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To ask any black posters how they feel about Gollywogs

(253 Posts)
Bambambini Sun 18-Oct-15 20:42:20

There's a very popular FB post doing the rounds asking people to vote if they the think Gollywogs should make a come back.

I commented negatively on it as I was under the impression that black people often find them offensive and I was suspicious as to the intent of this meme doing the rounds and if it was just trying to stir up trouble. Then I looked online to back up this view and on another board black folk (or poeple who claimed to be black)seemed to be saying they couldn't care less.

So if you are black how do you feel about them, I don't want to be misrepresenting you. And to all those folk on FB voting yes and commenting how all this PC stuff is out of hand - maybe they need to see what black people actually think.

Leafitout Sun 18-Oct-15 20:47:56

I find it offensive, dated and unecessary to bring them back. And I'm so glad that I am not on Facebook to see such nonsense.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 18-Oct-15 20:50:01

I think they are being posted originally from "britain first" horrible.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 18-Oct-15 20:51:05

On the face of it, it seems a bit odd that you responded to a question on behalf of another group, but you don't know how that group feels. How can you represent them if you don't know how they feel?

Largely, I think people shouldn't be offended on other people's behalf, unless it's asked for and warranted.

I'm not black, and I don't particularly care about Golliwogs - I'm too young to have seen much of them, and I can't see the benefit in bringing them back if they have the potential to cause offence. I'll leave it to the people who are actually affected to have their opinion, though.

Bambambini Sun 18-Oct-15 20:53:19

Are you black leafyitout? Obviously your opinion is valid but I've been shocked at how fast this stupid meme is being spread and the support it has. I'm assuming many folk just haven't really thought about it and thought people might take more notice of what black people have to say about their feelings on it as many seem to think it's white PC pains in the arses taking offence at nothing.

TheABC Sun 18-Oct-15 20:55:17

I remember collecting gollywog badges when I was small - I loved them! But I never equated them with black people IYSWIM; I just considered them a childhood toy like Paddington bear or Noddy. Having said that, I have grown aware of them as a derogatory term since then and would not want to see them on sale now - it would just restart an unnecessary old debate when there is plenty of racism left to tackle.

Bambambini Sun 18-Oct-15 20:56:21

anchor - that's why I'm asking here, I don't trust some of the other sites I post on.

wasonthelist Sun 18-Oct-15 20:56:40

As a white person I think this is (with apologies to OP) a daft question and therefore YAB (a tiny bit) U.

The idea that Black People have a single view on stuff like this is as daft as thinking that White people all do (or we can't dance/play basketball etc).

On the whole, whether any Black person is offended (or prepared to say they are), this stuff is best left in the past. Do "Britain First" want to bring back the Black and White Minstrel show too? I mean, like the Gollys, that was just a not very good bit of our past (and not because it was or wasn't racist - like the Gollys it was just a bit crap really).

Leafitout Sun 18-Oct-15 20:57:18

As a doll, rag doll, wooden pisses me off that it is called a Golliwog! Such a derogatory name. Yet Barbie/Sindy dolls are pretty, blond, blue eyed and slim and white. The golliwogs have big lips and mad wildly hair and are ugly.

KwikQ Sun 18-Oct-15 20:57:23

Deeply offensive.

maras2 Sun 18-Oct-15 21:01:04

Anything that has the word WOG attached to it is racist and disgusting.Stop posting this rubbish.

Shockers Sun 18-Oct-15 21:03:19

They are still on sale in some places, but they're called Gollies now. I saw one in a toy shop during the summer holidays.

I wouldn't respond at all to Britain First's awful fb campaign. They rely on emotions such as nostalgia to get a reaction. People don't realise how racist they are and click 'like'.

SingingSamosa Sun 18-Oct-15 21:03:53

Like TheABC I also collected the golly badges (from Robertson's Jam I believe?) and I had a rag doll golliwog, and the original Noddy books that had the three bad golliwogs in.

