By Chris Perez
A Texas woman has been getting ridiculed online for being “too sensitive” after she blasted the arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby for selling faux raw cotton stalks — which she found offensive.
“This decor is WRONG on SO many levels,” Daniell Rider posted on Facebook this past Thursday, along with a photo of the phony plants.
“There is nothing decorative about raw cotton…A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves,” she said. “A little sensitivity goes a long way. PLEASE REMOVE THIS ‘decor.'”
Rider, who is black, appeared to take the picture of the cotton herself after spotting it at a Hobby Lobby in Killeen, Texas.
The young woman’s post has garnered over 186,000 comments and has been shared more than 17,000 times — with most calling Rider out for being “oversensitive.”
“Ummm… it’s cotton… wtf…its 2017… do you know some slaves in 2017 that picked this cotton and didn’t get paid for it,” asked one user.
“This is crazy. Cotton is a fact of life,” another said. “People still pick it. That happened 150 years ago. Slaves also picked tobacco, harvested rice and many other things. We can’t just get rid of them. Well Lowe’s sells chains and rope. You think they should get rid of that too?”
Some users did rush to Rider’s defense, however — citing Hobby Lobby’s conservative views.
“What do you expect from HL!!!? NEVER shop there!” wrote one person.
“Boycott Hobby Lobby,” another said.
The fake cotton sticks typically sell for $6.99 to $15.99 online and up to $29.99 in stores, according to Hobby Lobby’s website.
“Offer your space a touch of natural beauty with Cotton Bouquet,” a description says. “This realistic floral arrangement is wrapped in brown paper with clusters of soft cotton buds on individual stems. Place it in a vase with other stems for a stunning, long-lasting centerpiece without the pesky water!”
Strangely, this is the second time in less than a week that cotton has caused an uproar on social media.
Lipscomb University president Randy Lowry was forced to send an apology letter to black students Friday after they visited his home to discuss college life — and became outraged by a number of cotton-stem centerpieces that he had set up around the residence.
“The content of the centerpieces was offensive, and I could have handled the situation with more sensitivity,” Lowry wrote. “I sincerely apologize for the discomfort, anger or disappointment we caused and solicit your forgiveness.”