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Behold, the Golliwog.

There’s this mixed Brits-and-Americans forum on which I out-hang (I don’t know why; it’s a terrible place full of leftards and hippies). On inauguration day, there was an outbreak of no-YOU-guys-are-big-fat-racists, and somebody brought up the Golliwog. An indignant Brit sputtered that it’s called a “Golly” now, and anyway you can’t buy them in Britain any more.

So I had to stop and take a picture when I passed this shop window today.

I’m not entirely sure why the Golly is considered offensive. He’s got the jaunty little suit and tie and everything. I mean, nobody gets the vapors over Raggedy Ann, and she’s a ginger. And raggedy.


Comment from Dawn
Time: January 21, 2009, 9:53 pm

So I followed the Golliwog link and then clicked on racism. I can totally see why these dolls could be offensive. I had to look up the poem of course.

Seven little nigger boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.

But wouldn’t that make Eight little nigger boys instead?


Comment from Dawn
Time: January 21, 2009, 10:08 pm

Listen to the real Clinton…

Comment from Sarah D.
Time: January 21, 2009, 11:07 pm

Meh. When the Brits have a black/arab/whatever Prime Minister I’ll take their America bashing seriously. Until then? Not.

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 22, 2009, 2:19 am

I remember a story from a year or two ago, where the cops went into a man’s shop and confiscated all of his golliwogs (in the UK). Wound up being a big stink and they had to give them back where he continued to sell them. I hadn’t heard that they banned them. I think they are sweet and part of history.

In the vintage (1913-1934) Dolly Dingle paperdolls, I collect, the artist, Grace Drayton, gives the dolls their own little dolls and animals. In many of them, there is a golliwog. If little girls loved on them, how is it racist?

*mind the space* from Dec. 1917,

http ://farm4.static.flickr.com/3396/3216665927_838291afe3_o.jpg

Also have the 1924 pattern of a little black rag doll, called Chocolate Drop, she sold through a magazine.

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 22, 2009, 3:37 am

From skimming through a little googling, the golliwog was a rag doll that went on adventures with two other dolls. He was portrayed in a positive manner and it wasn’t until later that his image changed for the worse.

See for yourself from the very first ‘story’..
*mind the gap*

http ://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=199907&pageno=2

To read up on it here, OH NOES, it’s so awful, perhaps we should be PC. Dumb people.
http ://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/golliwog/

You can get your own illustrated copy from a 2007 reprint.

http ://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Bertha%20Upton&index=blended&Search=Search&page=1

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 22, 2009, 3:48 am

Oh, and you can get yourself a 2007 reprint of the first golliwog adventure at amazon.com.

(my amazon link is in the pit, but no need to pull it out)

I’d like to see other illustrations from the book because the cover doesn’t impress me.

Now Raggedy Ann, my daughter’s favorite,….I lumme some Johnny Gruelle.

I see nothing racist about how the golliwog was originally written. Yeah, he might have been an ugly rag doll, but from what I remember about my childhood, those were the bestest, most hugable kind. People need to get over themselves.

Comment from porknbean
Time: January 22, 2009, 3:56 am

Rats, akismet ate the whole post. He didn’t like 3 linkys.

In case the weasel can’t peel herself offaway from that badger to look in the pit…..

The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg.

http ://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=199907&pageno=2

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 22, 2009, 8:41 am

Oops…sorry, PnB. I cleaned the filter reflexively.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: January 22, 2009, 9:00 am

Not as raggedy as the lawn of The Mall in Washington DC!

Comment from iamfelix
Time: January 22, 2009, 10:24 am

from dfbaskwill

Not as raggedy as the lawn of The Mall in Washington DC!

LOL! Yeah, that would be a tough one to beat. I thought they were all the Earf-friendly (as Rush would say) folk.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: January 22, 2009, 11:27 am

Interesting links, PnB – Thanks. I love classic illustration. Have you seen this site? Ton o’ nice work there.

I noticed this header

“THEM” Explores the subjugation of women, poor Whites, gays, Jewish Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans — and others. Link

at the Jim Crow site. Apparently the only things that are appropriate for caricature are vaguely white men with a little walkin’ around money.

Aside: As I was typing, I found this.

As for images, is this really more unrealistic or or inherently negative than this? How about this?

I’m no supporter of racism. It’s not only evil but stupid. We shouldn’t marginalize any human being for the way they look or speak. There’s enough to castigate them for if we stick to how they behave, which is far more important. But the state can only do so much – You can work to strike down any official racial discrimnation, but you can’t legislate out individual stupidity any more than you can legislate morality. Pity.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: January 22, 2009, 11:31 am

Akismet ate my comment for too many links, even though I added them in Edit. 🙁

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: January 22, 2009, 12:08 pm

Askimet has put me in filter simply for editing a post more than once. It’s very touchy.

*insert rant on racism and how people are offended too easily nowadays and a good portion of the Global Population needs to grow a spine, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum*

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: January 22, 2009, 12:25 pm

That window sill could do with a lick of paint.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: January 22, 2009, 4:22 pm

Well I’ll say it out loud then, Nichole. 🙂

Problem is, people choose to judge things based on their own context not on the context of the event that happened way in the dim mists of time.

Look at all the things people choose to call racist today that had not one iota of racist intent (reality, not just subjectively) back in the day.

And even then… and I hope this doesn’t sound callous… but so what if it was racist? In the instances I am thinking of, it was a long time ago. There are things in history we all agree are just flat out wrong, but we don’t throw out the past entirely in some fit of revisionary history because people’s behavior was offensive.

Or do we?

Comment from Nicholas the Slide
Time: January 22, 2009, 5:57 pm

Or do we?

I know a lot who would if they could and some of them now are almost in a position where they can.

I mostly left mine unwritten as I’ve done that rant here before. 😉

Comment from Lemur King
Time: January 22, 2009, 6:11 pm

Yeah, but being anal-retentive (does it have a hyphen?) I felt the need to say it anyway. OCD is a harsh mistress.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 22, 2009, 7:55 pm

This is a new version of Akismet. Apparently, it’s not as easygoing as the old version about edits. Huh.

I wonder if it still hates Lokki.

Comment from Allen
Time: January 22, 2009, 8:54 pm

I forget what it stood for, but W.O.G was an acronym for something in Their Maj’s Empire. Not too nice if I recall.

Hey, I met the great-grand whozit of His Chelmsfordness once, Serious Bad Zulu Day

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 22, 2009, 10:07 pm

Wily Oriental Gentleman…

Amazing though it may be to relate, that was explained to me by a geography master at school.

Those were the days!

Comment from Lokki
Time: January 22, 2009, 11:33 pm

Akismet doesn’t hate Lokki, he likes Lokki, uhm, right Akismet?

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