Two-year-old Sophia Benner is white. Her new doll is black. In her young eyes, they look exactly alike.
Sophia's mother, Brandi, recently took her to a North Carolina Target store to pick a prize for becoming potty-trained, according to a post on the mom’s Facebook page.
Sophia grabbed a lovely doll with dark hair and dark skin and wearing a physician’s white lab coat.
At the check-out stand, a cashier asked if the child was sure she wanted that particular doll.
"She doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you," the clerk said, according to Sophia’s mom.
"I immediately became angry," the mother recounted. "But before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, 'Yes, she does. She's a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I'm a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?'"
The cashier let the matter drop, Benner said. The mom’s Facebook post recalling the event has exploded on social media with more 500,000 views, more than 200,000 shares and 32,000 comments.
"Wow! When I decided to share my experience about buying Sophia’s doll I never thought for one second it was going to be seen by so many people!" the mother wrote Sunday night.
“I am absolutely blown away! Our family has received so much love, support and encouragement from complete strangers,” Benner wrote.
The clerk realized the implications of her remarks, said the mom “I feel like in her mind, she was being helpful and making conversation with my daughter.
"I'm not saying her ignorance makes it OK," Benner said, "just proves her white privilege."
Benner is proud of her daughter, and thankful that she sees no difference between her doll and herself.
"We aren’t born with the idea that color matters," Benner wrote. "Skin comes in different colors, just like hair and eyes, and every shade is beautiful."