Row erupts over golly exhibition

Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,267
Likes
19,867
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#1
Row erupts over golly exhibition

The golly collection at the museum was compiled by a local resident
A row has broken out over a golly exhibition at a Hampshire museum.
A collection of golly badges on display in Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham has been criticised for its perceived racist connotations.

Dr John Molyneux, from the University of Portsmouth, said the items should not be regarded simply as a childhood pastime or hobby.

But Nick Martin who owns the collection said the exhibition had been very popular and no-one had complained.

No complaints

Mr Martin told BBC News: "There is no dispute going on at all. The museum said that not one person had complained.

"I spent an hour and a half at the museum speaking to people who had come to see the exhibition and no-one had any problems with it."

The museum said it would continue to show the collection, but reconsider the decision if it received complaints.

The golly badge, which was once produced to promote sales of jam and marmalade, is now a collector's item.


The golly badges were produced to promote jam and marmalade

The collection on display at the museum was compiled by a local resident who started collecting the badges as a child.

But Dr Molyneux said the original creation of the golly character has more sinister connection.

He said: "At the time that they were produced they were part of a racist atmosphere, of a racist attitude towards non-white people, very definitely. That's the history I don't want to be lost.

"Presenting them as just innocent children's play things is suppressing that real history."

Hampshire County Council said it is sorry if anyone has been offended and the museum said it would reconsider the showing of the exhibit if it received direct complaints.

Councillor Margaret Snaith, from Hampshire County Council said: "Most people of my age can remember these things and can remember collecting them.

"We were very sorry when the connotation changed. I just think it's a great pity."



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 257433.stm
 

rjmrjmrjm

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
1,380
Likes
19
Points
54
#2
Oh God, of all the petty and foolish things to get offended about.

Ok, let them have it their way. We'll strip our entire culture of any sort of reference or reminder of the past.

What do these protesters want? Should we destroy anything that represents a black person in any way? Because that is what it sounds like he's arguing for.

Slavery did happen, it's a sad and terrible fact, but there is fuck all we can do about it apart from making sure it doesn't happen again. Reminds me of what one Liverpool MP said a few months ago, that many of the streets in Liverpool named after businessmen who took part in the slave trade should be renamed. Ooops.... that means renaming Penny Lane. Not to mention the sheer cost of changing every business and home address, re-writing the phonebook and all maps.

What is more is that there seems to be confusion about why those streets were named after the traders. Not because it was celebrating them but because usually they owned the bloody land and so named it after themselves.
 

Vardoger

Like To Roam The Land
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
4,904
Likes
3,379
Points
184
Location
Scandinavia
#3
We have the same politically correct problem here in Norway. Suddenly it has become racist to use the word Neger (as in Negro). Some blacks feel offended. I can understand if it was the word nigger the fuss was all about, but that word is never used except by racists.

We got some old children rhymes and books from the 50s and 60s which uses the word Neger. Now they are replacing the word with more PC words. Some children rhymes with the word Neger will be removed from children books in the future.
 

WhistlingJack

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,563
Likes
29
Points
69
#4
To be fair, I think that instance is just a case of Norway catching up with the rest of the world...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#5
quote="WhistlingJack"]To be fair, I think that instance is just a case of Norway catching up with the rest of the world...[/quote]

OOF! Below the belt!

Hey WJ - might want to stick a few 'smilies' in there mate!
 

Vardoger

Like To Roam The Land
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
4,904
Likes
3,379
Points
184
Location
Scandinavia
#7
WhistlingJack said:
To be fair, I think that instance is just a case of Norway catching up with the rest of the world...
What do they call Negro Spirituals these days? Afro-American Sprituals?
 

rjmrjmrjm

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
1,380
Likes
19
Points
54
#8
SameOldVardoger said:
WhistlingJack said:
To be fair, I think that instance is just a case of Norway catching up with the rest of the world...
What do they call Negro Spirituals these days? Afro-American Sprituals?
What about the British ones?
 

