I am so offended right now I think I’m getting a migraine. I have no real reason to be offended but goddammit. So offended.
Stupidity on this level should be offensive.
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
as the seller of this tablecloth, I have a question for you deep thinkers: why do you assume this is a slave woman just because she is black? Seems a little racist to me. My awkward attempt at humor was really to posit the notion that women have been and still are “slaves.”
but some of you geniuses need a smiley to know when to laugh. I got a laugh from an email I received (thru regretsy) pointing out that slavery is BAD. Who knew?
while you earnest spectacled young know-it-alls pore over the internet to ferret out evil, just remember this: the internet is laughing at YOU behind your back.
This might be the weakest C.Y.A I’ve ever seen. You’re the one who thought it was cute to paint a rosy portrait of slavery.
Of course, you changed it later once you realized what a racist asshole you sounded like.
You made many new customers today.
and I have you to thank!
Bronc/HK combo comment attack! Someone sign me up!
HK, this is actually against Etsy’s policies as of January 2012. Etsy has a ton of racist items, many of which aren’t vintage, but are hand made today and Etsy profits from them. For more info please check this out. I love your site. It’s fucking awesome.
no, it was an ironic aside about housewifery.
I changed it because Etsy has policies about offensive copy, and why would I deliberately offend? I actually hate writing descriptions, where I find myself using words like “adorable” and “fabulous” – one gets into a zone.
I once sold a towel that said “Quiet Woman” depicting a headless farm wife. That must mean I support violence against women.
I’m learning so much!
also, I just realized I meant to say “signed me up” – which slants the meaning a little.
but I also realize that this blog simply loves to target and insult, and it was probably a mistake to pop my head up in this lynch mob atmosphere,
You poor thing. You feel like you’re being attacked by a “lynch mob”. A “mob” that wants to “lynch” you. It’s almost like us regretsians are all dressed in white and chasing after you with burning crosses; incensed with the blind rage that consumes our bloated, unemployed asses.
If this what being a Fat Jealous Loser is; sign me up!
#1. American once enslaved black people. It was kind of a big deal.
#2. During and after that period, America came up with some caricatures of black people that specifically related back to slavery.
#3. You’re selling an item featuring one of those images, and to describe it, you said, “If this is slavery…”
We know the image is associated with slavery. You know the image is associated with slavery. You referenced slavery in selling the image, acknowledging that it’s associated with slavery.
Id est, you are full of shit. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, and all that jazz.
this is you: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/nitpick.htm
or this: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/cybersisters.htm
No way, you said genius first, I’m keeping that. Quid pro quo, e pluribus unum.
Are you part stupid or full? YOU made the insinuation she’s a slave with your little “sign me up for slavery lolz!” crap. The offensive part isn’t the black mammy character per se– that character, for better or worse, exists and one can certainly use it in such a way so that it is not racist. What *is* offensive is the line you use: If this is slavery then someone sign me up. What is offensive is even an insinuation that slavery is anything but ugly. You should know slavery is kind of a sensitive topic here in the states. It isn’t “fun”. It isn’t “cute”. It isn’t “totes adorbs”. You can complain that people just don’t get your humor all you want but as a seller, it is your responsibility to make your meaning clear to your market demographics.
Of course I am not racist. I have plenty of black customers.
Is it wrong that I am now envisioning some Reretsy shwag (like a tote bag) that has the phrase “If this is slavery, then someone sign me up!”
Is it worse that my first thought was “I’d buy that”? Then my second and third were “That’s horrible,” “Fuck I’m a terrible person.”
We understand. We’re all terrible people here.
always go with your first response – it’s the most honest
I don’t hold vintage sellers responsible for the images on their old items. But writing a description for the vintage item that is even more insensitive than the item for sale is just wrong! Or just plain stoopid because the image is not about slavery. The image is about bad taste racial humor in the 20th Century, almost a decade after the 13th and 14 Amendments.
I think you mean nearly a century.
Some times it feels more like a decade.
Yes, I meant nearly a CENTURY. That’s what happens when I haven’t finished my coffee before writing. Thanks for the correction!
I dunno, aren’t the sellers at least a little responsible for what they choose to sell? Even if these items are falling out of the sky into their laps they could always choose to donate them to, say, the Jim Crow Museum in Michigan.
I don’t sell so-called Black Americana, and I don’t have any in my inventory. But if something vintage like the tablecloth or apron was included in a lot I purchased, I would happily donate it to a museum. I think people should have items available for study that show unpleasant aspects of pop culture, including racism. But I don’t want to deal with this subject matter as a merchant.
I’ll bet this type of bad taste racial humor will still be around in the 21st Century.
It is available. There are 21st Century reproductions of 20th Century Black Americana being made in the USA and China…and sold on Etsy as ‘vintage’.
“you mean there weren’t slaves during the 50s?”
no, there weren’t.
slaves to the beat, daddy-o!
Yikes, what? There are still slaves today, let alone in the 50s. What world do you live in?
Has it ever occurred to her that her black customers might be buying the stuff to destroy it? I I have an African-American friend who does that-buys what she referrs to as ‘Mammy Memorabilia’ off Ebay, and then burns it.
And I have a well-known African-American friend (she calls herself ‘black’) who buys Black Americana items so that history is not forgotten. Burning these items is like what that Holocaust denial folks do.
Lol most of us use black because to many African American seems more fitting if you are like 1st generation in America. Plus I never would ever say caucasian-american. Lol plus that sentence in the last picture is more f#$ked up than anything. Lol
sounds like something Robespierre might have done. I’ve heard of book burnings, but….
I’d like to double like this comment, please??
Our double thumbs-up it. Eh
The quarter ethiopian part of me thinks “that’s racist” but the southerner in me just sits here going “Mmmmm Pancakes!” and the fat guy in me concurs…
True Confession: I clicked on your name trying to make your pic a little bigger (You look like a friend of mine and I was trying to see if you were him). It took me to your facebook page where I stayed only long enough to see your awesome salsa recipe. When I get a real job (as opposed to the part-time temporary silliness I do now) I am so making that. Well, if I can track down the recipe again.
Because you’re nice and you looked me up… I have very few friends(i”m kind of a bish…) here’s the link… I have a couple other recipes on there too. I’m writing a southerner’s gluten free lactose free cookbook, so keep an eye out.
A Southerner’s gluten free lactose free cookbook? Is that even possible? I’ll be watching!
Yeah. The working name, and probably will be the final name is “Biscuits, Briskets, and Bon Bons” I have had celiac sprue most of my life and I’ve been lactose intolerant since day one(yay me!). I’m an at home cook, went to school and everything(now I’m in seminary, go figure!), and have decided to compile all the recipes I have put together over the years. It’s my answer to the southerner’s need for biscuits and gravy that won’t end in cramps and a three hour trip to the potty.
Any way to pre order this book? My daughter is lactose intolerant, I’m allergic to wheat, and I’m a homesick Southerner!
This is great. I am excited–and the cookbook sounds like a really good idea too. It’s on my (ever-growing list) of things I want.
Sunshine and salsa–
Given the tardiness of this comment, you may not see it. But I have passed your facebook fanpage along to a friend who is forced into having a restricted diet due to arthritis. I figure she might benefit from your recipes
I so want that cook-book. Will be watching out for it. If you’re keeping any sort of list of potential customers, I’d love to be on it
Wow, three guys at once. Can’t wait to see the video online.
thanks…that’s what I was going for. Mom and apple pie Americana. I still don’t know why all these racist posters assumed she was a slave.
Probably because you called her one in your description.
You should really stop talking now…
Who doesn’t love a little racism and slavery in the morning?
Should we sign you up too?
it’s the only way to get a good BM… and by BM I mean Black Man… god I miss my ex…
Only if it comes with the smell of Napalm.
You mean “VICTORY”!
Okay, any Svakmajer fans out there? Am I the only one that thinks Chelsea came straight out of the flick Little Otik?
I watched the video, I saw the picture, I have no idea what is going on and I want to go home and pretend none of this never happened.
You don’t want to know. It starts weird, gets gross and ends badly.
Exactly. I love that shit.
It´s based on a fairytale.
Woman can´t have kids, so her husband goes to the woods and brings her a stump that looks like a baby. She puts it in a cradle, sings to it etc. and then the thing comes alive and starts eating….everything.
When the parents run out of food, the “Otik” (Otesánek – “wooden baby”) eats them and a few other people. Later he eats a lumberjack, who uses his axe to get out of Otik´s stomach and helps all the other people (alive and untouched) to get out.
Yes. This is the kind of stuff we tell our children before bedtime. Canibalism and murders.
Yay Czech Republic!
Czech Republic cannibalism and wooden baby fairytales? Now my family’s insanity makes sense.
But what’s the moral of the story? Don’t destroy the forest creatures’ habitat? Don’t eat a lumberjack?
…but is it really cannibalism if a tree stump eats a lumberjack? Isn’t that just payback?
The moral? You think you want a kid, but what you really get is a monster that will literally eat you out of house and home. So, use a condom.
I don’t know what that is.
But it reminds me of that “baby” that Claire had on the LOST island.
LOL. What? Aaron/Turniphead? Was that in one of her nightmares or something? I’m LOST.
Crazy-ass Claire! Boy howdy, do I miss her and that group. Turniphead! BEST BABY NICKNAME EVER.
Every day I look at my Sawyer-on-the-raft talking action figure and think, “WTF did all it mean?” Truth be told, I just look at his rippling muscles beneath the torn T-shirt and snug jeans and wish they’d made one of when he emerged from the surf, naked, to find Crazier-than-a-June-bug Kate in his campsite.
