In a microaggression that we’ve never before witnessed, this black woman has been called “intimidating” despite her being a life-size cutout made out of corrugated cardboard.
It’s amazing to us that someone could assign a racialized character trait to an inanimate object!
The cardboard effigy, which does not speak or move in any way, boasts a picture of black model Imani Webber. Ms. Webber explained that this is not the first time she has been called such a thing, but it is the first time an cardboard cutout of her has been called “kind of scary.”
“People call me intimidating or aggressive constantly,” said Imani. “It’s just one of those stereotypes that black women deal with all the time. But it’s strange that someone would say the same thing about that cardboard cutout they used in a Wal-Mart.”
Jason Haggerty, one of the name-callers in question, said that he first noticed the cutout advertising a cell phone at his local Best Buy. He found her immediately unnerving, he explained, and whispered to his friend about how intimidating the black woman standing stoically and silently in the corner was.
“I didn’t realize she wasn’t actually a person until after,” said Jason. “But something about her did seem very threatening. I just can’t put my finger on what that was.”
“I agree,” added Paulo Santos, Jason’s friend. “She just had this kind of air of aggression. Even after we realized she was cardboard I was like, let’s not make her mad.”
For Imani, the motivation behind her cardboard likeness being deemed intimidating seems obvious.
“It’s clear to me that they called it intimidating because it showed a picture of a black woman,” she said. “Maybe they should examine their biases?”
Maybe they should, Imani!