Golliwog sparks racism row

AN IPSWICH shop has been accused of displaying racially offensive material after a golliwog doll was put in their front window.The item in The New Style shop in Upper Brook Street offended Ipswich shopper Andrew Wilson.

AN IPSWICH shop has been accused of displaying racially offensive material after a golliwog doll was put in their front window.

The item in The New Style shop in Upper Brook Street offended Ipswich shopper Andrew Wilson.

Mr Wilson said: "I am upset as it is a very negative image and insults all black people.

"It goes back to the days where black people were called 'nig nogs'.


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Police visited the store but after they were told the dolls were being sold under the name Cuddle Ups, left without taking any action.

Graham Thompson, store manager, said: "We are just one of a number of stores in the town selling this type of doll. They are sold all over the country – even in Luton which has a lot of ethnic minorities living there.

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"We have been selling them for a few weeks and had a few complaints but we get more about other items we sell.

"The police did visit us about them but did not raise any objections."

Moons, in the Thoroughfare also have the dolls on sale inside their shop. An assistant confirmed they were selling them but said they had not had any complaints.

Sam Budu, director of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, said: "The dolls do not portray black people in a very positive way, but it depends on the individual if they find it offensive.

"Younger children may see them as a cute doll but the older generation who remember all the hatred against blacks may be offended.

"Some people may find the actual doll offensive but most of the time it is the term golliwog they find upsetting. If so then they should complain to the shop who should remove them.

"From time to time the dolls appear in shops and it is not something that is ever going to go away. We can't stop them because they are not breaking any law."

N Do you think a golliwog or a 'Cuddle Up' doll is racially offensive? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Factfile:

The earliest golliwog was the hero in books of verse written by Bertha Upton in the 1890s, and illustrated by her daughter Florence.

Robertson's famously used the icon to sell marmalade but it was moved from the front to the back of the jars more than 15 years ago after racism protests.

The caricature sparked another row when Royal Doulton made a golliwog figurine for the millennium.

The word wog stems from the term golliwog, and is used as a racist insult.

Source: www.sterlingtimes.co.uk/golliwog

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