Entertainment

A Racist Doll That Encouraged Violence Against Black Children Is Getting Shared On Twitter

Some people just don’t learn, do they?

U.S. history is one loaded sheet of receipts of proof that, when it comes to racism, we have been there, done that, and have had it up here with it. And yet, commercial business, establishments that rely on customer approval, still don’t seem to get it. And at the very least, they aren’t making an effort to regularly brush up on what can trigger their customer base and cause backlash. Yes, in 2019, consumers continue to face questionable advertisements and products that most 5th graders would be able to identify as racist off the bat. From Blackface shoes to racist jerseys brands are proving just how much they aren’t listening to minority consumers when we say “Ouch that hurts.”

This goes doubly true for a New Jersey dollar store that never once questioned a black “Feel Better Doll” that people could “whack” “whenever things don’t go well” and put it on its shelves.

Black rag dolls that were designed to be abused as stress relievers have been pulled from shelves of a N.J. One Dollar Store after complaints of racism from politicians and customers began to build.

The dolls, which were made of black fabric and red, green, black and yellow colored yarn for hair made up in the style of dreadlocks, were found in New Jersey One Dollar Zone store. The dolls called “Feel Better Doll” had a message to consumers sewn on their stomach that said “Whenever things don’t go well and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little ‘feel better doll’ that you just will not do without. Just grab it firmly by the legs and find a wall to slam the doll, and as you whack the ‘feel good doll’ do not forget to yell I FEEL GOOD, I FEEL GOOD.”

Based on the label, the doll appears to be manufactured by HarveyHutterCoInc.com.

Black dolls in the U.S. have a prominent and ugly role in our history as gross caricatures.

wodancingcrows.blogspot.com

American consumer history is rife with Black caricature dolls. While today’s Black dolls primarily reflect the fashionable, beautiful and success-driven African-American women of today, black dolls of the past often represented dehumanizing racial stereotypes and anti-Black caricatures that included the Mammy and the Pickaninny.

These dolls were often dressed in ragged clothes had made to be “kinky” hair and often had overly dramatized physical features.

SlidePlayer.com

One 1900s postcard features a doll with similar sentiments of the “Feel Better Doll”.

The postcard titled,  “I Certainly Do Miss the Children,” features a white man as he throws baseballs at black dolls in a carnival game called, “Hit the Nigger Babies.” The message of the card showcases historical sentiment that Black people were merely objects present for the abuse and amusement of white people, that Black children were not human.

Unpacking the various problems with this doll is pretty simple.

MBella Basque/ Pinterest.com

First, we can only count the ways in which encouraging adults, let alone children, that using violent behavior on a figure that represents a child as a stress reliever is a dangerous idea of gargantuan proportions. Besides being tools that can comfort and entertain a child, dolls offer children a way to understand how to care for and love other objects and people. The National Black Doll Museum and History Of Culture describes dolls as “a child’s first introduction to self- image” and says that “the history of black dolls is about more than just objects of play. Black dolls have played a critical role in building a diverse American society and rich African American culture.” For Black children whose cultural This doll presents a perverse alternative that undoubtedly encourages the behavior to the contrary.

There’s also the fact that the doll is an inappropriate and stereotypically crafted representation of a Black girl. Considering that Black girls and women are consistently abused and mistreated by others at disproportionate rates than other women and men of different races poses another issue. This doll undoubtedly perpetuates this problem as it tells young children that abusing dolls that look like black girls is acceptable. That their negative emotions can be cured by mistreating children and black dolls (aka black girls) specifically.

Angela Knight, a New Jersey state assemblywoman, shared a statement to her Facebook page about the doll that expressed similar concerns.

Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight said that after seeing images of the doll appear on her social media, she went toa One Dollar Zone in Bayonne, N.J. to see the dolls for herself. She soon after posted photos of the doll on her Facebook page along with a statement that condemned the dolls and the abuse they encouraged.

“Racism has no place in the world and I will not tolerate it, especially not in this district,” she wrote in the statement.”When I saw the doll in person, I cringed and was truly disheartened by the thought of a black child being beaten by another child or an adult for pure pleasure.”

