Now, it seems that even some children's rhymes will need to start coming with trigger warnings, after a shirt made popular by the hit TV show “The Walking Dead” was abruptly pulled from store shelves this week.
The trouble, SFGate notes, began after a U.K. man spotted the shirt in a department store and deemed it “racist”:
The shirt — which depicts the words “Eeny meeny miny moe” alongside a baseball bat — is a reference to an infamous “Walking Dead” scene where the villain Negan attacks a group with a baseball bat. He recites the children's rhyme as he is deciding which member of the group to attack.
When the U.K.'s Ian Lucraft spotted the shirt during a recent shopping trip, however, the only thing he saw was a “racially explicit graphic and text.”
Saying the shirt left him “shocked,” Lucraft explained:
“It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in this process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.
The slogan is ‘Eeny meenie miny moe'...It stops there, but of course we all know what the original said: ‘catch a n****r by his toe."
While it's unclear exactly how many people are aware of its history, it seems that, more than a century ago, some versions of the children's rhyme did include the racial slur.
According to Lucraft, these racial undertones were magnified by the fact they appeared alongside a baseball bat, which Lucraft said, “relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America.”
Lucraft quickly voiced his complaints to department store Primark, which took swift action:
After Lucraft publicly accused Primark of selling a “shocking racist t-shirt,” the company released a statement announcing:
"Any offence caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologises for this.
Primark is currently removing the product from sale.”
Still, it's clear that not everyone agrees that the children's rhyme is worthy of such outrage:
On Wednesday, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the actor who plays the villain Negan on “Walking Dead,” offered his own thoughts on the story.
As Morgan put it bluntly, “Holy crap, people are stupid.”