Hurtful 'Gollies'

Last updated 12:07 06/12/2013

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Store criticised for selling 'Gollies'

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OPINION: Good on you for your article ''Store criticised for selling 'Gollies' (December 5) exposing this absolutely repugnant means of grabbing a few dollars at the expense of others' deep humiliation and hurt.

The excuse that these dolls are now in vogue would be laughable if it were not for the appalling ignorance of the people who make and trade such wares. The dolls are a shameful reminder of a time and a place when one group of humans enjoyed the exploitation and degradation of another group of humans.

These dolls should be destroyed - every last one of them.

The slaves of old, whom these dolls depict, suffered the loss of their human dignity and their lives. So what if the manufacturers and the store keeper suffer the loss of a few dollars?

Indeed we are approaching Christmas when white slave owners sent white preachers to sermonise amongst the black slaves on Christmas Day to quote the Bible that they ought to be grateful that God had chosen them to be slaves and what's more it was their duty to obey massa. That it was God's Will that their massa owned them and that they would get their rewards in heaven - even as their massa worked them to death.

I am a Kiwi male who vividly remembers these dolls from the 1940s and the furore they caused when New Zealand slowly emerged from the Stone Age and struggled with the concept of ethnic equality.

Such dolls were banned from sale, the Black and White Minstrel Show was stopped to name just a couple of the signs of the times.

We even set up a Race Relations Office and Human Rights Commission.

Apparently, this news has not reached this store owner and manufacturer.

TOM WHITTAKER

Wellington

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