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Political correctness run ahhhh…oh. Hm.

So there’s this pub in Staffordshire called the Labour in Vain, and this is their sign. They’ve recently changed ownership and the new management is being asked to reconsider the signage.

If you turn your head to one side and squint, you can kind of see what the problem is. Though gramps is actually manning the pump handle and not a rubber hose, as I had originally thought.

Though Britain has more than its share of PC police, a fair bit of this kind of iconography is still around (see: golliwogs). Their history is so different from ours. I guess that explains it. Though there have been sub-Saharan Africans in Britain since Roman times (or at least one, anyway), they were uncommon until amazingly recently.

Britain began encouraging immigration from Jamaica in the Fifties, to help fill a shortage of bus drivers and construction workers. One old lady confided in me that she had never seen a black person until she was a teenager. A black man moved into her London neighborhood, and they would drive around and around the block hoping to catch a glimpse of him. That’s pretty much within my lifetime.

Though it was still too much for Liz the First:

There were so many black people in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, that in 1596 she demanded that they be expelled from the country.

There was a fear that they might be taking jobs away from English citizens and also a concern that they were ‘infidels’. Yet another edict from the Queen, at first it brought no action. However it was then followed up by a Royal Proclamation, issued in 1601, and a Lubeck merchant, Caspar van Senden, was licensed to remove all ‘negroes and blackamoores’.

And that, my homies, is quite enough of that.


Comment from Nina
Time: February 5, 2015, 3:44 am

I have no words.

Golliwogs? Oh, my…

Comment from Nina
Time: February 5, 2015, 3:47 am


Comment from mojo
Time: February 5, 2015, 6:48 am

What was the Labrador named in “The Dam Busters”?…

Comment from David Gillies
Time: February 5, 2015, 6:51 am

I adored my golly when I was a kid. He was a happy looking sort of a chap and I didn’t even think of him as a racial caricature, any more than I thought of my teddy as a caricature of real bears. We did have a West Indian guy in my home town when I was growing up. He drove a bus and was universally loved. He became a Justice of the Peace and when he retired the local paper did a feature on him – not because he was black but because he was such an awesome bloke. Nowadays it’s not quite so relentlessly monocultural and they have an absolutely top-notch Indian restaurant but if you asked me where the mosque was I’d draw a blank, and I guess so would half the town (I assume there is one, I just can’t think where it might be). Now Bradford, where I lived before I emigrated, is another story entirely…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 5, 2015, 8:33 am

My mother in law adored her golly, too. It was just her golly, to her.

They still sell them around here, much to the huffing and puffing of the BBC from time to time.

Comment from beasn
Time: February 6, 2015, 3:51 am

Golliwogs didn’t start off as being racist. Just a black troll who turned out to be a good guy.

Grace Drayton, Dolly Dingle (a.k.a. Campbell Soup kids, turn of the 20th century) comics and paperdolls, artist, would throw some Gollys in her work, on occasion.
1917 – http://tinyurl.com/n4ozln5

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