You apparently can have a black Halloween pumpkin, but put a face on that sucker and you are a racist. Yep. The PC police came down on struggling retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond like a hammer, and just like that, the black jack-o-lanterns were history. As in gone! 

Seems a law firm in South Nyack, New Jersey bought a few of the black jack-o-lanterns from BB&B's website and customized them with the names of their employees. The fake pumpkins are black with white eyes and mouth. Someone was offended and faster than you can say trick-or-treat, the black-jacks disappeared. Someone, of course, notified the media, which in turn spooked officials at BB&B. 

Bed Bath & Beyond told USA TODAY that the item, only available online, had been removed from the retailer's website. "This is a sensitive area and, though unintentional, we apologize for any offense caused. We immediately removed the item from sale," the company said a statement. 

Wilbur Aldridge, the Westchester, New York region director for the NAACP, tells News 12 Westchester he is happy the matter was resolved quickly: 

"This is not a huge incident, however, if you don’t respond small things have a way of becoming large things," he said. "So you need to respond and make it where people are aware of what they are doing."

Aldridge added: "It wasn’t about the pumpkin itself, but what was done to the pumpkin. When you proceed to put the white eyes and the white mouth, now you have crossed the line because it then goes into having blackface."

Well, I'm happy that everybody's happy and that those evil blackface jack-o-lanterns can't hurt anyone else's feelings. Score one more for the PC police and their efforts to control your freedom of expression.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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