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Other => Off Topic => Topic started by: Paul der Krake on September 01, 2017, 08:02:37 PM

Title: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 01, 2017, 08:02:37 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/tYL6fI7.jpg)

Yes/No
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: geekette on September 01, 2017, 08:15:07 PM
Certainly not to my taste, but the string isn't coming out her nose (or worse) so I vote kitschy, but not offensive.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Kris on September 01, 2017, 08:20:35 PM
Wow.

Yeah. Gross.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: maizeman on September 01, 2017, 08:22:46 PM
Don't know for sure, but I'd use yes as a working assumption.

(Figure false positives hurt a lot less than false negatives when trying to filter out offensive stuff.)
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: lhamo on September 01, 2017, 08:23:09 PM
I think many African Americans would probably find it offensive -- that whole Aunt Jemima-y/black housekeeper or nanny trope was a long-used sterotype in American culture, and evokes blackface and other representations of African Americans that are pretty widely frowned upon these days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammy_archetype
https://ferris.edu/jimcrow/mammies/
http://www.historyonthenet.com/authentichistory/diversity/african/1-mammy/
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: forumname123 on September 01, 2017, 08:29:42 PM
Wow.

Yeah. Gross.

Care to explain why?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Another Reader on September 01, 2017, 08:31:26 PM
This is the sort of thing that belongs in a museum, along with other historical artifacts from that era.  Preservation of history is important because of the opportunity to learn from it.  The Holocaust killed six million people, and there are museums that help current and future generations understand what happened then.

The same is true of the Confederate statues.  They are of historical importance.  Removing them removes the opportunity to be reminded of the Civil War.  Obliterating history because it is "offensive" is counterproductive.  Next thing you know, Gone with the Wind will be banned because it is "offensive."
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: marty998 on September 01, 2017, 08:39:04 PM
Obliterating history because it is "offensive" is counterproductive.  Next thing you know, Gone with the Wind will be banned because it is "offensive."

Frankly my dear AR, I'm not sure anyone gives a damn.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: NeonPegasus on September 01, 2017, 08:42:16 PM
I think many African Americans would probably find it offensive -- that whole Aunt Jemima-y/black housekeeper or nanny trope was a long-used sterotype in American culture, and evokes blackface and other representations of African Americans that are pretty widely frowned upon these days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammy_archetype
https://ferris.edu/jimcrow/mammies/
http://www.historyonthenet.com/authentichistory/diversity/african/1-mammy/

+100

That's exactly it. The portrayal is one of a servile African American. I thinks it's like the N word. If you're black, it's the figurine would be kitschy (reappropriating the symbol) but if you're white, it's nasty.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Another Reader on September 01, 2017, 08:47:30 PM
Obliterating history because it is "offensive" is counterproductive.  Next thing you know, Gone with the Wind will be banned because it is "offensive."

Frankly my dear AR, I'm not sure anyone gives a damn.

You are right about that.  The educational system we have is creating a nation of sheep, people that only tolerate one way of thinking and refuse to listen to or respect others.  Destroying history is another step on the road to our cultural destruction and a new form of fascism. 
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Hotstreak on September 01, 2017, 08:50:02 PM
Not offensive at all. 
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: lost_in_the_endless_aisle on September 01, 2017, 09:41:56 PM
It's disconcerting the string is coming from her chest; belly button/umbilical cord would make more sense!

As applies for virtually anything, whether it should be considered offensive or not depends on its context.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: DoubleDown on September 01, 2017, 09:50:52 PM
Well I just learned there's such a thing as a string holder. To think all this time any string I've owned has been wrapped up by its loser self without a holder, or around a simple stick or rod, and stuck in a drawer or tool box. So lame. I'll be shopping for a decorative string holder first thing tomorrow (but not an offensive one)!
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: rosaz on September 01, 2017, 11:21:24 PM
Yeah. My reaction's based mostly on the skin color, which is not a human shade of brown, but instead that obsidian color... it gives it the air of caricaturing someone the artist didn't really see as human.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Adventine on September 02, 2017, 12:02:24 AM
From my point of view, having grown up on the other side of the world in a completely different cultural context, meaning I wasn't really exposed to the racial tensions mentioned by previous posters:

It's just an unappealing piece of ceramic with an oddly placed string. I didn't think about any racial undertones until I read the other posts.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 02, 2017, 07:08:15 AM
Do I personally find it offensive?  No, not really.  It's just a weird kitschy thing.  I'd never keep something like that in my home though.  It's clearly a charicature of a black person, and that sort of thing carries a lot of baggage for many people.  Keeping something like that in your home would imply:
- you're ignorant of black history
- you want people to feel uncomfortable in your home
- you tacitly approve of racial stereotypes
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 02, 2017, 07:49:23 AM
Okay enough people place it somewhere on the distasteful/offensive spectrum that it should not be displayed. Special thanks to llhamo for the instructive links.

I left out any contextual information to get gut reactions. It is indeed from another era, and quite kitschy.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: bacchi on September 02, 2017, 08:32:45 AM
Obliterating history because it is "offensive" is counterproductive.  Next thing you know, Gone with the Wind will be banned because it is "offensive."

