Daughter of Margret Thatcher, Carol Thatcher's recent comments (private or not) about a French Tennis star have offended many people. It has created a strange Twilight Zone world, where some ignorant people are defending Victorian Racist cartoon/logo "The Golliwog". I didn't even it was worth commenting on originally, as Carol Thatcher's bourgeois foolishness, reflects that certain "Tim Nice But Dim" aspect of Upper crust British society that unfortunately, is still alive and well. But then I came across this:
(Prince Hall will NOT be amused)
Some people are trying to make light of the subject, the Right-wing press are cynically feigning outrage (the same press that play race fear on a daily basis), and even some so-called "Liberal Press", are using expressions like "attack of the Thought Police". Ex-Thatcher Cabinet member Norman Tebbit claims that it is some kind of secret attack on Margret Thatcher, but that is not only simplistic, but wrong! It is offensive, end of story. Its not amusing or endearing to a huge swathe of the public. It is pathetic (although not surprising) that in 2009 that far-Right groups are rallying to this throwback to the past, and claiming its a cultural icon...
Here is what Floella Benjamin icon, broadcaster and children's campaigner had to say in The Observer Newspaper Sunday 8 February 2009
"The golliwog has been hijacked by racists as a symbolic insult. Those who refer to it as a harmless children's toy should understand its connotations. It was used against me as a child and those saying it certainly weren't smiling. This divisive incident will harm children, many of whom are already suffering racist bullying. The word has now been splashed throughout the media so children have seen the image and will pick up its negative meaning. This affair has resurrected the word and given it a new lease of life, rather than it being consigned to history."
This kind of imagery is not just a British tradition. Most of the Colonial Powers reflect the imagery of the people they had exploited, in the product packaging of those peoples natural resources. Just go to the Supermarkets in France Portugal, Italy and you will see negative images of people of colour on Coffee, Sugar, Chocolate products... Progress?
Packaging that reflects the past...
KMD "Who Me?"
All it takes is for one to look at the Racist propaganda directed at the Jewish population of Nazi Germany, to understand that some cartoons can kill...