Where was I?
A friend of mine refuses to watch any new J.J. Abrams’s shows. “I’m not falling for it a second time!”
I sooo want to slobber all over your comment, being a huge fan…just don’t have time. Fuck, man.
Alcatraz. I watched that, it’s promising, I suppose but he’ll never trump LOST.
Alcatraz is good, Fringe is better. But neither of them have Sawyer, much to their detriment.
Sawyer? That man needs to turn up in every show everywhere. Shirtless. Even as a background actor waiting in line for a bus. Shirtless.
For those mentioning Sawyer (and thank you for reminding me of his Sawyerness) I remember thinking that THIS is why I love the internet:
I believe Australian spelling is “bayh-beee”
it’s very people under the stairs meets nell…
Wrong! Ausies cnan’t spel.
(source – I am Australian, and from your perpective, upside down)
This looks amazing. Watched the trailer and noticed that the preview for “What to Expect…” pops up next to it, as if they are remotely in the same vein…
OMG…what to expect…hope not.
hooooooooMIGOD I saw that movie by accident one rainy afternoon and had forgotten about it! NOOO WHY DID YOU REMIND ME!!!! i registered just to yell that at you.
Only, Little Otik is a surrealist-commentary-on-Communism-fairytale and this…doll with her watermelon is just racist.
Yeah, it does look like that.
‘Chelsea’ was made from a pattern? It looks like it was found at the bottom of the sea, or summoned from Silent Hill. Its just…what IS it? Ugh….It looks like it smells of old musty boiler lagging.
Did a search for the pattern she referred to. Yes, there is a pattern and there’s more where that came from.
So there’s someone out there who’s actually putting out patterns so people can do reproductions of this racist stuff? Sometimes, I really hate capitalism.
I have nothing against primitive dolls, but could they at least look like they have not been dragged on a tow across deasert and I did not need a tetanus shot to handle them?
Good examples of simple dolls: http://mykiddylv.blogspot.com/2011/11/roku-lelles-mazajiem-un-vairs-ne-tik.html
No, you see…the “grunge” is part of the charm! The patterns even include “grunging techniques” – well, at least one of them does.
But does it not beat the purpose of it being a doll? I mean dolls are there mostly for playing, and some – for looking at. But this one suits neither purpose.
All of the doll patterns look really gunky. Maybe it would look good in a decor named “basement chic” alongside cracked cement and furnace duct work.
Why does anyone need a pattern to make a shapeless lump that looks like it was crafted by a chimp?
Also this one is even more racist/terrifying
With a few pins, her patterns would make some serious voodoo dolls
“summoned from Silent Hill” describes it perfectly! Am I the only one who finds ‘primitive’ crafts terrifying?? What really freaks me out are those scrapbooky doll things, with the shapeless muslin bodies and enormous paper heads, like little vintage Frankensteins… those patterns are hideous, too, they look like they were dragged out of an abandoned asylum…
Ia! Ia! Watermelon Fhtagn!
That name…that movie. *shudder*
Crazy lady can’t have a baby…husband makes her one out of a stump…she fakes a pregnancy…the thing comes to life…nursing, shitting, eating…eventually EVERYTHING.
It’s on Netflix, I think. Svankmajer is kinda out there.
ah… and now I shall delve that dark corner of the flix… dun dun dun… HOLY SHITBALLS!
Svankmajer’s “Alice” is creepy enough ( and boring).
You speak lies. I own it and adore it! Nothing creepier than sock-puppet catipillar. O_O
I watched it last night, during a storm… I haven’t been to sleep yet…
There’s a name and a film I haven’t heard often in a very long time.
reminds me of little red riding hood, actually. except for the adoption part.
The tablecloth Mammy Chores:If this is slavery…someone sign me up! Oh my GOD! I spit coffee out of my fucking nose! WTF was this seller thinking?!
I see the description has been changed…Holy sh*t!
I was actually thinking that it wasn’t too racist, since I remember my elderly neighbor growing having a similar table cloth so I know it’s gotta be at least 60 years old since she got it for her bridal shower or something and she was a bat old B (it was pretty racist when it was made though). The description made me choke on my own spit!
I thought it was April making a joke. I didn’t think it was possible that someone could be both that stupid and that racist. And then I remembered all of the arguments I get into with people in the HuffPo Comments…
Thank goodness for screen caps!
Seriously, who writes that and thinks “oh no one will possibly find that offensive”?
I hear David Duke has an Etsy shop…
Let me guess — handmade bedsheets.
Spooky ghost costumes?
I met him once, no lie. There was a picture taken and everything. He was signing my teeshirt when I was little. It was during the David Duke/Edwin Edwards(no idea why there was so much alliteration!) gubernatorial race in louisiana in the 80′s. My Dad(local clansman extraordinaire!) was a big fan of Duke. I didn’t know who he was until my Mother told me he would hate me for my “Jewish Blood.” Then I figured out what she meant… yeeps.
Business must be booming if you’re not the least bit hesitant to alienate a significant portion of your potential customer base.
Oh, no, wait–it’s just an asshole who never thinks of those things before opening their mouths, like the carpet salesman around here who keeps putting pro-Jesus and anti-gay messages in his business commercials; only here, it’s racism.
Now the description has been edited, I could read the rest of it below the slavery comment. The seller ‘reinked’ the print, destroying any value it had as an old tablecloth. Vintage, Etsy style = altered. OMG
Wow, I’m so glad to find out from that last tablecloth that slavery was such a whimsicle romp. Makes me feel so much better about being white.
The rest of it makes it sound like she’s TRYING really hard to make it okay, but nothing can fix the first part. Like … I guess she was going for “obviously she’s having a ball so this can’t have been during the era of slavery,” but … gah.
I know. Who needs free will when there’s fresh pie?
Whatever happens, make sure no-one shows this collection to The Daily Mail. Ever.
When I was a newspaper reporter in the long long ago, I was assigned to do a happy little “community profile” of a local resident, an African-American elderly woman who was a noted volunteer with a number of non-profits. When I arrived at her home, I noticed she had a collection of more than a hundred “Sambo” and “Mammy” cookie jars. She noticed that I – white boy – noticed and she simply said:
I actually like the way they look, but also no matter what we have to remember that this was part of our history and I want to make sure that I pass these down to my grandkids as physical reminders of that history. Just because it’s gotten better doesn’t mean it wasn’t bad.
That being said, somehow I don’t think the luna-bitch with the table cloth waxing nostalgic over the simplicities of slavery was thinking the same thing.
I am a ragtime pianist, and a lot of the song lyrics from the 1900′s and 1910′s were just plain offensive to a modern ear. And the sheetmusic covers on a lot of rags, including rags by black composers, had racial stereotypes very much like the ones portrayed above (that tablecloth image was fairly typical). The historians who study the music of the era in question, and the musicians who perform it (who are, for the most part, white), thus find themselves in an uncomfortable dilemma. Most justify it as “Well, this was part of history, and we have to remember it and pass it on” or “Well, this is damn good music, and we can’t let it die because people looked at racism differently 100 years ago”.
Which doesn’t excuse the idiocy of the sellers in question, of course. There’s a difference between refusing to whitewash history and actively creating new racist objects.
Ragtime for the win!
Gonna have to watch this like a hawk
I can just sense the drama in the air
I know it’s oh so politcally correct, but me and my husband wanted to start a black Americana collection. We run across tons of this type of stuff in the south. We just can’t believe some of the stuff was ever on the market. We are pissed we didn’t pick up the “darkie toothpaste” when we saw it.
there’s an exhibit at the Mark Twain House right now featuring cutesy racial advertisements up through the 1960s. It has a disclaimer out front basically saying “Warning: You WILL be offended.”
They’re not wrong.
I have a copy of the Golden Book for Bugs Bunny. I think it was published in the early 50s. Needless to say, there are a lot of lovely stereotypes in there as he travels around the world on his kite. China does not fare any better than Africa.
Oh…old cartoons are a bounty of racism. Some of my favorite examples are the old Private SNAFU cartoons paid for by the War Department and made by Warner Brothers. Here, take No Buddy Atoll (directed by Chuck Jones) for example: http://youtu.be/nZm7glA0xC0
my college roommate used to have 16mm copies of all the WB Clampett cartoons, such as this gem
Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarves
Read any Babar the Elephant books lately? Wow.
Babar’s pretty xenophobic, yeah. So’s TinTin. My parents still have one of my dad’s old Noddy books from his childhood. Leaving aside the whole golliwog business, the book’s called “Noddy and the Magic Rubber,” so it works in its own special way. (“Rubber” has a different meaning in the UK than in the US.)
Oh, TinTin. I was heartbroken when I grew up and realized just what Herge’s depictions were. White people problems.
Sounds like Herge got challenged on that very thing and that his friendship with Zhang Chongren changed his art and attitudes. It’s an interesting story, and shows an artist being called on racist depictions, taking it seriously, resolving to change and learn to do research and work with respect, and then doing so. (I haven’t read all that much Tintin, so I dunno how successful his changes were myself.)
There are actually a lot of African-American collectors of vintage pieces of this nature. Someone has to preserve it to show future generations how f’d up a lot of people were back then…and apparently, still are.
Yeah, I know a POC artist who collects that stuff. Guess what he uses it for?
What? My curiosity, consider it piqued.
Thank you, apparently I’m just a racist considering my low comment rating.