Frankly my dear AR, I'm not sure anyone gives a damn.

You are right about that.  The educational system we have is creating a nation of sheep, people that only tolerate one way of thinking and refuse to listen to or respect others.  Destroying history is another step on the road to our cultural destruction and a new form of fascism.

No one is destroying history. The 2nd link above is a museum with an entire wall of mammies.

Re: the statues -- statues in a prominent public place are a form of veneration. Removing a statue isn't "destroying history" there either. Slavery and the Civil War are still in history books, where they belong.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 02, 2017, 08:57:11 AM

I don't see anything offensive about it, but I think it is unattractive, so I wouldn't want it in my house.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: geekette on September 02, 2017, 09:26:36 AM
Wow, I had no idea about the mammies (and I thought the string was coming out of her hands).

As for the statues, listen to 99% Invisible's rebroadcast of the Memory Palace's podcast (http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/notes-imagined-plaque/) on the Nathan Bedford Forrest stature in Memphis.  The intent around these items means more than the items themselves.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: BudgetSlasher on September 02, 2017, 09:31:34 AM
Yes. I don't think the piece on its own is terribly offensive, but when placed in the context of the mammy archetype (which is what I immediately associate it with) then yes it is offensive. At least it offensive or in poor taste out of limited contexts, such as a museum or collection of americana.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: wordnerd on September 02, 2017, 10:09:01 AM
Extremely offensive. https://ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/mammies/homepage.htm
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Free Spirit on September 02, 2017, 10:23:37 AM
It's offensive, racially insensitive, and if you were to showcase it in your home you would most likely be regarded as ignorant to important history.


Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: englishteacheralex on September 02, 2017, 10:42:01 AM
Wow, I thought everyone knew this kind of thing is horrible. No, you don't display something like this in your house unless you want people to perceive you as racist/clueless. It perpetuates a dehumanizing stereotype from a shameful historical era. Please befriend a black person and get to know them as a human being, and then take another look at this piece of "kitschy" home decor.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Dicey on September 02, 2017, 10:49:19 AM
This is the sort of thing that belongs in a museum, along with other historical artifacts from that era.  Preservation of history is important because of the opportunity to learn from it.  The Holocaust killed six million people, and there are museums that help current and future generations understand what happened then.

The same is true of the Confederate statues.  They are of historical importance.  Removing them removes the opportunity to be reminded of the Civil War.  Obliterating history because it is "offensive" is counterproductive.  Next thing you know, Gone with the Wind will be banned because it is "offensive."
Huh. I thought I read that the statues in question were erected to honor Jim Crow-era "leaders", not Civil War Leaders. Wha'd I miss?

Paul, perhaps a white person might be less likely to find it so than a person of color. As a Mustachian, I find it offensive because who the fuck needs a string holder?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: marble_faun on September 02, 2017, 11:33:30 AM
If I were you, I would banish this.

The string-holder was designed to offer nostalgia, symbolically recreating the era of slavery, when black people were forced to serve white people.  There's really no reason for this object to exist, other than to have an obedient Mammy serving up the string.

Household Mammy ceramics are quite common and can be found in thrift stores and antique shops all over the country. There are collectors of these kinds of objects -- often people with a deep interest in African-American history. But if you're outside of that category, I would hesitate to keep this. It has a strong political valence that you might not intend to express.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Dicey on September 02, 2017, 12:56:29 PM
If I were you, I would banish this.

The string-holder was designed to offer nostalgia, symbolically recreating the era of slavery, when black people were forced to serve white people.  There's really no reason for this object to exist, other than to have an obedient Mammy serving up the string.

Household Mammy ceramics are quite common and can be found in thrift stores and antique shops all over the country. There are collectors of these kinds of objects -- often people with a deep interest in African-American history. But if you're outside of that category, I would hesitate to keep this. It has a strong political valence that you might not intend to express.
Perfectly said. Kudos.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Dabnasty on September 02, 2017, 10:37:58 PM
First, yes it's offensive.

But I can certainly see how people less exposed to other cultures or somewhat isolated in the US wouldn't think anything of it so I wouldn't judge someone for not thinking it's offensive. Where I grew up they were a fairly common decoration (not just like this one, but they all used stereotypes) and I suspect every one I ever saw was inherited, not bought. The main reason they were still around was because people just didn't throw stuff away. If you don't stop to really think about what it is i can see why some just see it as a cartoonish decoration.

Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: lost_in_the_endless_aisle on September 02, 2017, 11:23:19 PM
Possibly relevant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6wQ4dpHvCU)
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: rdaneel0 on September 02, 2017, 11:28:43 PM
Yes, it is offensive.

...also had no idea a string holder was a thing.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Polaria on September 02, 2017, 11:34:31 PM
In this age yes it is considered offensive. Get rid of that thing, you'll only get into trouble by keeping it imo.

