Golliwogs removed from stores for Oprah's Australian visit - are they offensive? - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-12-2010, 10:31 PM   #1
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Golliwogs removed from stores for Oprah's Australian visit - are they offensive?

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/nat...-1225967966376






Quote:
A MELBOURNE doll shop has withdrawn a golliwog from its display to avoid offending the Oprah Winfrey roadshow.
...
Golliwogs are deeply offensive to Americans because of their perceived links to slavery and racism.
...
"Oprah's people came ... and yes it was discussed," a source familiar with the agreement told the Herald Sun.
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"As a result, they won't have that particular doll on display. But there will be plenty of other gollies when they come through."
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But golliwog defenders say they have nothing to do with racism and are seen by children as just bright and friendly dolls.
what do you think? the pictured doll, "Mamee", is the one that was taken off the shelves. it sparked quite heated debate in Australia, and while i can understand the shop removing it from display, i do think it's a bit ridiculous because the dolls have absolutely nothing to do with racism, at least in an Australian context. we don't have the "slavery and racism" history that America does, so perhaps it shouldn't matter. they are a kids toy after all.

but then again (i really don't want this thread to be hijacked though) i'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how the Hey Hey It's Saturday Jackson Five skit was supremely racist.

what are your thoughts?
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:16 PM   #2
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I was going along thinking it wasn't that offensive for the reasons you stated and then you mentioned it was named "Mamee" and I gotta say, that kind of crosses the line into purposely going for that African American slavery thing. To me anyways.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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All it needs is plastic collards and grits. Holy crap.

Friggin Cobbler.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:19 PM   #4
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Yeah, I have to say, I don't understand what the doll is supposed to represent if it's not a tie back to that assumption.

But I know it's not all about us (Americans), so maybe an Australian can holler if there's some other thing it's supposed to represent.

The discussion reminds me of that KFC ad that a bunch of sites were screaming "RACIST" at a couple of years ago, but it brought up an interesting conversation about how "fried chicken + black people = racist" wasn't necessarily an Australian trope.

I guess all I can add is that just because some peopple don't find something offensive doesn't necessarily mean it's not.

I dunno.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post
Yeah, I have to say, I don't understand what the doll is supposed to represent if it's not a tie back to that assumption.
Maybe this company just wanted to show how how blacks were pictured as 3/4 of a human being by subtracting all non-stereotypical facial features.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:42 PM   #7
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The golliwog is racist and so is the Hey Hey skit. You only need to read one sentence pertaining to western colonial history and also conveniently remember that the indigenous people that has been massacred, raped and completely fucked over throughout Australian history happens to also be black and are still verbally abused with the same terms reserved for blacks in America. I had a stuffed dolphin as a kid, why can't others have the same? Dolphins are arguably even more Australian than racism!

Probably the worst defence for the Hey Hey skit was that the perpetrators consisted of Indians and Greeks, so it was okay. Because they're all black if they're not Anglo rite herp derp

Sorry Danny, I'm not having a go at you, just most other Australians.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon

Maybe this company just wanted to show how how blacks were pictured as 3/4 of a human being by subtracting all non-stereotypical facial features.
I have a very hard time believing that the company who makes these - and from my knowledge they've been around for a hell of a long time - had any malicious thoughts when making them.

Those KFC ads are a great example of what I'm saying, as cori said. We got labelled racists, but the whole fried chicken/black people/racist thing was completely new to most of us. I had certainly never heard of it and I by no means out of the loop or ignorant.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:48 PM   #9
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The KFC thing I wouldn't label the same way - I mean, it just so happened that the West Indians were playing the Australians at the time and KFC happens to be the main sponser of cricket here, so yeah, it just seemed to be a bad coincidence more than anything else. I would still be surprised if KFC Australia wasn't aware of the stereotype, though - I've known it for years just through American media.

To me, the Hey Hey/golliwog stuff is a different ballgame (was that a pun I don't know yet).
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:48 PM   #10
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The doll is called "Mamee" Cobbler. That's the part that just flat out says to me they were going for that incredibly racist image of African Americans, and it's therefore petty offensive to me.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cobl04 View Post
[URL] i'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how the Hey Hey It's Saturday Jackson Five skit was supremely racist.
Well it was explained to you, but you fled from that discussion as soon as it was explained and never came back... as you have with other threads regarding race, i.e. interracial marriage in the States.

There seems to be a pattern.

Others have done a pretty good job explaining why this would be considered offensive. Maybe instead you should explain to us why you think it's not offensive?
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sad Punk
The golliwog is racist and so is the Hey Hey skit. You only need to read one sentence pertaining to western colonial history and also conveniently remember that the indigenous people that has been massacred, raped and completely fucked over throughout Australian history happens to also be black and are still verbally abused with the same terms reserved for blacks in America. I had a stuffed dolphin as a kid, why can't others have the same? Dolphins are arguably even more Australian than racism!

Probably the worst defence for the Hey Hey skit was that the perpetrators consisted of Indians and Greeks, so it was okay. Because they're all black if they're not Anglo rite herp derp

Sorry Danny, I'm not having a go at you, just most other Australians.
It's cool I know, I was interested in what you have to say. I can understand how they would be perceived as being racist. I guess I just wanted to gauge some reactions as I never considered the dolls to be so racist myself.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:55 PM   #13
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Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia - Golliwog Caricatures (cut-and-paste disabled)



Oprah Winfrey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi [in 1954]...Her mother, Vernita Lee (born c. 1935) was a housemaid...After her birth, Winfrey's mother traveled north and Winfrey spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee (April 15, 1900 - February 27, 1963), who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, for which the local children made fun of her...At age six, Winfrey moved to an inner-city neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother had been, due in large part to the long hours Vernita Lee worked as a maid.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:56 PM   #14
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I should probably add that not all Australians are completely oblivious to American tropes. In an era where most Australians have grown up on American media, as I mentioned before, it just seems ridiculous that golliwogs aren't just freely available, but seem to have enjoyed a boom in recent popularity. I have visited only one store today, a pharmacy, and there was a golliwog proudly displayed. It's one thing to be anti-PC - I think political correctness is a bore too - but it's another thing to be flat out racist and oblivious to that.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:06 AM   #15
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I think political correctness is a bore too - but it's another thing to be flat out racist and oblivious to that.
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