Golly G yet another attack on the beloved Golly from my childhood

My Aunty Diana knitted my brothers and me a Golliwog doll each when we lived in Kawerau. She was our next door neighbour and her family adopted our family. Aunty Diana was Tongan and had married a Kiwi. Each golly was unique with different clothes. One I remember had a blue tailcoat. They were wonderful works of art handmade with love and my brothers and I loved them.

One of her daughters knitted me an upside-down doll which was very cool. It was a princess who had brown knitted skin and a beautiful ball dress and when you flipped her over and turned her skirts inside out she was then a princess with white knitted skin and a different ball dress. These were the only dolls I had that acknowledged that white wasn’t the only skin colour. In the shops, all the dolls were white and apart from Jemima on Playschool and the Maori dolls in traditional costumes there was nothing else.

Play School
Television, 1972–1990

I fail to see why people are so determined to be outraged and see racism whenever someone attempts to sell a GolliWog. As the latest target pointed out their origin story is not what you might think.

A Waiheke Island tourist gift shop owner is defending stocking golliwog dolls.

African-American tourists shocked at the sight of golliwog dolls in a Waiheke Island gift shop are being reassured by the store’s owner that the dolls aren’t racist.

Pictures of the dolls […] emerged on social media this week.

Kat, the owner of Escapade Boutique, a tourist gift store on Waiheke Island that stocks the dolls, says she decided to start selling them shortly after buying the store two-and-a-half years ago.[…]

“They’re known all over the world. The only people you have to be very quick to explain them to is black Americans,” she said.[…]

“They started off as talismans in England. They were based off chimney sweeps and chimney sweeps were actually white people.”

Kat admitted some African-American visitors still have “a bit of a look on their faces” after she gives her version of the dolls’ origins.

Well too bad that is their problem. If they don’t like them then don’t buy them. Why should others who have happy associations with them and see them as the complete opposite of racism be prevented from buying them?

However, she said there were “more important things for people to get offended about”.

African-American tourists didn’t understand that the toys were an “English thing”, she said.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has previously said golliwogs are not harmless toys.

Susan Devoy, as usual, is right on the button. Golliwog suicide bombers and Golliwog stabbing attacks on innocent citizens have been on the increase all over the western world. They must be stopped. But seriously, isn’t it more racist to want to remove dolls that don’t conform to the white doll majority?

“They were born out of racism and represent an era that is best left in the past.”

Chimney sweeps are racist?

Two years ago, Pak n’ Save was forced to pull a golliwog toy from its shelves after a public outcry about the toy’s origins.

Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum in Michigan also lists golliwog dolls as “racist memorabilia”.

This from the same country that considers a watermelon to be an offensive racist gift.

[…] “As far as I’m concerned society has just gotten far too PC. We’ve lost so many great stories,” she said.

“There was another great story called Little Black Sambo who was a very pleasant little boy. But that story’s not allowed now.”

Most who noticed them were just happy to see a toy from their childhood on sale, she said.

Golliwogs were among the most popular dolls she sold, but she also stocked “white” dolls with blue eyes made by the same Australian manufacturer, she said.

“I don’t care if people have a go at me about my gollis. I’m not going to stop selling them.”

– Stuff

Good on her.

 


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