In Belgium we have also had fierce polemics linked to our colonial past in Africa: for example, the polemic about Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) (http://www.flanderstoday.eu/current-affairs/antwerp-abandons-blackface-zwarte-piet) and the "Tintin in Congo" lawsuit (https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/may/14/effort-ban-tintin-congo-fails).
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: lost_in_the_endless_aisle on September 03, 2017, 12:45:32 AM
In this age yes it is considered offensive. Get rid of that thing, you'll only get into trouble by keeping it imo.

In Belgium we have also had fierce polemics linked to our colonial past in Africa: for example, the polemic about Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) (http://www.flanderstoday.eu/current-affairs/antwerp-abandons-blackface-zwarte-piet) and the "Tintin in Congo" lawsuit (https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/may/14/effort-ban-tintin-congo-fails).
I thought Zware Piet is a depiction of a Spanish Moor and has no ties to any Belgian colonial possessions. If anything, the Moors (which is a vague term) had colonized Spain from Northern Africa. Finally, I thought the depiction of Zwarte Piet is generally positive. Yes, it's a bit of a caricature, but so is Santa Claus.

More generally, the use of blackface in an intentionally derogatory manner in the form of minstrel shows was never widespread outside of the US and UK. Nevertheless, it's still a popular pass-time, as an example, to re-contextualize Die Antwoord videos (https://www.theguardian.com/global/2012/oct/22/die-antwoord-blackface-south-africa) to fill column inches.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Polaria on September 03, 2017, 02:28:24 AM
In this age yes it is considered offensive. Get rid of that thing, you'll only get into trouble by keeping it imo.

In Belgium we have also had fierce polemics linked to our colonial past in Africa: for example, the polemic about Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) (http://www.flanderstoday.eu/current-affairs/antwerp-abandons-blackface-zwarte-piet) and the "Tintin in Congo" lawsuit (https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/may/14/effort-ban-tintin-congo-fails).
I thought Zware Piet is a depiction of a Spanish Moor and has no ties to any Belgian colonial possessions. If anything, the Moors (which is a vague term) had colonized Spain from Northern Africa. Finally, I thought the depiction of Zwarte Piet is generally positive. Yes, it's a bit of a caricature, but so is Santa Claus.

There is a "After and Before" pic of Zwarte Piet here: https://www.kuleuven.be/thomas/page/zwarte-piet/ .I think this highlights why Zwarte Piet got conflated with racism/colonialism issues, although like you wrote the two are originally unrelated.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 03, 2017, 04:44:51 AM
On its own, I'd lean to yes, but maybe no.

On the counter of a non-black person it is offensive. I cannot tell black people how to feel about their own portrayal. But I can tell you as a white person relics of the past like this where black people are portrayed as caricatures just are not appropriate.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 03, 2017, 06:19:50 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Rural on September 03, 2017, 11:45:27 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 03, 2017, 11:53:56 AM
Not even close.  Yes it is offensive.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: CowboyAndIndian on September 03, 2017, 07:56:17 PM
Yes!!!

If there is even a slight chance that it would distress anyone looking at it, I would not use it.

Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: solon on September 03, 2017, 08:44:02 PM
Yes!!!

If there is even a slight chance that it would distress anyone looking at it, I would not use it.

That's a pretty high standard. I have things in my home that might distress some people.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 03, 2017, 09:48:21 PM
Yes!!!

If there is even a slight chance that it would distress anyone looking at it, I would not use it.

That's a pretty high standard. I have things in my home that might distress some people.

Exactly.  It's your house.  Put in it what you wish.  If someone has a problem with it or thinks it's inappropriate, that is their problem.

I wouldn't destroy the thing.  If you don't want it - sell it on eBay for some coin.  Other similar items are listed there.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Dabnasty on September 03, 2017, 10:28:42 PM
Yes!!!

If there is even a slight chance that it would distress anyone looking at it, I would not use it.

That's a pretty high standard. I have things in my home that might distress some people.

Exactly.  It's your house.  Put in it what you wish.  If someone has a problem with it or thinks it's inappropriate, that is their problem.

I wouldn't destroy the thing.  If you don't want it - sell it on eBay for some coin.  Other similar items are listed there.
I think OP is asking because they don't want to offend people when they come to their home. Your suggestion seems to be that it doesn't matter if it is offensive but would you make the same argument if it was something even more offensive? Not giving examples of more offensive things because that leads down the rabbit hole.

Regarding selling it my gut reaction was no, but to be honest it depends on the price. I'm not turning down $200 if somebody wanted it that bad but I doubt it would fetch that.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 03, 2017, 10:49:46 PM
Yes!!!

If there is even a slight chance that it would distress anyone looking at it, I would not use it.

That's a pretty high standard. I have things in my home that might distress some people.

Exactly.  It's your house.  Put in it what you wish.  If someone has a problem with it or thinks it's inappropriate, that is their problem.

I wouldn't destroy the thing.  If you don't want it - sell it on eBay for some coin.  Other similar items are listed there.
I think OP is asking because they don't want to offend people when they come to their home. Your suggestion seems to be that it doesn't matter if it is offensive but would you make the same argument if it was something even more offensive?