kirmildew

Devoted Cultist
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
171
Likes
9
Points
34
#9
I really doubt Robinsons were trying to denigrate black people with their golly badges... They were just cute characters to help them sell marmalade. Why did they pick a golly anyway? I doubt it was anything to do with the golly's origin and more to do with the fact they wanted a friendly little man in their advertising. Why not a golly?
I have never thought of them as 'black people' just another type of toy. My daughter has my old one, she loves him and calls him Goggliwog (her first attempt at saying golliwog and I thought it so funny I never corrected her :) )
 

ted_bloody_maul

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 23, 2003
Messages
4,588
Likes
5
Points
69
#11
SameOldVardoger said:
We have the same politically correct problem here in Norway. Suddenly it has become racist to use the word Neger (as in Negro). Some blacks feel offended. I can understand if it was the word nigger the fuss was all about, but that word is never used except by racists.

We got some old children rhymes and books from the 50s and 60s which uses the word Neger. Now they are replacing the word with more PK words. Some children rhymes with the word Neger will be removed from children books in the future.
i think that's part of a process in which the americans have set the precedents generally. at one time they were referred to as negro, then coloured, then black and now african-american. i'm not sure how big the black population of norway is but i'd suspect that it would have been less significant than the one in britain over the last 50 years and certainly less significant than the black population of america throughout its entire history.

as a result the debate and the issues in america have to some extent been addressed as they are now in britain. in other countries, due to there being less of an issue until recent times, these debates may be just starting. a good example of this is a recent incident in spain. a football team's fans had been racially abusing one of their opponents black players. the team were disgusted by their fans' behaviour and to show their solidarity with their opponent and other black players in the league they said that they would wear black face paint at their next game. as i recall they never went ahead with it.

in britain this would have seemed like a racist gesture in itself. one of the most popular television shows in britain up until the 70's had been the black and white minstrel show. as britain's black population grew this traditional variety act caused offence and eventually was axed. iirc, the original minstrel shows had started out in america as a homage to black musicians and their music. i suppose what is deemed racist is often determined by where a culture is in relation to its ethnic population and how long it's been there.
 

Vardoger

Like To Roam The Land
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
4,904
Likes
3,379
Points
184
Location
Scandinavia
#12
Considering the extreme stereotypical image the golly figure got I understand it's no longer used on the jars, but the exhibit was just an exhibit. Sometimes it looks like they trying to change history like they did in the Soviet Union by erasing faces from pictures.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,267
Likes
19,867
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#14
They got rid of the goliwogs from the Enid Blython books (maybe necessary). I fear they will now get rid of Big Ears in case it offends Charles Clarke.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,267
Likes
19,867
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#15
John Molyneux is a socialist, activist and writer. He is a member of the British SWP and of RESPECT. He lectures at Portsmouth University, and writes mainly about Marxist theory and art.
I should have known it was an SWPer.

Has the man no sense? A few of us were discussing this last night and thought if anything were necessary then it should be a leaflet pointing out that this was a historical exhibition that used images and objects that might not be thought acceptable any more by many people. But history should not be rewritten.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
12,025
Likes
146
Points
114
#16
ramonmercado said:
They got rid of the goliwogs from the Enid Blython books (maybe necessary). I fear they will now get rid of Big Ears in case it offends Charles Clarke.
His ears don't look that big, to me.


Charles Clarke
in
Happier times.
 

OneWingedBird

Beloved of Ra
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Messages
15,605
Likes
6,581
Points
284
#17
her first attempt at saying golliwog and I thought it so funny I never corrected her
a few years ago i got told off by a woman who i think was mixed race, for using the word golliwog... apparently we must just call them gollys now...
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,345
Likes
20,808
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
#18
:lol: There haven't actually been any protests over the Golly exhibition.

Just the one bloke, Dr John Molyneux, giving his point of view, to which he is entitled, and which everyone else is entitled to ignore if they wish. ;)
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,136
Likes
8,877
Points
309
#19
Charles Clarke is a gift for cartoonists. Two good ones:

Here

And Here

Can't locate my favourite, which has Clarke's weight impeding the PM's progress at the rear, his tail wrapped around one leg, while Prescott as lusty doggie attempts to roger trouser leg in front. :)

As for gollies, the most enthusiastic collector of those old jam badges I knew was a crazy mixed-race kid. He also liked those horrid money boxes. He watched Birth of a Nation every night too*. :shock:

As a kiddie, I do remember sending away for my free Robertson's badge. I was dismayed that the one I had chosen, called Raspberry, turned out to be just that: a motif based on a stem of the soft fruit with no damned golly!


