kid using crayons, when I and my classmates needed to color a person who wasn’t caucasian ( eww…flesh tone), we chose the color that best suited who we were drawing, whether it be tan, brown, or a mixture of colors.  I don’t recall the black, hispanic, or asian children’s feelings being hurt.  It is precisely this presumption that does hurt children’s feelings.  When they are told to be offended, they will be.

The colors included in the Multicultural pack are: black, sepia, peach, apricot, white, tan, mahogany and burnt sienna.

I wonder if “black” and “white” are literally black and white, or if they are the colors we most associate with black and white people.  If they are skin tone colors and not the literal colors, why aren’t the rest called: American Indian, hispanic-Mexican, hispanic-Puerto Rican, Asain-mainland, Asian-Island Pacific, etc.  And if they are the true literal colors, who do you know that are actually black and white?


  1. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would we? Heck, they even darkened up the Pillsbury Doughboy, and removed Aunt Jemaima’s bandana; can’t be misconstrued as a servant now can she. I’m so tired of it.

  2. John Barron says:

    Multi-culturalists spend half their time advocating for unity and a “social blending” of various cultures, and the other half dividing everyone into categories so we know which political activist to call when someone’s feelings are hurt.

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