Well, since it's the home owner's home, I would say it is up to him whether he thinks something is offensive or not, so I would not argue with what the home owner decides to have in his own house, assuming it's legal and all.  The home owner may take into consideration how someone who visits him may think about the piece, but I wouldn't argue about that, either.

Quote
Regarding selling it my gut reaction was no, but to be honest it depends on the price. I'm not turning down $200 if somebody wanted it that bad but I doubt it would fetch that.

I doubt $200, maybe $50 or so.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 04, 2017, 09:13:42 PM
lawn jockeys
Well, shit. I'm now frantically trying to remember the various lawn jockeys I have seen and whether or not they were black.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: expatartist on September 04, 2017, 09:35:15 PM
"Negrobilia" is found offensive by many. There's a collection of it at Chicago's Stony Island Arts Bank http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/beingthere/ct-arts-bank-stony-island-ent-0705-20170628-column.html that, when you see an image like this Mammy in context (alongside "Whites Only" signs), made my stomach churn.

From the article:
'a postcard showing two black children, the caption reading, "I'm sending you a pair of black kids." Asked what it meant, he said it was likely an advertisement for a pair of gloves. He smiled at the absurdity.
...
"The more I collected of this, the more I realized the range of stuff that had derogatory black images was endless," he said. The intended message of the advertising was often innocuous, completely disconnected from the racism of the images used to sell an item.

Indeed, to poke through Williams' collection is to be reminded, harshly, of how commodified and ordinary racism has been, and arguably is, in American pop culture. "It was big companies and small companies doing it," he said. "I don't want people to forget when there is no downside to denigrating a race of people, companies will do it."'
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: iris lily on September 04, 2017, 11:31:55 PM
It is ugly and kitschy as others have said. Tossing around the word "banning" is a bit much.

Yet, in Prague we visited an antique dealer who sold Nazi pins. This stuff isnt traded elsewhere in the world and is downright illegal in some parts. Funny how that makes it a little bit attractive and interesting. This dealer had several Mothers Medals, one kind for mothers who produced 4 children for the Reich, another, fancier one for mothers of 6 children.

Outright banning confederate flags ( which will never hapoen in the U.S. anyway) just makes them more interesting.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: iris lily on September 04, 2017, 11:36:40 PM
Some African Americans collect this stuff ironically.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Villanelle on September 05, 2017, 12:52:50 AM
Before I read Spartana's post, I was going to draw a WWII comparison.  Is a Nazi flag offensive?  Not in a museum, or perhaps are part of a WWII propaganda collection.  But as wall decor in someone's house?  Yup.

So I don't think the string holder needs to be smashed and obliterated from history.  But I think anyone who sets it in their home is just a "charming" objet d'art is either very naive or grossly insensitive.  Without the clear context of remembering history's ugliness, I don't think this thing has a place being displayed. 
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: lexde on September 05, 2017, 05:21:25 AM
Yes. Yes. Yes.

My grandmother has a whole collection of "mammies" and it is disgusting. It isn't cute, or charming, it's dehumanizing and an embarrassment to the rest of the family. I don't know what to do with them when she passes, part of me wants to burn them and the other part of me wants to donate them to a museum just so that people don't forget.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Cache_Stash on September 05, 2017, 05:46:52 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Villanelle on September 05, 2017, 06:02:01 AM
Aunt Jemima's packaging is no longer a woman-shaped bottle, and the image of the woman on the label is not a old-style caricature of a black woman.  The change was presumably made precisely because many people did find it offensive.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41JXu1Fk2QL.SX231_SY500_CR,0,0,231,500_PIbundle-6,TopRight,0,0_SX231_SY500_CR,0,0,231,500_SH20_.jpg)
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Kris on September 05, 2017, 06:05:34 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

Yes.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aunt_Jemima

You'll not they changed to image to look more like a black bersion of Betty Crocker eventually. But its origins and the original one? Racist for sure.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 06:51:55 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

No, not at all offensive to me - never was.  I didn't pay much attention to it, though - it looks like they changed the bottle at some point, and I didn't even notice.  I don't use the product.  It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 05, 2017, 07:03:41 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

No, not at all offensive to me - never was.  I didn't pay much attention to it, though - it looks like they changed the bottle at some point, and I didn't even notice.  I don't use the product.  It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.

Interesting.  How strongly would you say that racism has impacted your life personally?  Have you ever been the subject of racist comments on the street, profiled by police for the colour of your skin, or found it harder to get a job than your white classmates?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 07:34:09 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

No, not at all offensive to me - never was.  I didn't pay much attention to it, though - it looks like they changed the bottle at some point, and I didn't even notice.  I don't use the product.  It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.

Interesting.  How strongly would you say that racism has impacted your life personally?  Have you ever been the subject of racist comments on the street, profiled by police for the colour of your skin, or found it harder to get a job than your white classmates?

Yeah, everything hasn't just been peaches and cream for me.

Here's another crazy example in more recent news:

http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2017/08/29/dumping-chief-illiniwek-mascot-university-illinois-gets-rid-war-chant-song/
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Kris on September 05, 2017, 07:54:22 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

No, not at all offensive to me - never was.  I didn't pay much attention to it, though - it looks like they changed the bottle at some point, and I didn't even notice.  I don't use the product.  It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.

