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Monday, May 01, 2006

L.A.'s hidden racism (hidden in plain sight) contest


What popular eating and drinking establishment in Santa Monica quietly yet boldly features a racist caricature front and center in its reception area and dining room?

Now this placard, which is also for sale, is under the counter, to be sure, but in clear sight of seated diners and drinkers.

First reader to get it right wins a copy of Tabloid Baby, autographed by the boss.

From Ferris State University's Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia:

The Golliwog (originally spelled Golliwogg) is the least known of the major anti-Black caricatures in the United States. Golliwogs are grotesque creatures, with very dark, often jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red or white clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair. Typically, it's a male dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, and occasionally yellow colors. The golliwog image, popular in England and other European countries, is found on a variety of items, including postcards, jam jars, paperweights, brooches, wallets, perfume bottles, wooden puzzles, sheet music, wall paper, pottery, jewelry, greeting cards, clocks, and dolls. For the past four decades Europeans have debated whether the Golliwog is a lovable icon or a racist symbol…

The Golliwogg was based on a Black minstrel doll…