Cotton. Cotton is now, apparently, a racist symbol that triggers people perusing craft stores. Or it did Daniell Rider.

Rider was shopping at the local Hobby Lobby in Killeen, Texas when she passed a cotton decoration. But Rider did not continue on her merry hot gluing way, no, no. Rider decided to take a stand against this vile symbol of oppression. She snapped a picture of the Racist™ faux cotton stem, tapped on her Facebook app, and demanded the retailer remove the decorative stems from their store.

“This decor is WRONG on SO many levels,” Rider typed feverishly, “there is nothing decorative about raw cotton…a commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves. A little sensitivity goes a long way. PLEASE REMOVE this “decor””, Rider demanded.

You know what else goes a long way? Not making everything in the entire world about slavery. I’d suggest trying that on for size, but the metaphorical shirt is probably made of cotton and thus oppressive in its own right.

Not everything in life is symbolic. More often than not, things are exactly what they are. Cotton is a plant. It cannot be and is not evil nor oppressive. It holds no responsibility for the sins of the past. Cotton plant likenesses, shocking as this may be, do not possess the ability to jump off a craft store shelf and oppress anyone.

The compulsion to view inanimate objects as morally and personally threatening is not a delusion I will ever be able to fully understand. But I digress…

Rider’s Facebook post:

The Killeen Daily Herald caught up with Rider after her Facebook post went viral:

Rider posted a picture of Hobby Lobby cotton decoration on Hobby Lobby’s Facebook page Sept. 14 saying, “This decor is WRONG on SO many levels,” and requested the ”décor” be removed from the store.

Rider, 38, said she shops at Hobby Lobby because she loves crafting, but had never seen the raw cotton displayed as a decoration.

“It shocked me,” she said Wednesday. “I was just taken aback by it because I had never seen it before.”

Rider said she at first posted the picture of the cotton on her personal Facebook page.

“Then, the more I thought about it, I thought, well I’m a consumer and it’s a décor that I don’t agree with,” Rider said about her decision to also put the post on Hobby Lobby’s Facebook page, where it went viral.

By Thursday, it had about 295,000 comments, 106,000 reactions such as likes, and more than 22,000 shares.

On Friday, she started getting rude posts on her Facebook page and her messenger inbox exploded with comments.

“I started to try to respond to a few of them, but then I realized that people weren’t wanting to have a conversation about it; they were just wanting to tell me how they feel, as mean as possible,” Rider said.

Rider said she has received death threats from people on social media, and many called her a racial slur. Rider said she has read and re-read her post to see where she offended a specific person or race and did not find anything.

“I didn’t attack anyone, I sent a message as a consumer to a retailer,” she said.

Rider, a mother of two with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, said some things can evoke a negative feeling in one person and a positive one in another.

I mean, that last sentence though…

Is Rider similarly triggered by cigarettes, sugar, rice, or hemp? What about watching others cook, clean, do dishes, and laundry? Nannies. What her thoughts on nannies? AMERICA DEMANDS ANSWERS! How else can we purge ourselves of wrong-thinking and uncomfortable history?

What a garbage time to be alive.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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