Interesting.  How strongly would you say that racism has impacted your life personally?  Have you ever been the subject of racist comments on the street, profiled by police for the colour of your skin, or found it harder to get a job than your white classmates?

Yeah, everything hasn't just been peaches and cream for me.

Here's another crazy example in more recent news:

http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2017/08/29/dumping-chief-illiniwek-mascot-university-illinois-gets-rid-war-chant-song/

LOL -- of course it's a Breitbart article.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 05, 2017, 07:55:35 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

No, not at all offensive to me - never was.  I didn't pay much attention to it, though - it looks like they changed the bottle at some point, and I didn't even notice.  I don't use the product.  It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.

Interesting.  How strongly would you say that racism has impacted your life personally?  Have you ever been the subject of racist comments on the street, profiled by police for the colour of your skin, or found it harder to get a job than your white classmates?

Yeah, everything hasn't just been peaches and cream for me.

You seem to have forgotten to answer any of my questions in your response.



Here's another crazy example in more recent news:

http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2017/08/29/dumping-chief-illiniwek-mascot-university-illinois-gets-rid-war-chant-song/

It's pretty obvious that using a racial stereotype caricature as a mascot for a university sports team is way over the line and into the realm of bad taste.  Good for them for banning it's usage in 2005 . . . sad that it took that long to fix the problem though.

My understanding after some cursory online digging is that the 'war chant' song was simply instrumental, so it does seem like banning it is a bit over the top.  I don't know all the related details though.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 08:08:49 AM

Here's another crazy example in more recent news:

http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2017/08/29/dumping-chief-illiniwek-mascot-university-illinois-gets-rid-war-chant-song/

It's pretty obvious that using a racial stereotype caricature as a mascot for a university sports team is way over the line and into the realm of bad taste.  Good for them for banning it's usage in 2005 . . . sad that it took that long to fix the problem though.

My understanding after some cursory online digging is that the 'war chant' song was simply instrumental, so it does seem like banning it is a bit over the top.  I don't know all the related details though.

Chief Illiniwek was actually banned by Illinois in 2007, when he last performed.  I recall some years later, in a poll, that the vast majority of U of I students wanted to bring him back.   But yes, it's over the top for sure.  It's all just getting out of hand.  More on the banning of the song here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-illinois-chief-illiniwek-ryan-spt-0827-20170826-column.html
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: KBecks on September 05, 2017, 08:12:13 AM
I think these items are now collectible, and much of the interest is from African Americans who are preserving, or just recognizing the past.

I would not have the figurine in my home.  I have seen some interesting pieces of jewelry depicting Africans and they are interesting, Blackamoors.   

If I were say, a history teacher or an art teacher and I was into the study of these decorative arts, then maybe I would own some, to own a little piece of history.

Here's an interesting blog discussing the owner's statue.  (Please don't bug the person, the post is from 2011)
http://myoldhistorichouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/blackamoors-fabulous-or-offensive.html

Images of blackamoor jewelry
https://www.google.com/search?q=google+blackamoor+jewelry&rlz=1CALOEI_enUS702US702&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjrtO7SnI7WAhVk94MKHaVJC4EQsAQIJw&biw=1100&bih=647

I think some of it is beautiful!  I would probably be too shy to own any of it, but if you have the right heart, then you should be viewed for who you are not for your things.   

P.S.  I think it's good and interesting we can talk about these things. 
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 05, 2017, 08:59:47 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.

No, not at all offensive to me - never was.  I didn't pay much attention to it, though - it looks like they changed the bottle at some point, and I didn't even notice.  I don't use the product.  It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.

Interesting.  How strongly would you say that racism has impacted your life personally?  Have you ever been the subject of racist comments on the street, profiled by police for the colour of your skin, or found it harder to get a job than your white classmates?

Yeah, everything hasn't just been peaches and cream for me.

You seem to have forgotten to answer any of my questions in your response.

Probably because the only people ever offended by political correctness (i.e. being decent humans to everyone) are SWM, but they just don't like to admit it.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: KBecks on September 05, 2017, 09:02:44 AM
I had to look up SWM -- Scared White Men? 
But can't we all just get along?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 09:21:14 AM

Probably because the only people ever offended by political correctness (i.e. being decent humans to everyone) are SWM, but they just don't like to admit it.

It's interesting that the biggest advocates of so-called political correctness are some of the worst at making offensive comments about whites and Christians.   It's makes it difficult to take you seriously if you think it's ok to offend one group of Americans and not another when it fits more with your narrative.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: LadyMuMu on September 05, 2017, 09:28:00 AM
Offensive is in the eye of the beholder. Some people are easily offended, others less so. I remember reading somewhere that Whoopi Goldberg has a place in her house called the Wall of Shame that pieces like this in it along with things like "Whites Only" and other racist memorabilia.

Outside of that context, I would definitely say this is in poor taste and reflects badly upon the person who decorates their home this way.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 05, 2017, 09:29:46 AM

Probably because the only people ever offended by political correctness (i.e. being decent humans to everyone) are SWM, but they just don't like to admit it.