I think it was the “I know it’s oh so politically correct”, which came across as flippant and squeeful, not unlike the featured content.
The troubles conveying tone on the internet and all that rot.
It’s been done, and actually quite tastefully. The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia: http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/
Wow, that is actually fascinating and educating. Thats interesting to hear the origin of Aunt Jemima, and I had no idea that lawn jockeys are supposed to be black, i just thought they were tasteless because….well….theyre lawn ornaments.
I wish the website had more stuff online, since id go to see it myself but california is no where near michigan.
That first image under black “brutes”? She’s having a good time… Then, he may have been seen as a threat. Now, it’s more like, “Well done, dear. Well done.”
thank you for posting the link!
when my family moved to NC from Chicago in the ’80s i was woefully ignorant of racism and history; i got a fast, hard education. the Sambo and Mammy products were still being sold at nearly every thrift store and flea market, some of the products weren’t even vintage. even in enlightened Charlotte, racist books, films and products were all around.
now i live in a tiny New England town, not much racism to be seen … only because there’s very few non-caucasians. the museum links to articles that will be great for teaching my daughter about racism, according to her understanding as she ages.
The toothpaste is still on the market, with a slightly altered name and logo–except in Asia, where they’ve stuck with the old name and logo and apparently it’s pretty popular.
I don’t want to think too hard on that.
A lot of Asian cultures are pretty racist… It’s not like we’ve cornered the market on Racism here in the USA.
In defense of some of those Asian cultures, a lot of it is oblivious racism. Wacky stuff like, “darkie toothpaste” can remain on the market because most of the people there don’t actually realize how racist it sounds.
Ironic racism? Reminds me of hipsters featuring fauxbos and how the offensiveness skipped right over their heads and drifted through the wafting smoke.
You can see oodles of examples of that at engrish.com. Alot of times they just jumble English words together on tshirts and ads because they like the way they look or sound, with no sense of their meaning. I’m sure lots of Americans get tattoos of characters from Asian alphabets that are incoherent to the people who actually read them.
No dude… You’re wrong. It’s not “oops we’re racist”. A lot of Asian Cultures (especially Korean and Japanese), are super racist. They believe their culture is superior and have long histories of subjugating other races (even other Asian groups.)
For example: did you know the Japanese had imprisoned thousands of Koreans during ww2 and used them for forced labor and medical experiments? After the USA bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki they shipped the bomb effected Koreans in the cities back to Korea and refuse to acknowledge their claims for assistance. Why did the Japanese do this to the Koreans? Because they believed they were a lesser race and deserved to be enslaved.
Asian cultures are rife with racist attitudes towards each other and other groups of people. Just like their are racist Europeans. ((ask your average Greek what they think about a Turk)).
It’s hardly racism when the Turks have a long history of prosecuting and murdering the Greeks as well as any other culture that isn’t Muslim or Turkish. When you ask the ‘average’ Greek what they think about a Turk, remember that the average Greek could have grandparents or grandparents who were MURDERED by the Turks. Look up the the Smyrna Massacre – where the Turks started a fire in a Greek settlement to kill thousands of innocent people.
ThisLegOfMine, not for nothing… but I’m pretty sure you completely missed my point. I didn’t say that racism doesn’t exist in those cultures; rather, I am pointing out the fact that a lot of Engrish is written by people who have very little concept of the English language, and are therefore oftentimes accidentally offensive.
Basically, it boils down to intent. Was the author intending to be racist? The answer, more often then not, is no.
My understanding (from the internet, so…take it as it comes) is that in Japan, being racist against, say, a black person is to beat up or kill that person. Everything else is just a good chuckle.
Have you ever seen the Pokemon named Jynx? It’s basically a Mamie doll. My husband works for a company that imports collectibles from Japan, and I pulled out a bag of little Mamie dolls and was horrified, even more so when I lifted the tag and saw they were Pokemon figures.
I work indirectly for Nintendo, and yeah, they redesigned Jynx for the American market pretty quickly – at least, they turned her face purple.
Thank goodness! These figures are all black, and I can’t look at them and think anything but Mamie.
I’ve watched several Anime’s where their are black people with dark skin and big pink lips… They were introduce to black-face through early cartoons like Betty Boop ((racist as shiiiiit)), which heavily influenced “anime”, So I’m pretty sure it’s no innocent.
It’s not only anime.
I’ve seen stills of a McDonald’s cartoon made in the 90s by the same studio that did the Wild Thornberries, and there was a clearly African caricature tribe with loin cloths, spears, nubbly hair and big lips. But I guess they successfully defended the designs by claiming it wasn’t racist because their skin was purple instead of brown.
They still sell it Asia, but it’s called Darlie now. They have it at Chinese grocery stores in my town (in Canada). They have made the logo less… blackfacey.
oh aren’t these just charming
Lovely AND unique!
What great colors!
I see what you did there…
HAHAH! Yeah, slavery was just all baking pie and ice cream socials. Go to the market, kick your feet up and peel some delicious fresh apples and drink some sweet tea. Who wouldn’t want to be a slave?
Oh wait…it was nothing like that, ever. That’s just a disgusting literal white washing of history.
None of the items shown are about slavery, though. Racism didn’t end with the Emancipation Proclamation — racism is still around! The items are kitsch representations of native Africans or African Americans. Nothing here is intended to be historically accurate. It’s pop culture in very bad taste.
I’m guessing she’s responding to the item description of the tablecloth?
Helps to read the descriptions, hon!
Gasp! I never thought I’d find a keychain for the fashionable racist!
Wait, Chelsea is SOLD? Now where will I get the redheaded alien Negro doll dug up from the yard (with watermelon!) that I’ve always dreamed of?
The vintage items at least have some excuse for existing, although the descriptions are execrable.
Out of all of these items and descriptions, the thing that disturbs me the most is what “Chelsea” is sitting on. That people are stupid enough to make and write these things is disturbing, but not surprising. The things in that jar, however, are nightmare inducing.
I’ve got the heebie jeebies now.
Better go drink.
That’s usually my reaction to seeing a post here as well.
IT DOES NOT COST $9 to ship a keychain! Even priority mail! DAMN. I want it so bad. So offensive. *mumble mumble* My boyfriend won’t pay $30 for a keychain, regardless of how gloriously offensive it is.
What a douche…if he really loved you he’d like totally buy it for you, right? Guess you’ll just have to hang an aunt Jemima syrup from your keys and call it a day.
Resin-covered decoupaged Aunt Jemima syrup REPLICA of course.
How did I know I was going to get down-voted.
So that’s not a good mothers day gift then?
IT DOES NOT COST $9 to ship a keychain! Even priority mail!
dude, the seller is SHIPPING FROM TURKEY.
You have no idea what their postal service charges for packages. Don’t know if you’re in the US but our postal rates are crazy cheap compared to other countries.
Don’t make me have to school you again.
Oh. Huh. Reading comprehension fail. I suppose I shouldn’t be allowed on the internet when I’m recovering from the flu. :/
These aren’t offensive, they’re honoring African Americans! I mean, I totally have a black friend and he would not be offended by these at all (I don’t even have to ask him, that’s how good friends we are)!
That last one… oh… oh man… I… all the blood vessels in my eyes just burst.
new regular feature: etsy or stormfront
There are not enough faces nor palms for this.
neither desks nor foreheads… I know your pain my FJL Sisteren… *opens new bottle of vodka*
Would you mind sharing some of that vodka with a 20 year old? I have a sudden need to not remember the rest of the day and regret everything to try and wash this shit out of my brain.
I think the Regretsy answer is “I can’t help what you find your generic party cup.”
… Are you in Canada?
I love how Etsy considers itself so open mind that their brain has completely fallen out.
“If this is slavery, then someone sign me up!” Oh, how I wish I could….
It isn’t banned worldwide and they do have very large UPS boxes nowadays….
This is the internet. We could do it.
Usually, my jaw locks from clenching it too tight from stress.
It just locked because my mouth kept widening in accordance with the horror.
The antique reminders of our country’s past is horror enough, but they’re making NEW shit.
I’m angry. I’m sick. I’m going to show my kids this later and tell them how fast they’ll hit the road if they ever think this shit is funny.
Chelsea looks less “made” and more like “congealed.”
This even isn’t in the “so wrong it’s right” or “so wrong it’s funny” arena. This is “some people need to have their butts kicked” neighborhood.
There is nothing that can be said that will top the “…sign me up!” statement.
This is a great example of hipster racism. It’s okay if it’s ironic, right? Like, we knooooow this is so totally racist, but it’s AWESOMELY racist!
Give me an effing break. These people are gross.
haha, did you read this article? http://jezebel.com/5905291/a-complete-guide-to-hipster-racism
Great article. Thanks for sharing
QOTD from that article: “Freedom of Speech” does not mean “Immunity from Criticism”
Stitch THAT onto a sampler and smoke it.
I’d buy that and hang it right on my front door, so anyone who enters HAS to read it.
Ooh, I’m going to go read that! Yeah, we’re in a post-racist society now, just like we’re post-feminist, right? Sigh.
You all saw this, right?
*pokes out eyes in rage*
I’ve seen that before. And I said, “You know, that’s it. Disney’s not even pretending. They’re racist. They’ve always been racist. They’ll always be racist. And they don’t care WHO knows it.” I guess at some level, I almost have to admire their conviction, even if the belief is wrong. Walt’s smiling in his grave (or his stasis pod or whatever).
