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Gollywogs - is this guy for real?.

gollywog lemm sissay racism

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#76 fredasmith

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:46 PM

I took my boyfriend and his parents past the shop, and they were like "Oh it's like that up here is it?" and I was quite embarrassed.

Even if the doll itself is not technically offensive, the connections people have with them are not so positive.


They sound quite bigoted.


They said it with a teasing tone, but they were still pointing out that the dolls are generally considered a slightly awkward relic of the past.

Trying to explain the number of Shetlanders in blackface at Up Helly Aa, however...

eek.

#77 hjasga

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:52 PM

So if I walk through a predominantly ethnic area and get called a 'whitey / insert other derogatory names here' and then I see a child of ethnic decent playing with a white doll/toy, I'd be prefectly within my civil rights to go to the police and have them remove all the 'whitey' propaganda from the local shops/windows/childrens toy baskets, as by alleged definition, it's racist?


Hypotheticals like this rather miss the point. Gollywogs hark back to an era when people from a different race were the butt of jokes and entire comedy shows centred on, quite simply, laughing at them.

A white doll wouldn't have any historical predence, it would just be a white doll.

Similarly, the n word might appear as "just a word" but because of the historical significance I don't think anybody could question how offensive it is.

#78 hjasga

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:57 PM

This debate has now gone beyond stupid.


glad we agree on one thing but it was you and those that agree with your patronising attitude that took it there.


Patronising attitude? You telling others to "get a life" would suggest that at least goes both ways. Your inability to argue a point civilly doesn't help your case at all.

#79 hjasga

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

Anyway, here's a good appraisal of why words and symbols can be much more significant than they appear. It's in the context of homophobic slurs but it applies to racism as well.

It's from a comedy show so there's some vulgar language involved:

http://www.youtube.c...5wC5dEnc#t=284s

Context is key in most of these things and I'm sure there's a time and a place for any minority demographic where jokes at their expense are totally fine, but nobody should receive unnecessary abuse purely because of differences in nature.

#80 Twerto

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:16 PM

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#81 Scorrie

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

.........

Context is key in most of these things and I'm sure there's a time and a place for any minority demographic where jokes at their expense are totally fine, but nobody should receive unnecessary abuse purely because of differences in nature.


Context. Got it in one. Nothing to do with anti-black undertones at all.

As an aside, is Mark Lucas viewed as being homophobic because of his 'Only gay in the village' sketches? Nope.

Why's that, then? (not aimed directly at you, H).

#82 hjasga

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:22 PM

What's in those sketches that could be perceived as homophobic?

I'm not a fan of Little Britain at all and can scarcely remember, but isn't it the "backwards" villagers who are the butt of that joke?

#83 Evil Inky

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:41 PM

I'm not a fan of Little Britain at all and can scarcely remember, but isn't it the "backwards" villagers who are the butt of that joke?

Er... no. The villagers are very accepting of homosexuality, but Matt Lucas' character insists that he's the victim of homophobia.

#84 stevejack3

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:08 PM

Well, its about time I said something I guess. Am I for real? Yup, I started the petition.

So to start by answering a few questions: am I from "south"? Yes I moved here 10 years ago. Saying that, as I had offended them, I should be kicked off Shetland, as happened on a different forum, is slightly sinister however given the history of "send them back where they came from."

Am I the sort of person who does this sort of thing all the time? No, I've never started a petition before unless you count "Bring back Scooby Doo" when I was at school! Is this about a specific shop or display - no. not really but I would have wanted to say something about this wherever I was living, Shetland or elsewhere. So why this issue and not something else "more serious"? Well, because I am offended by racist language and behaviour, as many folk are, because it is wrong - are there worse examples I could have chosen? Of course there are, but I wanted to draw attention to something I have become increasingly aware of - casual racism, and this seemed a good example that might get folk talking about it.

