not. hilarious.

or, “how things got this way.” or, “thank you, racist advertising, for so effectively screwing us up.”

I had never heard the “made at night” thing before reading the comments on the picture I posted last week.  “Funny” how that’s still going around all these years later.  Kind of reminds me of the time my three year old self was called tar baby by a fellow (white)toddler.  I don’t think this is an ad.  It’s probably from a children’s book (perhaps that commenter’s favorite childhood bedtime story.)  Even “better.”

These previous two are another reason why “light skin vs. dark skin dodgeball tournament” cannot be funny to me. Ever. I have answered my own question.  Not ok.

copy reads:
Jell-O is known to all sections as “America’s Most Famous Dessert.”  In the South, for instance, it is inexpensive enough to be found in the cabins of the old plantations.  It is delicious enough to meet the standards of good living at the “Big House.” It is dainty enough for milady’s afternoon tea.  It is appealing enough to turn the sinful, of any color, away from his neighbor’s melon patch.

Let’s break this down:

“cabins of the old plantations” = slave quarters.

“sinful of any color” = just kidding, we mean the darkys… get it?  melon patch! ha! they sure do love watermelon!

I, personally, have always hated jell-o.

speaking of unicef

I’ve been sitting on this for a while now.  It came to my attention before I even had a blog.  My blood boils every time I see it in my folder of pictures.  Thank God today seems to be it’s day because now I can delete it.  I’m certain that Audrey would NOT approve…

unicef blackface

This is an actual ad-campaign by UNICEF Germany from 2007!

This campaign is “blackfacing” white children with mud to pose as “uneducated africans”.

The headline translates “This Ad-campaign developped pro bono by the agency Jung von Matt/Alster shows four german kids who appeal for solidarity with their contemporaries in Afrika”

The first kid says:

“I’m waiting for my last day in school, the children in africa still for their first one.”

second kid:

“in africa, many kids would be glad to worry about school”

third kid:

“in africa, kids don’t come to school late, but not at all” (!)

fourth kid:

“some teachers suck. no teachers sucks even more.”

Besides claiming that every single person in “Africa” isn’t educated, and doing so in an extremely patronising way, it is also disturbing that this organisation thinks blackfacing kids with mud (!) equals “relating to african children”. Also, the kids’ statements ignore the existence of millions of african academics and regular people and one again reduces a whole continent to a village of muddy uneducated uncivilized people who need to be educated (probably by any random westerner). This a really sad regression.

Bottom lines of this campaign are: Black = mud = African = uneducated. White = educated. We feel this campaign might do just as much harm as it does any good. You don’t collect money for helping people by humiliating and trivializing them first.

Unfortunately, if it was clear to the average German that this is wrong, UNICEF and the advertising agency wouldn’t come out with such a campaign.

Below is the official response from UNICEF about the ads run in Germany:

 “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We agree — these advertisements are not appropriate and run against UNICEF’s mission. They have been dropped from the UNICEF German National Committee’s website and there are no plans to use them in the future. We apologize for any offence caused.

As a UNICEF supporter, you may be interested to know a little more about the German National Committee’s campaign to promote child-friendly schools in six African countries. Launched in late 2004, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the fact that nearly half of all children in Africa lack even primary education.

With funds from private donors, 350 schools have been repaired or newly constructed. In addition, several thousand teachers have been trained and school management improved. In total, around 100,000 children and young people have benefited from this campaign since 2004. The right to education for all children is a prerequisite to develop their full potential and a basis for social and economic development. Again, we apologize for any offense caused.

the result

I think that the reality and the dichotomy that this photo depict are the result of the racist advertising we’ve been discussing.