It's interesting that the biggest advocates of so-called political correctness are some of the worst at making offensive comments about whites and Christians.   It's makes it difficult to take you seriously if you think it's ok to offend one group of Americans and not another when it fits more with your narrative.

1) How did I offend you?

2) Your last sentence...is basically...what you've been saying...so...wtf?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Dabnasty on September 05, 2017, 09:47:04 AM
So is a product like Aunt Jemima offensive?

Curious as to everyone's thoughts.
Name brand syrup? Yes, very offensive
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: trollwithamustache on September 05, 2017, 09:56:57 AM
Would it not be offensive if it was part of a rainbow of different races of old ladies holding his various sizes and colors of string?

Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Dabnasty on September 05, 2017, 10:16:31 AM
Would it not be offensive if it was part of a rainbow of different races of old ladies holding his various sizes and colors of string?
The offensiveness isn't so much the color as the exaggerated features and historical context.

But maybe less offensive because this would show that the owner is doing it to be creative.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 10:40:00 AM

Probably because the only people ever offended by political correctness (i.e. being decent humans to everyone) are SWM, but they just don't like to admit it.

It's interesting that the biggest advocates of so-called political correctness are some of the worst at making offensive comments about whites and Christians.   It's makes it difficult to take you seriously if you think it's ok to offend one group of Americans and not another when it fits more with your narrative.

1) How did I offend you?

2) Your last sentence...is basically...what you've been saying...so...wtf?

Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.  I think the mainstream media feeds into this, and the sheep just follow.

OK, so I can't say the same thing twice?  Wtf??
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 05, 2017, 10:51:29 AM
Would it not be offensive if it was part of a rainbow of different races of old ladies holding his various sizes and colors of string?
The offensiveness isn't so much the color as the exaggerated features and historical context.

But maybe less offensive because this would show that the owner is doing it to be creative.

Multiple caricatures of various races . . . so you've got an old jewish lady with a big nose, 'fro and lots of money falling out of her pockets, a native american old woman sitting on the dirt looking destitute with lots of feathers and tassles, a topless generic 'island girl' with grass skirt, the black mammy, and maybe one tall/slender/blue eyed/blonde haired version of whatever Hitler was looking for in his housefrau breeding stock.

Yeah, no.  That still seems pretty fucked up to display in your home.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: bacchi on September 05, 2017, 11:06:41 AM
Probably because the only people ever offended by political correctness (i.e. being decent humans to everyone) are SWM, but they just don't like to admit it.

The whole "being offended by political correctness" thing has definitely gotten out of hand. These SWMs are acting like special snowflakes who can't handle it when others say, "Cut that shit out!"

(I'm very offended by the non-PC crowd.)
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: bacchi on September 05, 2017, 11:08:59 AM
Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.

Are you claiming to be...offended?

Damn, the outrage culture is everywhere!
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 05, 2017, 11:12:29 AM
Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.

Are you claiming to be...offended?

Damn, the outrage culture is everywhere!

At least he's totally self-aware.

It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: KBecks on September 05, 2017, 11:37:39 AM
Offensive is in the eye of the beholder. Some people are easily offended, others less so. I remember reading somewhere that Whoopi Goldberg has a place in her house called the Wall of Shame that pieces like this in it along with things like "Whites Only" and other racist memorabilia.

Outside of that context, I would definitely say this is in poor taste and reflects badly upon the person who decorates their home this way.

I think collecting these objects would be interesting.  It tells a story, a terrible story but it's got so much cultural and historical meaning.  It's more interesting to me personally than say something like Art Deco (some people love Art Deco, I'm bored by it, but different people like different things).  I'm not much of a collector, but I could see myself making a collection of these things as a historical study. 
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: Debonair on September 05, 2017, 11:50:14 AM
Would it not be offensive if it was part of a rainbow of different races of old ladies holding his various sizes and colors of string?
The offensiveness isn't so much the color as the exaggerated features and historical context.

But maybe less offensive because this would show that the owner is doing it to be creative.

Multiple caricatures of various races . . . so you've got an old jewish lady with a big nose, 'fro and lots of money falling out of her pockets, a native american old woman sitting on the dirt looking destitute with lots of feathers and tassles, a topless generic 'island girl' with grass skirt, the black mammy, and maybe one tall/slender/blue eyed/blonde haired version of whatever Hitler was looking for in his housefrau breeding stock.

Yeah, no.  That still seems pretty fucked up to display in your home.

Different tastes, that sounds like an interesting art display to me. Kind of like all those old dolls my mother collected, a relic of diffrent times.

About the doll itself, its kind of ugly but interesting from a historical perspective. Kind of like some of the eugenics books I use to have. Granted my limited collectors taste seems are, strange when it's not paintings.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 05, 2017, 12:18:34 PM

Probably because the only people ever offended by political correctness (i.e. being decent humans to everyone) are SWM, but they just don't like to admit it.

It's interesting that the biggest advocates of so-called political correctness are some of the worst at making offensive comments about whites and Christians.   It's makes it difficult to take you seriously if you think it's ok to offend one group of Americans and not another when it fits more with your narrative.

