These days, calling random people/things racist and sexist pop up for arbitrary reasons everywhere. The latest example of this happening is when British retailer Primark pulled thousands of Walking Dead t-shirts from its inventory after a Minister complained that the phrase on the shirt was racist.
The shirt shows Negan, the main antagonist of the current season of The Walking Dead, with his signature baseball bat and the words, “eeny meeny miny moe”, which became a sort of catchphrase for the the character in the marketing of season 7 of the series.
The Minister who complained to Primark bosses after seeing the t-shirt in a store said that the phrase was racist, because at one point in history the rhyme was used in a racist was against black people, he said, “‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe’ rhyme was racist as it was well known that the rhyme went on to say ‘catch a n***** by his toe'”. The Minister, Mr. Ian Lucraft, also said that he was horrified to see a bloody baseball bat alongside ‘racially explicit’ text.
Lucraft said that, “‘This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America”, as well as, “It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood”. Lucroft is flat out saying that this t-shirt that has absolutely nothing to the ‘historical context’ of the eeny meeny miny rhyme, and is directly about this specific TV show character with his specific catchphrase, is actively threatening to harm black people.
Lucraft wrote a letter to Primark chief executive Paul Marchant asking him to remove the t-shirt, and Marchant promptly did so, apologizing for the insult that the t-shirt might have unintentionally caused to anyone.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the actor who plays Negan in the series ridiculed Primark’s decision to recall the shirts, saying that ‘people are so stupid’ is response to the idea that the shirt was racist, which by the way makes far more sense than anything Lucraft has said.