One Daniell Rider thinks she does. In a post to craft store Hobby Lobby’s Facebook page, Rider posted the photo below and demanded that the decor item of dried cotton bolls be removed for sale citing that :
This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton… A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves.
A little sensitivity goes a long way.
PLEASE REMOVE THIS “decor”.
The obvious problem is that no slave harvested these dried cotton decor items and the second obvious problem is that Daniell Rider likely wears a considerable amount of cotton. The third problem is that African American slaves worked on plantations growing and processing rice, tobacco, and sugar cane, none of which we boycott or deprive ourselves of simply because 150 years ago it was grown and harvested at the expense of slaves.
So, the question, “Do you have the right to be offended?”, could be answered by stating that, yes, you have a general right to be offended on your own behalf. Etiquette, in general, does not give grace to be offended on the behalf of others who may not share your level of offense in their name. But others also have the right to not take your offense seriously and dismiss the offense as nothing more than either a power play or expressions of heightened entitlement to be continuously put out of joint over issues that aren’t really issues.