Here’s more on the hipster racism phenomenon.
Thanks for posting! I see a lot of people making exactly the kind of backwards-logic arguments this article talks about, and now I finally have something short and sweet to hit back with.
Sorry to be the semiotics police but this is kind of my wheelhouse:
Items one and two aren’t really good examples of racial enlightenment.
Hashtagging something with #thuglife ironically isn’t implying that black people are thugs, it’s contrasting an unthuggish behavior with thuggishness. Just because the term thug is used by rappers, who may or may not be black, doesn’t mean that it has a racial connotation. This is the same mistake that number four calls out so perfectly because it categorizes a behavior racially without any supporting bias in the behavior itself.
The second one seems like it could be equally or predominately classist, rather than racist, since the word ‘ghetto’ has taken on the meaning of an economically impoverished area rather than just a racially segregated one.
I don’t know where you live, but in Oakland the ghetto is definitely racially segregated despite the smattering of white people here hangin ghetto style. I know because some of those white people are totally my best friends.
Aside from classes at Merritt I never spent too much time in Oakland, except to ‘slum it’ at this bar where my friend hosted a comedy night. I did however live within a block of the Sunnydale projects in SF and there was a mix of Middle Easterners, blacks, some Chinese and me and my intersexed roommate, so I stand by my comment even if it isn’t true of all ghettos.
Cupcake Fucker, I love it that you live (or lived?) HERE! But, from what you’ve described, doesn’t your experience just confirm the white vs. everyone else segregation? I used to live in the Lower Haight and the racial segregation there was by the block, just like it is in Oakland. Like I said in another comment somewhere, we can deconstruct these terms, but we can’t remove their history of racial connotation. I think especially “ghetto” and its Jewish history.
I just moved back to Kentucky, but I lived in the Bay Area for about four years. It really is it’s own thing, so I would never say that it is representative of anything but itself.
I don’t think what I’ve related to you speaks to any sort of segregation. It’s possible I was living in a multicultural bubble since I was working at Whole Foods and lived in a youth hostel in the Tenderloin half the time I was there.
As for ‘ghetto’, you’re kind of making my point for me.
To me, someone who grew up all over the place without a specific context, ‘ghetto’ doesn’t have the same meaning as it does to you, or someone from Poland.
Unfortunately it says something about American culture that issues of race and poverty are so inextricably linked that it is hard to tell why people are segregated.
Well, would you look at that! I grew up in Ky and am headed there TOMORROW for a week!
I see your point, but would also say again that context is everything. My perspective is pretty limited to the U.S. and I think racism and poverty are inextricably linked here. Poor white urban areas in Lexington, KY, for instance, aren’t referred to as ghetto. If one of my white friends in KY or Oakland said they liked something *even though* it was “so ghetto,” I’d be like, “um, no,” because I know they’re talking about African-American culture while not knowing what they’re talking about. I probably don’t know what I’m talking about either. And maybe we’re arguing the same point here. So, yeah, outside of the U.S. and within certain bubbles here such as the Tenderloin (<3), calling something ghetto might be about economic class.
That article annoys me. Some of it’s fairly accurate, some of it is just a ludicrous stretch of anyone’s imagination.
Zooey Deschanel tweeting #thuglife is a nonsense example. No rational person should attach the word “racism” to something so benign.
And I say this as someone who hates Zooey Deschanel.
Your comment, and well, this whole collection of fuckery right here, reminds me of this Louis CK routine, from Chewed Up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waehONGY-yI
about white people using the phrase “the N word”.
Also…someone put that tablecloth in a treasury. Just so you know.
1 Treasury list
this killed me….
Oh look – you can get a list of the assholes to AVOID on etsy:
If that’s her idea of being a slave, then she should try being a Hausfrau. Shit, even THAT’S not glamorous in real life. Cooking and cleaning for no pay SUCKS.
Personally the only acceptable slavery is the sex kind… I wonder if I can buy one of those on etsy?
I enjoy being a Hausbär… but then again, I get paid in Peach Dr Pepper and all the brownies I can bake.
THey make Peach Dr Pepper? because that sounds frightening…
no no, Dr Pepper doesn’t bottle Peach Dr. Pepper… however Sonic and/or Jack in the Box have peach flavouring that can be added.. and it is a REVELATION…
as far as the sex slavery thing I’m talking more about guys in Leather Masks and leashes in dark scary sticky floored bars with names like slam and pup. Not trafficking…
For what it’s worth, I never doubted what you meant and gave you an up thumbsie.
“…dark scary sticky floored bars with names like slam and pup.”
I’m not a marketing person, but I’m not sure that “Slam” and “Pup” are the best choices for S&M bars, but if they’re popular, shows what I know, right?
Are ‘Slam’ and ‘Pup’ names of the guys, or names of the bars? I’d like to be clear…
@Mugsy, I think the typical name for a leather bar is “Eagle,” but we’ve also got one called “The Cuff,” which I think is perfect for its artful combination of an act of physical violence as well as a lovely leathery accessory.
PEACH Dr. Pepper? Sign me up for that!
Seriously, is it a regional flavor? Never heard of it.
Peach Dr. Pepper?
Hell, I’d be happy to get the berry one back. I’m stuck with the delicious cherry.
They had a berry Dr Pepper? That I’d like. Not crazy about the cherry one.
Berries and Cream, I believe. And it was the bee’s knees.
it was overly sweet but a great buzz for study nights…
Oh, yes, I remember berries and cream. That was part of their limited edition line. I think French vanilla was another one.
What is the difference between Dr. Pepper and Cherry Dr. Pepper?
Doubleohno: well, you see, Cherry Dr. Pepper has a little bow on her head…
“house bear” makes my fucking life.
it is my “fucking” life… most often
Aww, bHrebear, you’re getting downvotes.
I think you needed to throw the word “consensual” in there, so dim people don’t think you’re okay with human trafficking.
And I’m still giggling over Hausbar! (don’t know how to insert umlaut)
I’m only dim when they deprive me of coffee!
what makes you think I’m not okay with human trafficking? as long as they are of age, hot(by my squiggly standards), male, and coming straight to my door I have NO issue at all…
“Human Trafficking” combines two of the things I most detest, Humans & Traffic.
ok… Whimsicle, that’s pretty much the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Now… back to my cabana boy and mai tai!
Ehhh…I’m a big fan of doing crazy consensual things in bed, but it kinda creeps me out when someone’s reading a thread about actual slavery and racism and thinks to include sexy games. I don’t associate the two closely enough to bring up one where we’re talking about the other.
There’s a FUCKton of advice in dark corners of the Internet for American South master/slave roleplay scenes. Seriously. People internalize feelings of helplessness.
I also know a gay couple where the much-younger member is Jewish and the much-older partner is a blonde German Protestant. They make people uncomfortable when they acknowledge this aloud … but in … multiple ways, let’s say.
I don’t think that this has anything to do with anything and you’re also totally right, I just wouldn’t be an FJL if I didn’t try to make this a tad more exquisitely uncomfortable.
Okay, in retrospect I think you meant the make believe kind of sex slavery and not, you know, *human sex trafficking.* Which is where I thought you were going with that. Gave me a start.
Woo-Hoo!! “Racist Claptrap” new category!! Just when I thought the Etsy well was drying up!
Send all of those listings here: http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/index.htm (and if anyone here has “whaaa, that’s not offensive/it’s just a joke” pals, send them to that site, too)
Thanks for the link. What’s so awful about the sort of things listed above is that they use bright colors and happy imagery to cloak hideous racism. That racism needs to be exposed.
Because slavery is cool! *insert a-typical 80s guy, standing with both thumbs up, and Polo shirt collar popped*
In all seriousness, wtf? Maybe they thought since that racist museum came out, that this kind of stuff is okay now? Regardless of the reasoning, still wtf.
And yet I’m sitting here thinking, “At least somebody hasn’t drawn a happy face on those vintage buttplugs and tried to pawn them off, yet.” VINTAGE BLACK EROTIC AMERICANA!
And somewhere, an Etsyian is pulling out the paints and brushes as we speak. “Maybe a few watermelon slices along the shaft? Oh, yes, let’s!”
Etsy: The perfect rainbow of cupcake resellers and stardust racists.
“Cupcake Resellers and Stardust Racists!”
I heard that in Robin Leach’s voice.
Three free meals a day, cheap snacks, no bills… hey wait a minute! If this is prison, then someone sign me up!
You even get to pick your own gang! it’ll be a lot like Greek Week in college, only with more shanks.
And a whole lot more butt sex! Well, I guess that depends on which fraternity you were in, actually….
Alpha Gamma Pie-Hole
or would it be Alpha Gamma Corn-Hole? Probably corn hole.. sorry.
Though I will never complain about the oral sex fraternity…
You’ll never complain about the oral sex fraternity…because your mouth will be too full to speak!
Thank you! I’m here all week (until Friday, when I’m off to Petya Palooza). Don’t forget to tip your waitress and then return her to a standing position. You’re a great audience!
And probably a little less assplay.
Shivs. The weapons are shivs. Shanking is a verb. You use a shiv to shank somebody.
Unless she was talking about shins. You know, all the beef shank they serve in the pen and whatnot.
Not on Prison Break!
That key chain looks kind of small. I always thought the black ones were a lot bigger.
Declaring something is “wrong on so many levels” but then stating “and still is awesome” makes you an extra asshole because, not only are you admitting something is wrong, you also just declared that yeah, you actually DO extremely find offensive things fantastic.
