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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pick a Fragrance & We’ll Tell You What Kind of Spring You’re Going to Have

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Pick a Fragrance & We’ll Tell You What Kind of Spring You’re Going to Have

Springtime is here! After what felt like the longest Latino despedida at the doorway, the darkness and gloom of winter are finally saying farewell, leaving us with the brightness of the days ahead. 

Spring represents everything from rebirth, to renewal, to productivity. And one thing’s for certain–spring is marked by distinctive scents. April showers. May flowers. Fresh-cut grass. Newly picked citrus fruits. Sephora has an endless range of scents that will make you feel like spring has come alive. Pick any Sephora fragrance below and we’ll tell you what kind of spring you’re going to have.

Renewing

These scents refresh and renew you, making you feel bright and alive after a long, cold winter. 

Versace – Dylan Turquoise 

If you picked this refreshing, clean scent, it might remind you of getting caught in a spring shower. The keynotes of citrus lemon primofiore essence, guava, and musk bring you right to a tropical rainstorm. Open your arms and enjoy the downpour.

Dolce & Gabbana – Light Blue 

This fragrance is like a seaside getaway! The scent notes of citrus, bamboo, and green apple perfectly capture the essence of springtime in the South of Italy. Nothing says rejuvenation like a last-minute trip with your amigas to the isle of Capri. 

Relaxing

While bees may start their busy season during spring, you can use the warmer days as an opportunity to relax. The season of rebirth should include some much-need self-care.

Maison Margiela – ‘REPLICA’ Beach Walk 

This fragrance is like…you guessed it, a trip to the beach. But not just any beach, it’s a chill beach, as the summer crowds haven’t poured in yet. The notes of bergamot, heliotrope, and coconut milk bring to mind a long leisurely stroll next to the waves.

Valentino – Voce Viva 

The mixture of italian bergamot, crystal moss accord, and orange blossom gives off a warm floral scent that is remindful of a springtime picnic. Imagine yourself spread out on a blanket, feeling the light spring sunbeams kissing your skin while you enjoy the good company of a friend.

Romantic

During the spring, you can practically feel all of the love that’s blossoming in the air. If you choose any of the scents below, you have a season of love ahead of you.

Dior – Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet 

Spring is the season practically made for weddings. This fragrance’s fresh rose and peony scents are directly reminiscent of a blushing bride’s bouquet. Don’t worry. You don’t gotta get married if you don’t want to. Just know that this scent might make people wanna put a ring on you.

Yves Saint Laurent – Libre Eau de Toilette 

The sexy and feminine scents of lavender, orange blossom absolute, and white-tea accord are perfect for a night of stargazing. Enjoy the mild weather while you lay under the night sky with your amorcito.

Marc Jacobs – Daisy

This fragrance’s notes of strawberry, violet, and jasmine give a feeling of purity and optimism. The scent of new love. This fragrance is an intoxicating first date at a breezy outdoor cafe. 

Productive

If you spent all winter hibernating, then spring might be the time you devote to getting things done. If you choose any of the scents below, you’re destined for a very productive season ahead.

Atelier Cologne – Clémentine California

  

Notes of vetiver, clementine, and star anise, this citrus fragrance reminds you of a California citrus grove during spring harvest time. Just picture yourself under miles of blue sky, picking clementines in a wide-brimmed hat.

Flora by Gucci – Gorgeous Gardenia 

The red berries, pear, and white gardenia keynotes in Flora by Gucci Gorgeous Gardenia will make you feel fresh and energized–just like how you feel after giving your house a top-to-bottom spring cleaning. 

Carefree

Spring can be one of those times of the year where you just pause and experience life without wanting anything else from it. If you choose any of the fragrances below, you’re sure to have a footloose and fancy-free springtime.

Viktor&Rolf – Flowerbomb 

Get out your sundress because this fragrance is perfect for a garden party. The notes of jasmine, orange blossom, and patchouli are perfect for a breezy gathering with girlfriends under the springtime sun. 

NEST New York – Seville Orange Oil 

The bright note of orange in Seville Orange Oil evokes the mimosas you’ll be sharing over french toast with your comadres. Not a care in the world.

Armani – My Way 

The sweet notes of orange blossom and vanilla will transport you right to a nighttime spring Carnival. See yourself at the ring toss or lining up for the Ferris wheel. Just make sure you let out your inner child for the night.

If you’re the type of person that wants a bit of everything, then Sephora Favorites – Deluxe Mini Perfume Sampler Set is perfect for you. 

This option would be for the type of woman who doesn’t want to choose just one type of springtime–she wants to experience them all. Choose your favorite scent out of the seven included in the sampler set. Then, take the included scent certificate to any US Sephora store to redeem for a FREE full size of your favorite featured fragrance at no extra cost.

Take time this spring to celebrate life in all the little ways–including finding the perfect scent. There’s no right way of doing springtime–just as long as you seize the day!

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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Photo: Polk County Jail via Associated Press

On Wednesday, an Iowa woman pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. The woman, 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin, intentionally hit a 12-year-old Black boy and a 14-year-old Latina with her car in 2019. The charges include two counts of violating the U.S Hate Crime Act, as Poole Franklin intended to kill the victims because of their ethnicity.

Nicole Poole Franklin admitted to authorities that she targeted the girl because she thought she looked “Mexican”. She thought the boy was an Islamic terrorist.

As part of her defense, Poole Franklin is claiming that she suffers from schizophrenia and PTSD. Since her arrest, she admitted to police officers that she smoked meth before going on her hate-filled rampage.

The incident, which happened in December of 2019, struck fear into the hearts of communities of color in Des Moines, Iowa, where the hate crimes took place. “Anytime things happen to any minority, people are concerned about what happened,” said Joe Gonzalez, the executive director of Latino Resources Inc. in Iowa. “It was a horrific thing and people were concerned — especially people of color.”

When Nicole Poole Franklin ran over the children, she injured the boy’s leg. The girl, Natalia Miranda, was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for two days.

Natalia Miranda was walking to junior high school on December 9, 2019, when Poole Franklin ran her down on the side walk. Miranda was unconscious for 40 minutes before she woke up and walked to school, where she alerted the authorities.

Natalia Miranda says she remembers the car speeding towards her, but she doesn’t remember being hit. “I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the 14-year-old told KCCI. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

As of now, prosecutors are recommending that Nicole Poole Franklin serve 27 years behind bars.

Poole Franklin is also looking at two charges of attempted murder–both of which could carry up to 25 years each. Prosecutors are recommending that she serves all of the jailtime–state and federal–at the same time.

Here’s to hoping that the justice system does what is right and puts Nicole Poole Franklin behind bars for a long time–if only to save the lives of innocent children of color whose only crime is walking down the street.

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