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May I explain why the term “Golliwog” is offensive to Black people….

February 4, 2009

thatchercarol

Here are some pointers from The Twining Chronicles for Ms Thatcher:

(1) The term generally is not a term of endearment.

(2) It has been used in the past to refer to individuals form the African Caribbean community, their families or the whole community, and it has never been used as a positive term. Black people have never used this term to refer to themselves as far as I am aware.

(3) In the case of Carole Thatcher she appears to have used the term to refer to the hairstyle of Andy Murray. Well we all have hair, or some of us do, but we don’t often refer to people’s hairstyle in a  patronising and condescending term associated with a group of people. The fact is Andy Murray’s hair is not Afro and has she thought about what impact this might have on the wonderful tennis our star is playing? No. 

(4) The best thing Thatcher could do is consider what she said, why she said it, whether in fact she said it positively or negatively and then consider an unconditional apology. I am afraid unless we are prepared to learn about our own prejudices we will continue in denial.

Now, Ms Thatcher you are definitely not coming to do an after dinner speech for us……….

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9 comments

  1. I think most people realise the term is offensive. She’s just a muppet who is on the radar solely on the basis of who her mother is. Without that she’d just be some ignorant nobody.


  2. Are you being serious? Or is this a wind-up?


  3. Sgt Twining – Maybe some clarification is needed first of what was exactly said. She is a Thatcher, not exactly flavour of at the BBC.


  4. I don’t hear this one too much on our side of the pond. But I’ll diligently watch for it and stamp it out should it surface!


  5. “The fact is Andy Murray’s hair is not Afro”

    Afro? Have black people ever used this term to refer to themselves?


  6. I hear what you say. However, she made the comment in a private conversation in a private area.

    How far should the Thought Police be able to move and dictate what you can and cannot say?


  7. Having looked at this further, it appears she was referring to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a French tennis player.

    Given that she said his hair ‘looked like’ a golliwog’s; and given her age, it would not be unreasonable to conclude she was referring to a toy.

    Whilst her comment is naive and poorly conceived, I don’t think it was said with ill intent.


  8. Tsonga’s hairstyle looks like that of a toy doll that depicts Black people as something out of the Black and White Minstrels show, all singing all dancing? Carole, may I call her that? She might have been ignorant, who knows?

    The comment is still referring to African Carribean hair in a negative tone. Can anyone imagine a Police Officer using this term and not getting assaulted.

    I agree with Stressed Out Cop.


  9. I don’t think the case is there, currently, to prove that she said it to be deliberately insulting. However, I think it reasonable to expect that she should be aware of the connotations associated with the toy and to not use it in the context that she did.

    I agree with you, in that it’s not acceptable and that clarification is needed of what she actually said.



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