A Facebook post made by Takeisha Saunders spread quickly across the country. Saunders was shopping at her local Target store in Rockwall when she came across a Father’s Day card that concerned her.
“It said ‘Baby Daddy’ on the outside and it was a picture of a black couple and they’re embracing,” said Saunders. She didn’t feel right about the card, texted it to her husband. “He said don’t buy me that card.”
Saunders was concerned about the meaning of “baby daddy." “In my generation, a baby daddy or baby mama was not something you wanted to have or wanted to be,” she said.
She didn’t realize her photo would be noticed by so many, including Target and American Greetings.
Target quickly pulled the card from 900 stores it was stocked in. In a statement, Target Spokesperson Joshua Thomas told WFAA, “We want all guests to feel welcomed and respected when they shop at Target. 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.”
American Greetings also responded quickly. “In this instance, 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," Patrice Molnar, Communications Director said. "We should do better in the future, and we will. We have notified our store merchandisers to remove the card from all retailer shelves and apologize for any offense we’ve caused."
Saunders appreciates the response from Target and American Greetings. “I think it’s great. It shows that they listen to their consumers.” She said her biggest concern was that it was the only card targeted toward black customers. She hopes there will be more options in the future.
Counselor Jovaria Baig with Total Life Counseling DFW explains it’s a sensitive topic. She works with people of all cultures and says, “The effects of stereotyping can be really detrimental for the population.” Baig is glad to hear that the “Baby Daddy” card is removed from all stores.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ro, another Target customer, has a different view. “I wanted to see what it said on the inside,” said Dr. Ro. 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”.
Dr. Ro says the meaning of “Baby Daddy” has evolved and can be used as a term of endearment nowadays.
As for Saunders, she never meant for the card to be taken off the shelf. She just wanted to bring awareness and emphasize the lack of options for black couples in the card aisle. She also said it’s important to talk about topics like this. “It’s great that a conversation is happening about it,” said Saunders.