Target has decided to remove a greeting card from their shelves after a woman from Rockwall, Texas named Takeisha Saunders pointed out that the item missed the mark. The American Greetings Father's Day card featured an illustration of a black man and woman kissing. Emblazoned over them? The words "Baby Daddy." The inside of the card read: "You're a wonderful husband and father — and I'm so grateful to have you as my partner, my friend, and my baby daddy! Happy Father's Day."
"Initially i was looking for a card for my husband," Saunders told BuzzFeed News in a Facebook message on Wednesday. "There were plenty of cards, but since I am black and my husband is black, I tend to gravitate to products that represent me and my situation. I saw this card and was surprised and disappointed. It was the only card that featured a black couple. My husband is not my baby daddy. I think many people who use the term are not aware of its actual definition so they said I was being overly sensitive and to get over it. So I posted my comments to Target and to American Greetings so they can know how it missed the mark."
Saunders took to Facebook to share a snap of the card, writing, "You CANNOT be serious Target!!!! Really!!!?!!!!? This was the only Father’s Day card that featured a black couple!!!!!! #OurVoicesReally #NotMyNarrative #HowAboutHusband #HowAboutLove #HowAboutJustDad."
Conversation took off around the internet, with some Twitter users expressing their concerns about the term "baby daddy," as its connotation is, in Saunders' words, "not sweet or nice. It’s a term used to describe a deadbeat or absent parent."
Others questioned the issue, wondering if perhaps the card was a way to bring "positivity to the stereotype of the words 'baby daddy.'"
To that, Saunders noted, "Maybe it is a way to change the definition. My issue was there were no other cards depicting a black couple/husband. Why is this one the only one? My disdain is for the lack of options that represented other situations when there were plenty of non black ones."
"We want all guests to feel welcomed and respected when they shop at Target," the statement said. "We were made aware of some concerns about this card last week and are working with our vendor to have it removed from Target stores. We appreciate the feedback and apologize. It’s never our intent to offend any of our guests with the products we sell."
For their part, American Greetings told BuzzFeed News, "This particular card was created for, and addressed to, a loving husband—which the inside copy makes clear. However, we now see that the front page, taken out of context, can communicate an unintentional meaning that we are strongly against perpetuating and is not consistent with our company purpose and values. We should do better in the future, and we will. We have notified our store merchandisers to remove the card from the shelves and apologize for any offense we’ve caused."
This is certainly a testament to the power of social media and a proud mother and wife's voice. It's heartening to see that Takeisha Saunders has been heard—and that Target and American Greetings will strive to do better.