Neil Steinberg writes the teachers of those girls from Pilsen, who protested Mattel's Latina American Girl doll as a slur on their neigborhood, were putting the kids up to it to shake down Mattel. Steinberg lauds Mattel.
Frankly, the only one who comes out looking good here is American Girl dolls owner Mattel which, in a rare moment of corporate courage, didn't simply give in to the extortion demands (15 scholarships, plus a jobs program, plus much more -- I'm surprised they didn't ask for ponies, too) but stood by its author and its book.
According to the back of the box, the American Girl doll's parents flee Pilsen for Des Plaines to escape gangs and crime. Des Plaines strikes me an odd burb to flee too, although I really don't know much about Des Plaines other than Des Plaines hobbies. Pilsen has great restaurants plus Zientek's Model Trains at 2001 W 18th St. Zientek's is also a tavern so you can sip a beer while looking at trains.
If your kid is looking for trouble, I imagine he/she can find it as easily in Des Plianes as Pilsen. You'll eat and drink better in Pilsen though. I don't think your real estate investment in Pilsen will go south either.
Maybe the teachers and kids should just invite the Mattel Execs to dinner along 18th Street. Throw a little sand in their faces kids and pick up the tab for Mattel too.