We reached out to the manufacturer for comment but received no response as of this article’s publication.

Mattel Just Launched A Line Of Barbies With Skin Tones and Hair Styles Of All Types

Fierce

Mattel Just Launched A Line Of Barbies With Skin Tones and Hair Styles Of All Types

Mattel / Instagram

Mattel’s efforts to shake up the perception of their Barbie dolls continues! In the latest collection, which was released for Black History Month, the brand tapped a Black designer queen to create a collection that was truly inclusive, brilliantly Black and beautiful. The new line features a rainbow of Black skin tones and hairstyles that include afros, braids, and women in wheelchairs.

For their latest collection, the brand behind Barbie collaborated with creative consultant Shiona Turini.

The Bermudan stylist and costumer designer for the 2019 film “Queen & Slim” came up with over 20 looks for the new collection.

“I’ll never forget being in New York as a young black girl and finding a Black Barbie, and especially a Black Barbie birthday set,” Turini told People magazine in a recent interview. “Barbie is a historic brand that was inclusive before it was trendy.”

As part of her inspiration, Turini used the original Black Barbie (1980).

Turini paired up the original look with a Barbie in an afro.

“That was the basis for this image,” Turini explained in the interview. “We decided to have her on her throne with the other dolls dressed in her likeness, also in the red to support her.”

According to Turni, every aspect of the collection drew inspiration from Black activists.

Turini says she also found inspiration in the film Queen & Slim for the outfits in this most recent collection.

“When I worked on the movie ‘Queen & Slim’ the stand-out, ‘hero’ look for me was mixing snakeskin and tiger prints in the same look,” Barbie Style explained. “The contrast of the two patterns completely subverts expectations, and I was excited to use the same formula on pieces such as Barbie’s thigh-high boots to break the traditional mold of dolls I had grown up playing with.”

As we’ve seen with the Frida, La Catrina, and the recent release of vitiligo and hairless Barbie, it’s important that ALL people feel seen. “Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment,” she told CR Fashion Book.

Olive Garden Manager Fired After Complying With Customer’s Racist Request

Things That Matter

Olive Garden Manager Fired After Complying With Customer’s Racist Request

@nypost / Twitter

Good o’l reliable Olive Garden, your favorite first date option as a broke highschooler, is getting the heat this week. After news broke that an occurrence of racism occurred at one of its Indiana establishments, patrons of the Italian-inspired franchise have tons of questions.

A manager at an Olive Garden in Evansville, Indiana complied to a racist request by a couple over the weekend, leaving a Black waitress in shock.

When a white couple chose to dine at the Olive Garden in Evansville, Indiana over the weekend, they requested they be served by a white person only. Instead of standing up for his employees and asking for the pair to leave, the manager complied with the request leaving a hostess and another customer to complain on Instagram.

Now the manager is out of a job.

The incident went viral after being shared by customer Maxwell Robbins  on Facebook.

I’m never going back to the Olive Garden in Evansville. A few white people come in a says that they refuse service from…

Posted by Maxwell Robbins on Sunday, March 1, 2020

According to Robbins the white guests refused service from a “colored” server and asked to speak to a manager.

“The manager without hesitation ensures that they will not receive service from a person of color. That couple should’ve been refused service for even asking something like that,” Robbins complained.

Soon after sharing his post, 16-year-old Amira Donahue, a black hostess who had been berated by the white couple also posted a complaint.

Racism is still prevalent in 2020! After years of experiencing micro aggressions and attitudes simply because of my…

Posted by Amira Donahue on Sunday, March 1, 2020

According to Newsweek, when one of the white customers asked for hot water and Amira brought it to the table, the customer requested “a server who wasn’t black. The couple then proceeded to talk about her to co-workers and claimed that she was not “family-friendly.” Amira went onto express her disappointment and hurt of not being backed by the restaurants management staff.

In response to the incident, Olive Garden conducted an investigation and issues a statement.

“We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and the manager involved no longer works for our company,” an Olive Garden spokesperson told TODAY in a statement.