1) How did I offend you?

2) Your last sentence...is basically...what you've been saying...so...wtf?

Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.  I think the mainstream media feeds into this, and the sheep just follow.

OK, so I can't say the same thing twice?  Wtf??

Quote
If someone has a problem with it or thinks it's inappropriate, that is their problem.

So here you are saying that is the offendee's problem, not the offender.  Then you say that "insults toward any particular race...can be considered offensive" with somehow coming up with "whites" and "Christians" being specific targets of the liberal media.

Quote
It seems most people are too sensitive to things these days.  This political correctness stuff has gotten out of hand.

Quote
It's all just getting out of hand.

Quote
It's interesting that the biggest advocates of so-called political correctness are some of the worst at making offensive comments about whites and Christians.   It's makes it difficult to take you seriously if you think it's ok to offend one group of Americans and not another when it fits more with your narrative.

All I did was say that presumably you are a Straight White Man (SWM) because you dodged the questions about how you've been judged or offended because of your skin color.  I also said that seemingly the only people upset about the "PC Culture" are straight white men.

You took that to mean I was insulting you for being white and Christian (?).  Nowhere did I say it was "ok to offend one group of Americans" nor did I insult you.  Perhaps the assumption that you are a SWM was an insult and for that I apologize.

I'm really not sure what your beef is.  It sounds like you don't want to be offended for being a white guy (presumably) but you don't seem too keen on cutting down the offensive nature of logos, mascots, etc. for minorities (it's the offendee's problem, remember?).

So basically, this (humor much needed in this thread, imo):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk6gjqMrOy8
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: dividendman on September 05, 2017, 12:50:37 PM
Statue of a weird looking black lady serving up string = offensive

Statue of white Jesus murdered on a cross = not offensive (a gory murder is bad enough, but the dude wasn't even white)

What a world we live in.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 05, 2017, 01:36:24 PM
Statue of a weird looking black lady serving up string = offensive

Statue of white Jesus murdered on a cross = not offensive (a gory murder is bad enough, but the dude wasn't even white)

What a world we live in.

Context changes things.

A kid wearing a bed sheet while marching with your friends trick or treating is a different thing than wearing a bed sheet while marching with your Klan buddies.  Even though the action is effectively the same, they're perceived differently . . . as they should be.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: dividendman on September 05, 2017, 01:47:44 PM
Statue of a weird looking black lady serving up string = offensive

Statue of white Jesus murdered on a cross = not offensive (a gory murder is bad enough, but the dude wasn't even white)

What a world we live in.

Context changes things.

A kid wearing a bed sheet while marching with your friends trick or treating is a different thing than wearing a bed sheet while marching with your Klan buddies.  Even though the action is effectively the same, they're perceived differently . . . as they should be.

Yes, I understand that.

Changing Jesus into a white guy doesn't seem to offend many for some reason. Imagine changing other great black/colored people into white people in statues and paintings? I'm sure it would cause an uproar.

My feeble mind is unable to find the logic that gives some things a pass and others a reason for offense and uproar.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: AlanStache on September 05, 2017, 01:52:00 PM
As a SWM (non-Christian) I have not seen anything in here that I would take as an insult directed at SWM.

DM: A) people have not commonly been crucified in a long time.  B) putting religious symbols into the public space can objectionable.  C) Next you will tell me Jesus did not speak English :-)

edit
DM: I took your comment to be more about the murder/blood and less about the color change (despite what this thread is about...).  But I see your point now.  As for why?  I am not sure I have an answer for that.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 02:50:24 PM
Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.

Are you claiming to be...offended?

Damn, the outrage culture is everywhere!


At least he's totally self-aware.


I never said that I was offended.  I said, "Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game."

That doesn't say that I was offended despite someone who might be trying to insult me.

I also never said I was Christian.  I may or may not be, or maybe I just sympathize with them for all of the anti-Christian chatter I've seen posted on this forum.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: trollwithamustache on September 05, 2017, 02:57:56 PM
Would it matter if the owner or maker of the figurine was black? I mean, there really are black people out there in the country too. No reason for every 10 crappy white folk artist there can't be a couple crappy black folk artists making crappy folk art about their people.

Wow, I guess you all know how I feel about folk art now.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: bacchi on September 05, 2017, 03:08:29 PM
I never said that I was offended.  I said, "Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game."

That doesn't say that I was offended despite someone who might be trying to insult me.

I also never said I was Christian.  I may or may not be, or maybe I just sympathize with them for all of the anti-Christian chatter I've seen posted on this forum.

So...you're being offended for "whites and Christians" that might be offended, despite not being offended yourself?

I'm sure they appreciate your defense but are they that sensitive?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 05, 2017, 03:12:47 PM

Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.


I also never said I was Christian.  I may or may not be, or maybe I just sympathize with them for all of the anti-Christian chatter I've seen posted on this forum.

Of all the groups who've been discriminated against in this country, you pick the two groups who've experienced the least amount of discrimination to sympathize with.