“Child pornography is wrong on so many levels and still is awesome.” See? It doesn’t work.
That has to be one of my biggest pet peeves…
There’s nothing wrong with liking things that other people find offensive.
I gave you a thumbs up because if this weren’t true Regretsy wouldn’t exist.
I think people say “wrong on so many levels” cause they’ve heard other people say it and assume they’re supposed to but they are actually too stupid to actually understand.
I could see how something could be wrong on all kinds of levels but awesome in the “awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping” way, though not the more modern and commonly-used “this is great!” way.
‘Cause this stuff is most certainly jaw-dropping and most certainly not great.
If I was a magical wish fairy that last person’s wish would have just come true… because Guess what Glenda the Dumb-ass Crafter of the North, slavery is still around.
A redhead eating watermelon is racist?
Ever since I saw a golly doll and read about ‘Little Black Sambo’ I’ve wondered why these images, and the doll you mentioned, are particularly offensive. Yes eating watermelon is considered stereotypically black, but what is that implying? Black people like fresh fruit? The image of the golliwogg in it’s original instance is actually a friendly character, and even if it’s portrayed with a caricature of stereotypically African features what makes those features negative? I know it’s a sensitive subject but I wonder if this isn’t an example of internalized racism. Google Dr. Kenneth Clark and the doll experiment, or read Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ to get an idea of what I mean.
I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, it’s just something that I’ve been genuinely wondering about lately.
With due respect to Dr. Clark and Morrison, the reason this imagery/association is offensive is the history it’s inherently part of. There’s nothing wrong with having a particular skin color, but that hasn’t stopped genocide. Yes, watermelon is beloved by all kinds of people, but ‘black people like watermelon’ is a stereotype that has been used derogatorily for centuries. No matter how it’s deconstructed, it carries this history of hate.
Yes, but my question is how is this derogatory? I understand that context plays an important part in meaning but as we drift away from a time in history where these symbols have significance why is it important that we reinforce their negative connotations? I would genuinely be interested to learn about the history of this stereotype, and in the meantime will wonder if it will ever be safe for a black man to eat watermelon or fried chicken without wondering whether they are falling into some racist trap. I also think that if negative self-image is the reason why we hold these stereotypes in contempt then black people (I originally wrote we, but I guess I don’t have a horse in this race, so to speak) are just giving power to people who would use them to denigrate their appearance or position in society.
By the way I fully support deconstructing stereotypical imagery because it helps us to realize that these images are just superficial, and that we can look past them to find what makes us truly human.
I heard an interview today with a Republican who is disappointed that Romney is the Republican candidate, but will vote for him because he’d rather have a “Mormon than a Muslim” in the White House. A black person eating a watermelon is just that. An image of a black person (eating watermelon) based directly on the racist images of the past is a symbol (and, I would bet, expression) of that racism. Everything is contextual and the context in the U.S. is still a lot of fucking hatred toward other.
To keep this from becoming a very special episode of Regretsy I humbly thank you for your replies, and for taking the time to read my naive ramblings about the human condition.
Down-thumb me if you must, but I understand your stance, CupcakeFucker. I know the watermelon thing is offensive, but I don’t understand exactly *why* it is. Maybe it’s because I’m in Finland where we didn’t really have slavery and I’m not that educated on the subject, I don’t know. For the record, I *do* think it’s offensive and all these sellers are assholes, k?
Watermelon isn’t a negative in and of itself, but it’s also not an image in and of itself–when it’s thrown out as a stereotype, it automatically carries with it the very southern rural uneducated overall-wearing poor-English-speaking racist image.
If newspapers posted a photo of Obama eating a slice of watermelon, it would be instant joke fodder for racists for this reason–an innocent and tasty piece of produce plays into a larger image.
Dang, half-answered the question and then dropped the ball.
Why watermelon and fried chicken? For the same reason jokes about Sweden/Scandinavia may involve lutefisk. It’s not the only thing eaten there, or even necessarily typical of the cuisine, but it’s odd to others and a little funny, so it serves as a little elbow in the culture’s ribs.
In the case of watermelon and fried chicken, that elbow says, “Ha, you poor uneducated hick.” That’s the black stereotype it plays into.
Yeah, this just. Ugh.
My grandmother gave me a set of racist embroidered tea towels for my wedding. I was like’ “Wtf am I going to do with these?” Now I know! Sell them on ETSY!
Is Chelsea supposed to be human? it looks like a turtle face to me.
Great! I can’t un-see this and it will haunt me all day.
Who knew cats could be racist?
Well, my cats are anti-semitic. They hiss at one of my Jewish friends everytime he comes over. Hey…I wonder if the seller has a Jewish version of the cat toy…I’ll convo.
But the cat toy can’t be racist because Robbie is the “brainy” one! We’re busting stereotypes one cat toy at a time, people!
“If this is slavery, then sign me up!”
I just… I mean… I… WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?! Hey, we’ve got a whip here, I’m more than happy to treat her like a slave. I won’t be gentle with it like I am for my husband, though.
I’m touched by how willing you are to help this young lady make her dream come true. Nothing but Pastel-Stardust-Yummy-Creamy-Cupcakes for you!
Well, I do aim to please.
what is racist about a black catnip toy? If it was white does that make it ok? What is wrong with a black lady carrying a basket of fruit? If she was white would it be ok? How about people are people and who cares what color they are?
are you just completely unfamiliar with black stereotypes? You need to look up “black face” and “mammy” I think the rest will fall into place after that.
Spend a little time here while you’re at it.
If the white catnip toy was patterned after a highly offensive Jewish caricature–say, a big hooked nose, sidecurls and hat, dollar signs for eyes–then no, it would not be OK. It too would be offensive and racist.
If your white catnip toy was just a white catnip toy, it would not be offensive. This is not JUST a black catnip toy, or JUST a black lady with a basket of fruit. There’s a long legacy of open racism behind them.
You must be new here.
Being “color blind” when it comes to people is pretty much just saying “stop being so [insert race here] and just be white like me.” By saying you don’t notice someone’s color, you’re dismissing their heritage and history as unimportant. Equality is not about eliminating differences and making everyone identical, but is about not basing your conclusions about people solely and irrationally on those differences.
Color-blindness in a racial context is just a request for other people to shut up about what makes them who they are so someone else, usually white, doesn’t have to feel so bad while doing nothing to help break the real roots of racism.
I’m sure that has some truth to it, but to me being “colour blind” usually doesn’t mean dismissing someone’s heritage, it just means that all heritages and races are equal. It doesn’t mean one can’t talk about one’s heritage, it just means not judging people based on their heritage. I do not agree with whatetsyever, these items are offensive since they’re based on stereotypes, I just disagree with your definition of colour blind.
People collect things I don’t find in the slightest bit enjoyable, but jesus! “OMG It’s all so adorbs!!”
No. It’s not. War is not cutesy, slavery is not quaint, and ‘just what you need to finish that racist collection’
Just waiting for someone to make and sell supercute Hitler handpuppets!
Someone please tell me that’s a freakishly well preserved photo from WWII Germany and is no more recent than that. PLEASE.
There seems to be a market for such things. I once saw a teddy bear being sold, complete with Hitler ‘stache and swastika.
Apparently, that’s Barty Crouch Sr. from Harry Potter. The photo caused quite an uproar awhile ago, but this one helps explain things!
I do have a Jewish friend with a small but well-curated collection of anti-Semitic vintage stuff. And one of my history teachers had himself a whole wall of anti-Irish political cartoons in his classroom (yes, he was Irish). Fortunately, it’s far less common than this tripe, and neither of them expect anything EXCEPT horror.
There’s a big difference between collecting things for the sake of history (as your friend and teacher did) and collecting things because you think it’s funny or kitchy.
The only Hitler handpuppet I ever saw WAS cute because it was spoofed—it was in the Tim Conway/Lyle Waggoner skit on The Carol Burnett Show where TC is a German officer questioning the captured U.S. pilot LW. TC talks through the little doll, which he keeps in his shirt pocket. When he brings him out, he starts singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and at some point LW punches the little Hitler doll.
That was a little after “Hogan’s Heroes” was on, a show that I found hysterical when I was a kid, but had no clue that it had been 20 years since the realities.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. Just rambling.
This is particularly funny since LW also played Major Steve Trevor on the Wonder Woman TV series.
I LOVED that skit, Mugsy! Especially because Lyle Waggoner kept cracking up at “Hitler,” and somehow made the whole thing tremendously funny.
Also good, Monty Python’s “Mr. Hilter” sketch.
I’m Black and I find this highly offensive and hilarious at the same time.
I decided long ago not to get upset over things considered racist or offensive because if I did then everyday of my life I would be unhappy.
These are funny. I’m now going to aim them to friends and post this on Facebook.
My goodness, aren’t these just LOVELY?
I’m not surprised by any of this. I get horrible racist comemnts sent to me via convos so I guess I’m not that offended that any of these are for sale, since I know there are some sick people out there.
I tend to give vintage racial stuff a bye (not MUCH one of one, mind, but once it’s been done it’s been done)– but if items 1, 2, and 4 are NEW items, that’s pretty fucking tasteless.
Oh, my… should be good & busy on here today, all right. Sign me up, as they say.
OK but when are we going to get to Tragicrafting(TM) Adam Yauch and Maurice Sendak?! It’s time. I need to heal.
94 items so far…
I feel like MCA has been cruelly overlooked. WTF, Craftards? I….need….closure!
And George Lindsay.
