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Sunday, January 14, 2007


soupy twist

"And when one of Iain Dale's commenters says...

I never even knew Golliwogs were a representation of black people before it became an issue.

... I really do feel like reaching for my knuckleduster."

I think this is a common experience for a lot of people. The truth didn't dawn on me until I was nine or ten. I simply hadn't twigged that such a crude caricature had anything to with a real group of people. I was shocked when the penny dropped and amazed that such an image could still be promoted as a toy/cartoon for children.

In a way it is reassuring that so many people don't see gollies for what they are -- but, of course, this doesn't make them any less unacceptable.

The portrayal of African people in the Tintin books presents a similar issue.


Stateside there are any number of equivalent collectible cringe-makers. People do seem to be genuinely unaware of what it is they're handling in this stuff. It took me a while to understand that; if you've grown up with it, you think it's all OK. I guess. It still makes my head spin.

And sometimes it is innocent enough at the roots, but it passed through something uglier between there and here, and the ugly stuck. We had a problem with "Little Black Sambo" like you would not believe.

But there's a value to not burying this stuff. This is who we used to be. Just a lifetime ago, this is what we used to think was OK, and now most of us wouldn't do that again. How else would you know we're getting anywhere?


Cameron is trying to turn the Conservatives into Social Democrats because some Tories like Gollywogs?

I'll admit, I haven't heard a better explanation.

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