This photo also leads me to question whether or not I think that all advertising is racist.  I understand that whites are still the “majority” (for now), but I think it’s undeniable that it’s presented to the masses as an exclusive club.  The club has privileges.  In my opinion, that billboard could be deemed racist even without the people standing in line before it.  The truth of the matter is that if you look like the people in that car the sky’s the limit, you can achieve the highest standard of living, it’ll be grand.  If you look like the people in the line, you will serve those in the car.  At best you will strive to be like them, struggle for what they take for granted.  That’s just the way things are.  The people in the car deserve the best, the people in the line deserve the rest.  Just because.  That’s what this country has been advertising for years.  Under the guise of all men are created equal, liberty and justice for all, &  land of the free they’ve been pushing the opposite.  They’ve sold and we’ve bought.  Another truth is that we are all slaves to the notions, images, dogmas passed down and regurgitated through the years.  It’s everywhere. Books, film, television, magazines, packaging, newspapers.  It kind of seems normal.  This country could be so great.  It was founded on wonderful ideals and beautiful words, but without the actions to create the reality dreamt of.  It’s still a dream.  I think we can achieve it.  But first there has to be widespread acknowledgement of the dogma and it’s major flaws and then we have to fix our thinking.  Free our minds.

ten little what!?

Not done with Golly yet.  When I first looked into what the heck that was, I was led to a website for collectors of Golly memorabilia.  I saw Golly as a doctor, an astrounaut, all sorts of things, so I thought “Maybe he isn’t really racist because he doesn’t seem to be held back by his color or regulated to a station of servitude.  He’s achieving things.”  Short-lived thought, for next i was led to this site

For the past four decades Europeans have debated whether the Golliwog is a lovable icon or a racist symbol. In the 1960s relations between Blacks and Whites in England were often characterised by conflict. This racial antagonism resulted from many factors, including: the arrival of increasing numbers of coloured immigrants; minorities’ unwillingness to accommodate themselves to old patterns of racial and ethnic subordination; and, the fear among many Whites that England was losing its national character. British culture was also influenced by images – often brutal – of racial conflict occurring in the United States.

The claim that Golliwogs are racist is supported by literary depictions by writers such as Enid Blyton. Unlike Florence Upton’s, Blyton’s Golliwogs were often rude, mischievous, elfin villains. Blyton, one of the most prolific European writers, included the Golliwogs in many stories, but she only wrote three books primarily about Golliwogs: The Three Golliwogs (1944), The Proud Golliwog (1951), and The Golliwog Grumbled (1953). Her depictions of Golliwogs are, by contemporary standards, racially insensitive. An excerpt from The Three Golliwogs is illustrative:

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.

Ten Little Niggers is the name of a children’s poem, sometimes set to music, which celebrates the deaths of ten Black children, one-by-one. The Three Golliwogs was reprinted as recently as 1968, and it still contained the above passage. Ten Little Niggers was also the name of a 1939 Agatha Christie novel, whose cover showed a Golliwog lynched, hanging from a noose.












At first I was just going to post this photo as something I don’t like.  Why on earth are these white people wearing sambo on their sweaters?  Homemade sweaters at that!  Then I figured I should look into this.  Oh boy!  This is Golly.  You could buy this pattern today on ebay.  Golly began as golliwogg in Florence Kate Upton’s 1895 book “The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg.” Upton, a native New Yorker, first describes him as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome.”  He was a caricature of American black faced minstrels – in effect, the caricature of a caricature. The book became very popular in England and thirteen books featuring Golliwogg were published.  Then they began making rag dolls. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Golliwog doll was a favourite children’s soft toy in Europe. Only the Teddy Bear exceeded the Golliwog in popularity.


Small children slept with their black dolls. Many White Europeans still speak with nostalgic sentiment about their childhood gollies. Now onto Robertson’s. The Golliwog is inextricably linked with the famous English preserves company, James Robertson & Sons. Robertson’s Jams has been using the smiling Golliwog as its logo since the 1920s until it was discontinued in 2001. Despite much criticism during the 1960s and ’70s, they simply changed their logo’s name to ‘Golly’, and continued to stand by their trusty mascot. Consequently, the collecting of Robertson’s Golly memorabilia is a hobby in itself, with a vast array of promotional material and items to be collected.

a little more racist advertising…


And here I was thinking that Bull Durham was just a baseball movie with Susan Sarandon (love, love, love) and Kevin Costner.


I guess that’s the best they could come up with.  I’ve always thought of dentyne gum as sucking, so perhaps there were no other selling points.