I never connected golliwogs with actual fellow humans until I was well into my teens and the Enid Blyton debate was going on. I just thought they were toys, in the same sort of vein as Andy Pandy or a teddy bear.

I don't think my children would associate them with black people either, if they were given one, but now that I do know the background I probably wouldn't feel comfortable about them having one if they were going to cause offence.

Bambambini Sun 18-Oct-15 21:06:11

There was nothing about Britian First on it, if it had then many folk might have backed off from it. Just some random person sharing it.

FortuneVomitsOnMyEiderdown Sun 18-Oct-15 21:07:16

I find them and what they have come to represent incredibly racist. This idea that some people don't mind them doesn't make them acceptable. In the same way, it isn't acceptable to use Nigger just because a subset of a culture have tried to reclaim it.

I grew up during the 1980s, in the UK, where Wog was often directed at me at school. Given some of the views that are pervasive across social and news media, there is no way those attitudes have dissipated in a generation. In some ways, everyday and casual racism is worse now as people know it isn't socially acceptable so will make references to my culture, perceived religion, skin colour or perceived language or even worse the where are you from type questions.

<Where are you from?>
<Such and such town>
<No, where are you really from?>

Clearly this has riled me so haven't managed to be particularly eloquent here, but hope the spirit of what I'm trying to say comes across.

My bottom line is that racism remains such an issue in this country that there should never be discussions about reclaiming anything that was once associated with racism. While the intent may be good, these causes are always hijacked by Britain First type organisations. To me, this is as serious an issue as those who would now try to minimise the holocaust.

My analogy would be whether you would consider it acceptable to use terms like cretin or spaz in relation to people with disabilities, should these kind of offensive terms ever be reclaimed given the harm they have done in the past?

Sorry for the rant, this type of discussion is incredibly upsetting, especially give that we're such a minority in this country. Off the top of my head, ethnic minorities make up less than 10% of the population in the UK, yet the media would have you think there was some kind of invasion going on.

<rant over>

BertrandRussell Sun 18-Oct-15 21:07:19

Britain First is best ignored.

But I am offended by gollywogs- i don't need to ask a black person!

Ubik1 Sun 18-Oct-15 21:09:18

You can buy them on the BNP online shop.

BrideOfWankenstein Sun 18-Oct-15 21:11:09

I've seen it and my immediate thought was "why are only white people commenting under this post? Surely it's for black people to decide whether they are offended by these dolls or not?"

wasonthelist Sun 18-Oct-15 21:13:39


I agree we are in denial about the extent of racism - and I don't even know the half of it.

Asteria36 Sun 18-Oct-15 21:14:06

I recently went to the little Enid Blyton shop by Corfe Castle. The proprietor gave a very interesting talk about the origins of the Golly. Florence Upton, who created them, had never intended them to be a representation of any human - it was not until much later that they became regarded as a human figure. It is really sad that a very sweet character was manipulated into representing racial hatred as it is today.

Perfectlypurple Sun 18-Oct-15 21:15:54

You don't have to be black to find racism offensive or to challenge it.

ChilliAndMint Sun 18-Oct-15 21:16:04

I wish there was a like button Asteria36.

Willow33 Sun 18-Oct-15 21:16:46

They are deeply offensive.

waitingforcalpoltowork Sun 18-Oct-15 21:19:15

i liked mine as a child it never occurred to me it was racist wog wasn't a word that was used around me as a child (and my family was fairly racist looking back) mine was homemade smiling one rather than one that looked like the ones from noddy

i do remember that my noddy books went missing plus my golly around the same time as a black family moved nearby the only ones around my area and my mom decided to be modern and invite them to my party

Bakeoffcake Sun 18-Oct-15 21:20:03

The origins don't really matter do they? The nazi swastiker was once a Hindi peace symbol and we know not to go about saying "well it used to be a peace symbol so it's ok to have it, collect it and wave it around" and if you do think it's ok, you are indeed a twat.

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