Black dolls, white dolls, and Obama dolls

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When I first heard the news that Beanie Babies-maker Ty had rolled out Sasha and Malia dolls, my first reaction, sensibly, was "oh, for fuck's sake, let's all do our little part to let them be remotely normal."

One consideration, though--the idea of black children's dolls being a hot item for girls of both races, given the history of these sorts of things, would be an upshot. While they shouldn't have to bear the burden of being the Jackie Robinsons of kids' tchotchkes if they or their parents aren't crazy about it, there are some social benefits to fame.

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