So what do I mean by that? I mean the kind of things that are said in day to day language but that are used thoughtlessly as a saying, rather than as a deliberate attempt to be unpleasant or offensive. Do I think Shetland folk are racist? No of course not. There are toxic, unpleasant racists to be found everywhere in the world and, although I have come across the very occasional person here that struck me that way, it was very unusual.

I'll now give some examples of what I'm talking about, and my apologies for any offence caused by the words I am about to use. These are the sort of things I hear on a regular basis in Shetland - perhaps I am just unlucky but over the years, a lot of folk, both from Shetland and incomers, have said that they hear the same.

"Lets get a chinky carry out" or "go out for a chinky"
"You've must have been away - your'e as brown as a Pakistani"
"If you get any more tanned you'll look like a Pakistani"
"She looked like a tink"

**** I see that each time I use the p word, it is being moderated automatically, but I'm sure you know the one I mean****

My mum could never get why saying she was going to the "Pakistani shop" was a problem as "she really likes Mr Patel". I used an old style picture for the petition because I wanted to give golliwogs their place in history - like "Little Black Sambo", I have quite fond memories of these stories and toys when I was growing up in Glasgow - I also used sectarian language. Do I do that now? No, because I know better. Unlike mum who passed many years ago, I can understand that the world moves on and that if people find something to be very offensive, why would I want to carry on using that language to offend them?

If anyone wants to read a much more eloquent comment on golliwogs, written in response to the case where during a planning dispute with her black neighbour, a woman put a golliwog on prominent display in her window, can I suggest this link which puts it much more eloquently than I ever could.

http://www.blackheri...d-the-golliwog/

I love living in Shetland. I have found friendship and support in this community during difficult times from folk I hardly knew. This is NOT a dig at Shetland or Shetland folk. It is simply highlighting something that I have increasingly become aware of and would find very difficult wherever I lived.

Steve

#85 as

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:44 PM

nice one, Steve! 8)

and yes, the casual racism exist even here, very unfortunately. Shetlink is rife with the ongoing snide remarks of island-bred-x-generations-back versus incomers. :(

#86 mate64

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:27 PM

dog from the Dambusters


I don’t think you’re allowed to say the words “dog from the dambusters” in that particular order. You can say “dog”. “Dog” is OK unless you’re talkin about women. “Dambusters” is more suspect. Bursting dams is bloody dangerous – it tends to wipe out thousands of innocents.

#87 shetlandcars

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:48 PM

"Lets get a chinky carry out" or "go out for a chinky"

Steve


Never even crossed my mind that was a racist comment, seems others don't think so either:

The Broadcasting Standards Commission held in 2002, after a complaint about the BBC One programme The Vicar of Dibley, that when used as the name of a type of restaurant or meal, rather than as an adjective applied to a person or group of people, the word carries no racist connotation
http://www.ofcom.org.../bulletin56.pdf

...and I collected golliwogs from jam jar tokens!

#88 stevejack3

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:58 PM

That's really interesting - I didn't know that. I developed my discomfort with the word after talking with a Chinese guy who explained that it had been used against him in an aggressive situation. I'm just as "guilty" here for want of a better word. I used to say that (and I collected the tokens too in the past and had one of the little figures as a kid). So I just say Chinese now - no big deal for me but if it helps someone else, all good as far as i can see.

Maybe it's the same as pulling folk up for using sexist language in the past. Much less about the individual words and more about drawing attention to their use so people start to think more before they say something?

Anyway, thanks for posting the link. Really interesting.

S

#89 DizzyKipper

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:02 AM

I agree it is interesting. I do think the intent is the most important part. You have to be careful or you lose perfectly good words so as not to be seen to be offensive.

I know there are schools where you are no longer allowed to order a black coffee. I know of a case where a girl was doing a childcare assignment and was threatened with a fail if she included comments about baa baa black sheep.

Were those examples of racist intent? Not at all. Casual racism? The school board thought they were, and banned the use, which is ridiculous.

#90 stevejack3

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:04 AM

I completely agree with you. Those are the sort of stupid things that draw attention away from the real issue.





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