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The ‘right’ to sell golliwogs is not something we should be fighting for in 2016

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales


On the beach in Kent this summer, my teenager went off to the gift shop. It is a treasure trove of tat. Whoopee cushions and shell ornaments, lucky dips, inflatable dolphins, toy swords and fairy figurines. She came back all agitated. “They are selling Jim Crow dolls in there!” I didn’t know what she meant. Then she showed me a picture. They were golliwogs, part of my childhood, but not hers. She didn’t know the word and had never seen one. This is not down to that insane concept “political correctness gone mad”. This is down to progress, where we tend to avoid giving children racist toys.

She and my friend went back to the shop to have a word. The shopkeeper said: “People love them, especially black people.” My daughter, still outraged, wrote to the local mayor who replied that “ethnic dolls” were not illegal and she could approach Trading Standards if there was a problem.

The funny thing is that this was published in a UK newspaper, in the UK section. The number of people in the UK aware of what Jim Crow means must be tiny. Not sure I did before I came to the US and I had a better knowledge of US history than most.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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I only know Golliwog's Cakewalk :/

AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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