Dear Wal-Mart,

It has come to my attention that you are in need of some damage control after a recent unfortunate incident regarding your line of black Barbie dolls. To wit:

Black Barbie Sold for Less Than White Barbie at Walmart Store

March 9, 2010 — Walmart is raising eyebrows after cutting the price of a black Barbie doll to nearly half of that of the doll’s white counterpart at one store and possibly others. A photo first posted to the humor Web site FunnyJunk.com and later to the Latino Web site Guanabee.com shows packages of Mattel’s Ballerina Barbie and Ballerina Theresa dolls hanging side by side at an unidentified store. The Theresa dolls, which feature brown skin and dark hair, are marked as being on sale at $3.00. The Barbies to the right of the Theresa dolls, meanwhile, retain their original price of $5.93. The dolls look identical aside from their color.

Wal-Mart, I feel your pain. There’s just no pleasing some folks. We always got to be angry about something. First we’re all “destruction of the black self image” and then when you give us scraps from the table, er, remember there’s dollars to be made, er, not only give us the black Barbie (and, way to go Mattel, saving money by not actually Africanizing her features!) but discount said Barbie to get her into as many hands as possible, folks go an turn on you.

“The implication of the lowering of the price is that’s devaluing the black doll,” said Thelma Dye, the executive director of the Northside Center for Child Development, a Harlem, N.Y. organization founded by pioneering psychologists and segregation researchers Kenneth B. Clark and Marnie Phipps Clark.

One word for Thelma, Wal-Mart: uppity.

We here at the Broaddus Institute of Creative Spin are currently devising the best ways for you to spin this. Free of charge, we offer you these options:

-Call it your 3/5 Constitutional compromise sale
-clear shelf space by auctioning off the black dolls a dozen at a time (applicable to damaged/defective dolls only)

-Two words for you: “discount darkies!”
-Say it with me “Negro clearance sale”

Be strong Wal-Mart. This is one good spin move away from being a non-story.

Your consigliere during troubled times,

Maurice