*I made that bit up. It was really Gone with the Wind. Inspired him to run up all his own frocks from old curtains.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,345
Likes
20,808
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
#20
As a kiddie, I do remember sending away for my free Robertson's badge. I was dismayed that the one I had chosen, called Raspberry, turned out to be just that: a motif based on a stem of the soft fruit with no damned golly!
Could scar you for life, an experience like that.

Better off making the curtain-clothes.
 

WhistlingJack

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,563
Likes
29
Points
69
#21
SameOldVardoger said:
WhistlingJack said:
To be fair, I think that instance is just a case of Norway catching up with the rest of the world...
What do they call Negro Spirituals these days? Afro-American Sprituals?
To clarify my original post in case it caused any offence, I wasn't having a dig at Norway but instead alluding to the fact that in other countries (such as Britain) it has long been considered unacceptable to refer to black people as 'negroes' ;)
 

filcee

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
517
Likes
5
Points
49
#22
WhistlingJack said:
...To clarify my original post in case it caused any offence, I wasn't having a dig at Norway but instead alluding to the fact that in other countries (such as Britain) it has long been considered unacceptable to refer to black people as 'negroes' ;)
My ignorance may be showing again, but I thought negro was the same sort of anthropology description as caucasian?
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,267
Likes
19,867
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#23
I personally don't think that the scientific term negro should be dropped.
Why?

I dont think the term is considered unacceptable in Ireland.
 

WhistlingJack

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,563
Likes
29
Points
69
#24
I wasn't commenting on the anthropological usage of the word, but rather its common day-to-day usage - 'negro' was long used as a derogatory term and so is now not used by those who don't wish to be seen as racist.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,267
Likes
19,867
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#25
WhistlingJack said:
I wasn't commenting on the anthropological usage of the word, but rather its common day-to-day usage - 'negro' was long used as a derogatory term and so is now not used by those who don't wish to be seen as racist.
I dont accept that the word Negro was long used as a derogatory term, certainly not in Ireland. Perhaps it was used in such a fashion in theUK or US but I suspect that a stronger word was used there.

I suspect that PCism is creeping in here. It is absurd to suggest that people should not use the word Negro lest they be seen as racists.
 

ted_bloody_maul

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 23, 2003
Messages
4,588
Likes
5
Points
69
#26
it's because the word 'negro' is associated with racial classification in the US, imo. very few of the words are actually offensive in themselves - it has more to do with the associations the words make over the years.
 

WhistlingJack

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,563
Likes
29
Points
69
#27
ramonmercado said:
I suspect that PCism is creeping in here. It is absurd to suggest that people should not use the word Negro lest they be seen as racists.
They would be, though - if a public figure was heard to describe black people as 'negroes', there would be an immediate outcry.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,267
Likes
19,867
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#28
WhistlingJack said:
ramonmercado said:
I suspect that PCism is creeping in here. It is absurd to suggest that people should not use the word Negro lest they be seen as racists.
They would be, though - if a public figure was heard to describe black people as 'negroes', there would be an immediate outcry.
Maybe in countries that have an imperial past ort present. I honestly have never heard a suggestion originating in Ireland that the word negro is offensive. the word isnt often used though.
 

mindalai

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Aug 27, 2005
Messages
798
Likes
22
Points
34
#29
I think "negro" is probably on a par with "coloured". Not necessarily racist (depending on how it's used, naturally), but would certainly make you cringe if someone said it.
 

Xanatico

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
1,101
Likes
9
Points
54
#30
Well, in the US they still called it The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Someone should complain.

That is part of the problem with PC. Whatever the correct term is changes every month. Many terms which might have started out as medical terms are considered offensive today. Describing a person as a retard for example.

In Denmark there is also a children´s poem which at one point mentions a "negro boy". I think in the new versions they have replaced that with candy cane instead. It rhymes but doesn´t make as much sense in the poem. And the reason why it was a negro boy in the first place, was only because the poem was about elephants in Africa.
 
Top