I don’t find the first one or the cat toy to be offensive, especially the first. If you look in the background there are several of those little figures in all different colour (red, yellow etc.) so I don’t think the seller is trying to be racially insensitive. Would it be better if the “native” or “islander” or “witch doctor whateverthefuckyouwantocall it” figures were made out of white fabric or yellow fabric? Then someone would go around yelling about that too and how it doesn’t accurately portray the culture/race/ethnicity. The other items on here seem pretty racially insensitive based on their descriptions.
Yeah, I honestly think the first seller’s set is funny as hell — in context. Fake movie monsters: fantasy-fulfilling wild Catholic schoolgirl, wrongdoer-punishing pitchfork-bearing demon, incredibly racist movie African. All the stupid stereotypes that white Anglo-Saxon Protestants use to understand the world. You’d need the whole set for it to work, though.
Of course given that xe hasn’t bothered to add a description or tags to hir boilerplate, I may be giving hir way too much credit — especially as I doubt the same movie stereotypes are current in Turkey. Maybe they are, though.
The thing is, gollywog imagery is a thing. I don’t think you can innocently juxtapose jet black skin, broad leering red lips, and big white googly eyes any more than you could innocently cross-stitch a swastika because you like geometry.
That particular image is a design that’s been around for centuries, and it’s an undeniably racist one, with a racist history. If it’s an accident, it’s a spectacularly ignorant one.
The “Navajo Peace Symbol” slippers was the source of one of the best Regretsy videos ever. Too bad I can’t find a link.
You know, I’ve been thinking about it and I think that usually someone else tends to “sign people up” for slavery… so “someone sign me up” is rather an accurate assessment. Signed up, whether you want to or not.
I don’t people were signed up so much as rounded up
I’m fascinated with the tablecloths that have been over-dyed and re-inked – despite the subject matter. I guess you can fix up old stained fabric and sell it at a premium. The rest of the stuff – OMG.
That shop challenges my ethics. So many beautiful things restored by such an ugly person.
I would like to get worked up about the racism, but I’m stuck wondering why that watermelon-eating roadkill is sitting on a mason jar full of petrified dog turds.
And you’re wondering if the mason jar full of petrified dog turds is for sale?
I’ve got a set of salt and pepper shakers that are about as racist as these things. In my defense, they’re like 80 years old and I discovered them while cleaning out my great-grandmother’s house after her passing.
I found a pic of them on the internet. I don’t have the syrup dispenser, just the shakers.
My girlfriend insists on setting her “two little Indian” salt and pepper shakers from her childhood on our Thanksgiving table … then she takes them off because I start gagging, but she puts them there.
Mine are buried in a box somewhere along with some other old crap. I never actually *used* them.
Who thought a syrup dispenser where you behead someone and pour out their goopy insides was a cute idea?
But then again, Pez dispensers.
I think you’re reading too much into it.
I have a very old ragged book that I loved when I was a child titled “Little Black Samba” given to me by my grandmother. I had no clue as a kid what this represented but I do remember my parents discouraging the choice at bedtime. It mysteriously vanished one day and reappeared 20+ years later in a box of junk I received when my parents moved. My mom told me that as much as she hated that book she couldn’t bring herself to throw it out because she remembered my grandmother reading it to her as a child. Now I feel the same way for some reason.
You can treasure the item and the memories surrounding it, but not believe that it’s a true representation of life. I’m glad she didn’t throw it away. Owning it doesn’t mean you’re racist.
FWIW, Little Black Sambo is actually Indian – like, from India. I have the book too and actually re-read it not long ago. Doesn’t make it any less rascist, but there you go.
The mascot of Sambo’s restaurant chain (yes, there really was such a thing. Basically a Denny’s-type inexpensive diner) was definitely done up as an Indian kid (with a turban).
I still have some matchbooks with that exact image.
I kinda miss them. They were better than Denny’s IMO.
“Is” a restaurant, not “was.” I ate at one maybe 3 or 4 years ago. I’d never heard of it.
It was fucking weird. I would have been about 20, and my sister about 18. We went on a trip with our parents along the coast, and happened upon this place for breakfast.
Our parents were all happy and “Oh, heeey, I remember this place!” and my sister and I were creeped out as fuck.
@53raptor: Huh. I haven’t seen one in California for at least 20 years– I figured the whole chain had gone under.
OH GOD I remember going there when I was little. There was this whole set of paintings of Sambo and the tiger from various stages of the story, and I loved tigers and India and you know, I was a little kid with no idea HOW WRONG. (And how big are pancakes in India? Not very.)
Weirdly, the internet claims that there’s only one left, in Santa Barbara. The one I was at was definitely in Oregon.
I have a record of “Little Black Sambo” that was given to me at some point in time, probably by my Alabama relatives. I loved listening to it when I was little. The thing is, my uncle is named Sam and my grandma used to call him Sambo, so I didn’t realize that the name itself was supposed to be racist. We still have that record, but I sure wouldn’t play it for my kids.
Suddenly I’m reminded of Sweeney Todd.
I cant stop staring at that apron. Its like, the longer i look, the more racist it gets.
Also, that cat toy makes me stabby.
“BUT I *SAID* HE’S THE SMART ONE AND GOING OFF TO UNIVERSITY! THAT MAKES IT OK!”
It’s like a preemptive “I have black friends!”
Or maybe you’re just RACIST against CAT TOYS. Did you think of THAT?
Yeah! And maybe Hardvice is white and only adopts/buys BLACK cats so he/she can lord his/her white supremacy over them???
NOTE TO HARDVICE: Only joking. Seriously, I’m only joking.
Okay, so I love all the old propaganda cartoons (Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips) and yes, the racist ones too (Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarfs). It’s an aspect of pop culture history that shouldn’t be forgotten – especially the propaganda stuff. And even as a form of art I think it is worth curating (not celebrating). And I do believe that it is possible to watch Speedy Gonzales and enjoy it, while acknowledging that it is a product of a less racially enlightened time.
So, now that you know how much salt to take my opinion with: by zeus’ beard I cannot get over the descriptions for the tablecloth and apron. Holy frak that is offensive. Some people’s children…..
Did you ever see the comic with Mickey Mouse and the ‘native’ who randomly shows up? It’s THE most offensive thing Disney ever did. And I’m counting “Song of the South”.
Oh yes, good old Thursday.
Personally I think poor little Sunflower the centaur from Fantasia is even worse off than Uncle Remus. Disney may never let Song of the South be released again, but they’ve completely disavowed Sunflower.
But yes. Thursday is . . . . wow, yeah. That’s astoundingly racist.
You know it’s kind of amazing our grandparents are only mildly racist considering this is the entertainment they grew up with.
Oh, well, if the black-man-slash-cat-toy is “brainy” and “off to University this year” it clearly can’t be racist!
There’s an incredibly racist advert on tv in the UK right now for “Amigo” loans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nB0oP0hCvM I suppose they are getting away with it because there’s not a large population of Mexicans here. I don’t think they would be able to show this in the States. Gotta love the fake accents, sombreros and mules.
I would so like to see a large black man host a suburban bbq while wearing the cannibal apron. Just sit back and watch the open-minded white bread neighbours squirm.
I’m Black. I can’t even get offended anymore by the racism. My mind just goes “Wow! that is really, really racist. I can’t believe how racist that is. I couldn’t be that racist if I tried. Wow, A for effort.”
It’s been a long time since I actually gasped aloud at something I saw on the internet, but “sign me up” did it!
The Vintage Tablecloth seller may have changed the wording in the description, but the tags are still the same, and still as offensive as hell: mammy, negro, civil rights (WTF), watermelon. There is no fucking “watermelon” on the damn thing, that I can see.
omg I hadn’t spotted that. ….awwwwwkward. O_O
Makes a great gift for anyone
Yep, anyone…your racist brother-in-law, your racist neighbor, your racist boss, even your racist grandmother!
Nobody posted this yet, so I felt an obligation to
Thank you! Gods I was scrolling and scrolling and couldn’t believe how far I got before that came up. I thought I was going to have to post it. lol
I was waiting for that. Thank you.
I love that kid.
looked up the website for the “chelsea doll” description and dear god everything they are selling there is just as horrifying to look at. Even the soap they’re selling looks dirty and gross D:
I went even deeper and looked up the folks she credited for her grungy doll patterns. Apparently this hideous, dirty doll thing is a thing and it’s called “primitives.” Just, what what whaaat?
FYI- the dolls from the first picture labeled “key chains” , I got the red one in the background out of a gumball machine at a local Chinese food buffet. All of the dolls pictured were available. 50 cents each – made in China.
Wow, racist and a reseller.
I’m gonna need a new Bingo card here.
i looked through her shop too, all her keychains, as well as those “embroidered turkish towels” and men’s ties – a really really strange collection of items that have nothing to do with each other, and none of it looks hand made. AT ALL. I have seen all of these string dolls at the local Asian Grocery Superstore.
They’re “vintage” then….
How much of a goddamn sheltered yuppie do you have to be to even think that the caricature in that print is going to a farmer’s market? I mean, seriously.
“Makes a great gift for anyone”
“What a great accent to your home!!!”
“…wrong on so many levels and still is awesome!”
“My name is Robbie. I’m the brainy one…”
“if this is slavery, then someone sign me up!”
Let’s try that last one again.
Oh dear God, I’m going to get thumbed alive here, but here goes. Given that Etsy is a global web site it is impossible for every seller in Etsy to understand the cultural sensitivities of an American viewpoint of racism.
