I will be attending a small demonstration taking place in Sutton this Friday, 7th October. We will be protesting about the sale of Golliwogs by a local shop.
Despite repeated requests to remove the offensive "Wog dolls" from Sutton's Memory Lane gift shop window display, they have to date simply refused to do so. In fact they have now launched a public campaign arguing that these dolls do not cause offence and refused to remove them, a full month after Sutton Liberal Democrat Councillor Lester Holloway complained.
The shop owner adding insult to injury and initially responded by actually increasing the number of golliwogs displayed in the shop window after the police visited her store in the Times Square mall.
Let's be clear about this. A Golliwog is a disgusting White stereotype of an enslaved African that seeks to negate the greatest crime in human history and transform the misery of enslaved Africans into a cartoon figure of fun. I am attending this demonstration because the desecration of our culture and marginalisation of Black people into crude racial stereotypes is unacceptable. Simply put, Gollywogs are a grossly offensive artifact of slavery and promote racism. It is tantamount to the 'Disneyfication' of slavery, brutality and racism.
Displaying golliwogs in London in the 21st Century is a grievous insult to the Black community of London. Slavery was the greatest crime in history and any depiction of it as soft cuddly toys is demeaning and insulting.
Here is an expert from the Enid Blyton children's book entitled The Three Golliwogs published in 1944 perfectly illustrates historical context of the Golliwog dolls.
'Once the three bold Golliwogs, Golly, Woggie, and Nigger, decided to go for a walk to Bumble-Bee Common. Golly wasn't quite ready so Woggie and Nigger said they would start off without him, and Golly would catch them up as soon as he could. So off went Woggie and Nigger, arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favourite song - which, as you may guess, was 'Ten Little Nigger Boys.'
Little Black Sambo books are another example of this period and Ten Little Niggers referred to above is the name of a children's poem which celebrates the murder of ten Black children.
In the 1960s the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, one of the most noted regiments in the British Army, wore a Robertson's golly brooch for each Arab they had killed. After the war, wog became a more general slur against brown-skinned people. There can be no doubt that these dolls represent racism at its worse the forced indoctrination of young children into racist stereotyping.
The Sutton shop eventually took the golliwogs off the shelves after this protest was announced - despite previously making public statements that they were not going to remove the dolls - however they intend to continue selling them and are seeking and receiving local support for their right to do so. A recent Sutton Guardian online poll showed 80 percent of readers supported golliwogs.
It is hoped the protest will be a clear response making an important anti racist statement. The fascination with Gollywogs is a relic from a bygone age and the passionate defense of the Wog doll represents a cipher for a disdainful political perspective on race.
The demonstration will highlight the offensive nature which Golliwogs represent as they are dangerous and gross racial stereotypes of Black people. Such awful stereotypes promote racism, encourage name calling in schools and are used as an anti-Black political and culturally offensive symbol.
To show your support, people are asked to assemble outside Sutton main train station at 12 noon. We will then make our way to Times Square mall for a peaceful protest and photocall. Times Square may be closed for the occasion; if so, we will gather outside the entrance or as near as we can get. Organisers are keen for protestors to bring cameras and camcorders. African drums are welcome too.
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(First published at OBV - Operation Black Vote - the home of black politics www.obv.org.uk)