There are billions of people in the world who have no idea of what is considered offensive in American culture, nor do they have the history of oppression of African Americans as a background context. Yes, the “slavery is fun” line is blatantly offensive but some of the other items, I’m sorry to tell you, would sell in the rest of the world without a second thought.
For example, in my part of the world we have black coffee and white coffee, meaning simply the colour it is served. We don’t attach any racial overtones to milk or hot beverages. Perhaps spare a thought for the global sellers (or resellers) nationality and intent next time before judging them from the singularity of the USA.
“For example, in my part of the world we have black coffee and white coffee, meaning simply the colour it is served. We don’t attach any racial overtones to milk or hot beverages.”
This is insanely stupid.
Maybe in that part of the world they’ve also never heard of the Slave Trade.
Sure, that seems likely.
I actually acknowledged the blatant racism in the apron seller’s words, however expecting the rest of the world to understand why, for example, watermelon is so offensive requires a unique understanding of the more intricate nature of African American oppression that we, as outsiders, simply cannot understand.
Your patronising comment toward me, someone from another culture, only serves to underscore my original comment about the arrogance of Americans to expect the rest of the world to understand everything about them. Perhaps your career as the site owner’s sycophantic minion has affected your comprehension and empathy levels.
These are things that everybody understands. Not just americans, not just “sycophantic minions.”
Your lack of comprehension is of your own making. Perhaps the next time you don’t understand something you should look into it, instead of expecting everyone to be as ignorant as you.
“…expecting the rest of the world to understand why, for example, watermelon is so offensive requires a unique understanding of the more intricate nature of African American oppression that we, as outsiders, simply cannot understand.”
In our culture, we have this thing called “asking a question.” It’s not as much fun as making the same witless observations about coffee over and over again, but it can keep you from getting banned from a website for being a pedantic douchebag.
Too late in this case, but a good lesson going forward.
No, it simply is what it is. When I worked across the USA last year, I was routinely castigated for using the term “white coffee”. As an outsider, I did not understand the racial overtones inherent in the statement, however I adapted to the culture & instead used the recommended term “coffee with milk”.
My point is, that something that is seen as blatantly racist to an in-the-know American, can be much more subtle and difficult to see for an outsider, (see the comments below)
“Insanely stupid” is a country that elects a man that can’t even pronounce the word “Eye-rak”, yet sees fit to invade it for no clear reason leaving 10,000 plus people dead 9 years on. “Insanely stupid” is a country that imprisons more African American males than it has in college. “Insanely stupid” is a country that has 10 million people a week listening to, God help us, Rush Limbaugh. Check your own backyard before hurling the phrase at someone whose perspective you have never lived through.
There are no racial overtones to ‘white coffee’, it’s simply not what we call coffee with milk, so it wouldn’t make sense to customers.
If someone told you it had racial undertones, they were either screwing with your head or batshit crazy.
Not “someone” but dozens of Americans. Perhaps some of you may like to research why historically, Americans do not use the term “white coffee” when it is in common use throughout the rest of the western world. Several academics I worked with provided me with the (very believable) rationale that the term’s lack of adoption in the US was significantly due to the racial undertones in the phrase.
The non-adoption of the terms “white/black coffee” are perfectly understandable given your country’s complex racial dynamics. Whether you as Americans are consciously aware of the subliminal reasons for the non use of the phrase is another issue. If you look at the comments below, you’ll see I’m not the only outsider who has trouble with the finer points of American racism.
The fact that so many of you have heaped scorn upon the confused views of me as an outsider from another culture, whilst simultaneously beating your chests about bigotry, is deeply ironic.
Sorry, no. Trotting out invisible experts that nobody else can see to back up your claims doesn’t work. Offer something verifiable for your claims–a newspaper article, a link, even Wikipedia if you have to. “This guy who’s totally got a college degree, I swear” doesn’t cut it.
We don’t use “white coffee” because until relatively recently, coffee was a cup of hot Folgers and that was that. If you added milk, it was “coffee with milk,” but only kids who couldn’t handle it bitter, hot and black did that, and got smirked at for it. It’s a cultural thing, yes–and a thing that’s on its way out, thanks to Starbucks–but not a racial thing.
[Source: endless snark at my milky coffee across the breakfast table every morning.]
Just to add my two cents, I’ve lived all over the United States: West, East, North, Midwest. I haven’t lived in the deep South, but I’ve visited a few times.
Whoever complained about “white coffee” was probably yanking your chain, or else you said “coffee for Whites” or something bizarre. The term “black coffee” is extremely common and has no racial overtones whatsoever. “White coffee” is a less common term and can mean a couple of different things, but has nothing to do with race. Your experience is highly unusual.
None of this has anything to do with your opinion that these displays are not obviously racist to someone in another country. I will acknowledge that the second one in the list might not seem racist to someone who doesn’t know the watermelon thing or take the “so ugly she’s cute” comment in a racial sense; but the rest are blatant racist caricatures. No “cultural information” is needed.
“Insanely stupid” is someone who makes fun of someone’s pronunciation while pronouncing it incorrectly themselves. It’s not eye-rak, its EE-RAHk. We don’t call it white coffee because coffee with milk isn’t white, its brown.
Obviously any term we Americans use that is different from other countries is because of its racist overtones. Because lift is sooo much more racist than elevator.
Finally, truth be told, Australia, and New Zealand are a lot more racist than America. I know because I’ve had a lot of (Asian/Indian) friends who worked there or studied there for years and had consistently horrible experiences.
Item 1 is from Turkey, so okay, maybe that gets a pass? I know ZERO about Turkey.
The rest of them are racist dipshits who should know better – regardless of what color you take your coffee.
To be fair, a black doll with giant red lips and bulging white eyes is pretty nuanced.
You really have to be from America to get it.
Well, there was a whole shit storm over at Cake Wrecks a few years back over Zwarte Piet – he seriously looks JUST like that first listing. I still maintain it’s racist, and that the Dutch need to get with it and see how awful it is, considering they’re the ones who “imported” slaves to the US in the first place….but that’s just me, and I was called unworldly, and all that shit. And we didn’t even get INTO the coffee situation.
They had white slaves, too. Black sterotypes are seriously NOT the same thing in scandinavia. At all. There all the negative press goes to the Muslims.
It is a valid point that there are places in the world that are not that informed about what is taboo when it comes to dark skins.
It is not relevant with these listings, though.
What amurana said. Up here (I’m in Finland) it’s mostly the Muslims that get the racist hate, and yeah, we know a lot less about African Amerian slavery than people in the US. I do consider these items offensive, though. (And for the record, I don’t hate Muslims.)
Oh come the fuck on.
Unless you missed it, Etsy’s an American company. The bulk of Etsy sellers are on US soil. It’s the responsibility of the sellers to have a fucking clue about the sensitivities of other countries if they expect to sell something there.
Did you even read the descriptions? “Sign me up for slavery lol?” You insult other cultures by implying that people there are too stupid to understand what others might be offended by. Being foreign doesn’t give someone immunity from cultural criticism.
Besides: the shit here is racist in any language. Fuck whoever thinks slavery is adorable. Fuck them, fuck them, fuck them.
America has black coffee and white coffee, too. But “black coffee” is like “black licorice,” NOT like “Little Black Sambo.” JESUS.
America doesn’t attach racial overtones to beverages, either. I don’t know what sitcom or stand-up routine gave you that notion, but I’m pleased to say you can order black coffee in America without offending anyone.
But yeah, your argument loses all relevance given that these are American sellers (and one international reseller).
Well, and that person is Turkish, and we all know they’re just assholes.*
*not all Turkish are assholes – some of them make kick ass Delight….
I disagree. I’m not in America, but since I don’t live in a bubble, I still know these items are racist. I may not know the history behind it very well, but I recognize that they are racist. If you have an internet connection, which you must have to list things on Etsy, you *would* know these items are racist. And, errrh, coffee…? I’m not aware of any place anywhere that would attach racial overtones to black coffee vs coffee with milk. That’s just… weird.
Ignorance isn’t really much of an excuse for racism.
And in America, we have white cake and blacktop roads and white dresses and black slacks and white tie/black tie dress codes and white sales and Black Friday and and and what’s your point? If being able to apply the words “black” and “white” to something is a triumph, I’m not sure that says anything good about your part of the world either.
WE ARE SO DIFFERENTS BUT WE ARE SO SIMILARITY
Yeah, that makes total sense. Being foreign totally means that you wouldn’t know about black people being oppressed. Foreigners all live in a bubble! That’s why movies showing the hardships of racism such as The Help or The Color Purple always turn out to be flops in an international market. And books and plays about the hardships of racism are never read by international readers. And music about how it’s hard being black because of racism doesn’t sell abroad. Oh wait…
1. Chelsea and her Watermelon. You needed a pattern for that???!!
2. The black Mammy. It’s not a self-portrait, asshole. She’s smiling because white people like to imagine it’s that way. Please defect.
That catnip toy disturbs me on so many levels. Let’s dissect, shall we?
1. Robbie’s the smart one! (Squints at seller) Why does that just smack of “We’re not racist! See, we made him the smart one!”?
2. Aside from super obvious racism in that face, that smile just creeps me out. It seems to say “We’re all happy here! All happy allll the tiiime.”
3a. This is from a line of similar toys. What other stereotypes are available, may I ask?
3b. This is from a line of similar toys. Are we supposed to be giving our pets likenesses of people? Likenesses of people that they will then tear the hell out of?
Butt-ugly doll with no mouth, made out of butt-ugly dark-colored cloth and holding a watermelon. With a name that maybe a few people old enough to remember “Laugh-In” will associate with a Black person. (Chelsea Brown, in case you’re as too lazy to Google as I’m too lazy to link.)
Racist caricaturing: You’re doing it wrong.
Well, Chelsea became SUCH a white name long about 1988 …
/white girl named Chelsea contributing absolutely nothing to the conversation
Because I am unsure, i’m asking all the FJL here for an education.
Is an item considered racist (or racist-ish) if it is a very dark skinned, red large lips and white eyed humanoid? The ‘mammy’ look?
Because before reading the description of the cat toy, I had a hard time seeing what made the item racist. It seemed like a cartooned (for the sake of a cat toy) ‘black person’ For me, if I was making a Caucasian cartooned cat toy, it would be pink skinned and yellow hair, but likely same eyes and lips.
I only ask because I get the impression I am not quite educated on why the item is offensive, and well, I think I’d like to know, so i do not ever blunder.
Yes. Black (as in black, not a shade of brown) skin, with big red lips and wide eyes is racist. It looks like the stereotypical “darkie” drawn in the past. There’s really no two ways about it. If you want to make a cartoon black person, make the skin a shade of brown, normal lips and eyes.
This seller with the cat toy also has a white person, and he just has a stitched line for a smile. So why did the black one have to have the big red lips? Things that make you go hmmmm.
Yeah, it used to be a pretty standard model for a doll back in the bad old days. If you look up pickaninny or mammy dolls you’ll see they use the same “pattern.” Or any of the Looney Tunes from the “bad old days” – Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarves is especially egregious (it’s a whole cavalcade of WTF) and you can probably find it on Youtube. It also hearkens back to blackface and minstrel shows.
Honestly, I think it is endearing and a positive thing that you don’t (didn’t) see the racism in the caricature. I think it is encouraging that such things can leave the public consciousness to a degree that it is possible to just see a caricatured human face and not a racist “icon.”
I’m having a hard time there as well. Within context of this post, it fits. All by itself? I don’t know.
For the sake of comparison, here’s the only other two listings for catnip toys in that seller’s shop (which is in the UK, btw):
Mickey looks muppet-ish to me. Chalkie is a clown. Not really helpful. Just doing the legwork. Not sure how three makes this a large line of cat toy dolls either.
The rest of the description isn’t crazy. Unless you count that it’s written as the doll doing the talking. The tags seem fine.
I suppose the thing is that you could stitch a smile onto a doll made of black fabric that doesn’t include wide red lips. That would probably make all the difference.
The catnip doll reminds me of a “golliwog” doll.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golliwogg .. Golliwogs were a UK thing, mostly.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s a bit uneducated on the subject. I knew it was offensive, but not *why*. SEE, I SURF REGRETSY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT BECAUSE I’M TOO LAZY TO WORK ON MY PAPER.
It’s also a pretty exclusively American way of drawing Africans/African Americans. Not entirely, but largely. French porcelain doll manufacturers were doing black and Arabian fine porcelain dolls at the same time, but they were just painting one of their standard head molds a darker shade, and sometimes they’d expand the lip line a little, not cartoonishly huge.
Mind you, there’s a subtler racism in those dolls — they tended to choose open-mouthed head molds and less contoured muslin body shapes, for instance — but — I forget where I was going with this, I just wanted to contribute an interesting fact.
Oh, I remember my point. The French had considerably less cultural “need” to visually denigrate the dark-skinned peoples whose ancestors came from Southern and Eastern African countries, as their colonial subjects (and therefore the people they needed to feel superior too) were primarily lightish North Africans.
White Americans were scrambling for a post-slavery way to feel superior to black Americans — so visually denigrating an entire race as “cute” and “primitive” and “adorable or cannibal, sometimes both” was the method that wound up being chosen by the American hivemind.
Hence, Jim Crow (who was an actual minstrel-show figure, not just a name for some laws), Aunt Jemima, Gollywogs, pickaninnies, sambos, mammies, etc.
Ah. Thank you for the explanation. It is a caricature based off a racist viewing from the past. I better understand now.
As someone from a country where noone gives a damn about stereotypes, I find the first one to be quite cute.
The others are creepy in varying levels.
There is no such country.
I live in Mexico.
You can still find some stereotypes in (successful) comic books and child songs and stuff like that, which enables kids to be familiarized with them at an early age.
Our culture has absorved many of them so much that they’re not considered completely wrong, because most of the time they’re done with innocent intentions.
Example: You see this and you probably would think “That’s racist!”, we simply think “Looks like a nice place to eat”.
It’s just that people here are not as sensitive to that kind of thing (visual stereotypes) than people in other countries.
…You must live in a different part of Mexico than I spent a chunk of my life in because racial stereotypes were well and alive last time I was there (about 5-ish years ago). Perhaps you are speaking only for yourself and not the entire attitude of an entire country?
Golliwogs can still be found in the north of England and Wales, quite easily (you just have to go to a smallish tourist town or an “antiques fair” and bam, horrible blackface dolls- the antiques fair will also have shit like those money banks where you put a coin in the black stereotype’s mouth, lift it’s arm, and it “swallows” the coin). The keychain in the first image I’ve also seen, in a big city’s alternative emporium no less. It’s depressing.
Also fuck that last person forever for that sentence in the description. That’s the same attitude that led to the watermelon stereotype and the “slavery is actually fun for blacks!” justification.
I’ve got a dozen+ Gollywog lapel pins from Robertson’s Marmalade giveways..from 1991. Maybe I can sell them. *grin*
“Chelsea” I didn’t find offensive at first sight, simply because I would never have pegged it as being human.
The cat toy is a golliwog, the seller is from the UK (obvious from the text), and golliwogs are popular in the UK. They are also very controversial in the UK. Some people denounce them as racist stereotypes, others say they were never intended to represent people at all, others say maybe they were once racist but they need to be reclaimed by the culture, still others consider them mainly a vintage toy and symbol of more innocent times. I’m sure there are many other points of view about them. They were also until very recently the logo of a large jam company.
I suspect the seller thinks of them as classical vintage toys, since her other cat toys look like clowns and rag dolls.
US Regretsians are not going to be able to understand the complex of emotions and symbolism surrounding golliwogs in the UK.
I get what you’re getting at, but the sheer fact that gollywogs are born out of racist depictions of black people makes them racist by nature. No amount of emotional complications/history/time/cultural context is going to change that fact. It doesn’t really matter what the seller intended when they made it, it’s still a racist depiction of a black person.
This is something that I’m confused about. A year ago I found at a flea market two dolls of the same type as the one on the first picture. This was in Norway and I’m Norwegian so maybe this things look a bit different to us.
I see that the seller has other dolls like this but in different colours, like a white doll. I see that the white doll has some Westerner type of clothes on while the black one has tribal type of clothing, so maybe that is considered racist. Those two black dolls I found have different clothing than this one, so these were made in various styles.
Since there are various styles and colours why is the black dolls considered racist? If it’s the trib/junglee-style why is this look negative, isn’t that racism towards those living that lifestyle?
The meaning of the word racism is heavily debated in Norway so I’m just wondering.
It’s got very little to do with the clothes, it’s the face. The black (as in actually black) skin, the big red lips, and the wide white eyes are from old illustrations, people wearing blackface, and minstrel shows. It was an exaggeration of what people considered “typical” black features, and meant to make them look primitive and inhuman.
Thank you for a serious and educational response, it’s the first proper reply I’ve received to this question. All the other “answers” I’ve been give have been profanity.
I’ve heard about blackface and minstrel shows but I didn’t know they were meant to be demeaning. I see I have to do some reading about it.
I feel like an idiot, no sooner had I posted about thinking it was a golliwog, I saw your comment.
I’m going to have to disagree here. No one I know, being from the UK thinks golliwogs are symbolic and Britain is just as bad as America for alienation of minorities, I come from a town where calling someone a ‘paki’ or saying that they’re ‘half cast’ is still acceptable under the assumption that not being taught better by their parents and the media makes it okay.
This is the 21st century, innocence is just an excuse for ignorance.
The sad part is, I can’t even be surprised by some of this. At least not the vintage stuff, because I live in Georgia, and you can’t go into an antique store without seeing something racist like that tablecloth or apron. Of course, it’s usually hidden somewhere in the back of the store, but they’re there. Old ads, little glass dolls, occasionally a lawn jockey, a mail box. Some of the most racist shit. Unfortunately, it is a part of our history and I can’t wipe out the fact that it existed. It just makes me mad that people still try to make money off it.
What killed me about that table cloth the most is definitely the description. Oy.
I’ve just joined very recently and have been keeping my head down but is it me or is number 3 a Golliwog?
Ok serious question: I’m not trying to be naive, but what’s the harm in buying a toy like that for your cat?
If you’re not a racist moron and buying it in a “wasn’t slavery cute? sign me up!” sort of way, but rather because it’s a just a nice doll and a well made cat toy…
It’s not like you’re teaching your cat bad stereotypes.
GoreWhore, with the cat toy, I think if they had picked any colors aside from black for the face & hair then the toy would have been fine. I mean, some might treat yellow as derogatory towards Asians, but I don’t think it would really have the same impact. Make it dark green or dark blue or any other dark but not black color instead and I don’t think it would evoke the same reaction.
There isn’t really harm in terms of turning your cat racist, but more so what it conveys to guests you have over.
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