That's really all that anyone is asking, anyone who is "too PC" for your liking.  Show that same sympathy that you show for those poor, poor WASPs and their "struggle" to people who have experienced actual hardships (i.e. not bashing on a forum) like being denied a job because of their skin color, being paid less than their counterparts for their beliefs, being denied housing because of their skin color, etc. etc.

That you only single out whites and Christians because of "anti-Christian chatter" or whatever "offense" white people have to endure is a joke.  These two groups have suffered nothing compared to minorities, Muslims, Jews, etc.

Do you also sympathize with black people?  I don't know  Do you also sympathize with Jews?  I don't know.  You haven't stated the opposite explicitly, but you've also only called to mind whites and Christians over several posts.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: one piece at a time on September 05, 2017, 03:36:32 PM
...now that we have descended from the sensible and innocent question of "what is the social norm in the USA" to absurd question of "what ought to be a social norm" I'll add a 'thought'. The cultural appropriation of European peasant dress by US slave owners is downright despicable. Those people suffered under the yoke of the Roman Empire, Feudalism, Napoleonic wars, two world wars and the music career of David Hasselhoff. Taking European Peasant costume out of context is so gross.

You'll also note that the figurine displays a rather rotund lady sitting down. Why? Why can't this fatso be doing 200lb deadlift? Disgusting. 
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: bacchi on September 05, 2017, 05:07:35 PM
...now that we have descended from the sensible and innocent question of "what is the social norm in the USA" to absurd question of "what ought to be a social norm" I'll add a 'thought'. The cultural appropriation of European peasant dress by US slave owners is downright despicable. Those people suffered under the yoke of the Roman Empire, Feudalism, Napoleonic wars, two world wars and the music career of David Hasselhoff. Taking European Peasant costume out of context is so gross.

You'll also note that the figurine displays a rather rotund lady sitting down. Why? Why can't this fatso be doing 200lb deadlift? Disgusting.

Jonathan Swift you are not.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 07:09:20 PM
I never said that I was offended.  I said, "Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game."

That doesn't say that I was offended despite someone who might be trying to insult me.

I also never said I was Christian.  I may or may not be, or maybe I just sympathize with them for all of the anti-Christian chatter I've seen posted on this forum.

So...you're being offended for "whites and Christians" that might be offended, despite not being offended yourself?

I'm sure they appreciate your defense but are they that sensitive?

Read the part in bold where you quoted me.  I was not offended, but are you saying that people shouldn't be sensitive to insults or other offensive comments?
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: GenXbiker on September 05, 2017, 07:17:42 PM

Insults toward any particular race including whites can be considered offensive to those people, although when it comes to liberals, whites and Christians seem to be fair game.


I also never said I was Christian.  I may or may not be, or maybe I just sympathize with them for all of the anti-Christian chatter I've seen posted on this forum.

Of all the groups who've been discriminated against in this country, you pick the two groups who've experienced the least amount of discrimination to sympathize with.


You're completely missing the point.  I mentioned those groups because they have been the most criticized/insulted in recent years.  It seems to be fair game, and most of that is coming from liberals.  If I read/saw other groups being treated that way so much, I would be defending them as well.  I'm not seeing it - I'm seeing the opposite.  The race card is continuously being played where it doesn't apply.  People don't like Obama's policy, so they must be racist, etc.

Quote
That you only single out whites and Christians because of "anti-Christian chatter" or whatever "offense" white people have to endure is a joke.

I never singled them as having had to endure anything as a joke.  I singled them out because they are on the receiving of most insults/criticism from liberals.  So I'm calling liberals out on this.

Quote
Do you also sympathize with black people?  I don't know  Do you also sympathize with Jews?  I don't know.  You haven't stated the opposite explicitly, but you've also only called to mind whites and Christians over several posts.

I didn't have a need to mention blacks, Jews, or anyone else in this context when they were not the ones being criticized or insulted.  I don't see anyone here or anywhere else online doing that, of course I don't look for that sort of thing, either.   But I don't have to go looking to see all the negative commentary about whites / Christians.   Also, I've never said I was a Christian, but I'm noting a lot of anti-Christian chatter that has taken place on this forum.  And yes, I sympathize with any peaceful person who has had to endure extreme hardships such as slavery and internment.  Of course.
Title: Re: Is this string holder offensive?
Post by: expatartist on September 05, 2017, 08:05:43 PM
KBecks, you bring up an interesting parallel with the "Blackamoors". TBH even the name reeks of European colonialism and imagery often incorporates servility.

Examples chosen for the Wikipedia article include:

* A man serving emeralds on a giant platter
* "A typical blackamoor sculpture in a servant-role "holding" Morianbron (Blackamoor Bridge) in Ulriksdal Palace, Sweden"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackamoors_(decorative_arts)

...now that we have descended from the sensible and innocent question of "what is the social norm in the USA" to absurd question of "what ought to be a social norm" I'll add a 'thought'. The cultural appropriation of European peasant dress by US slave owners is downright despicable. Those people suffered under the yoke of the Roman Empire, Feudalism, Napoleonic wars, two world wars and the music career of David Hasselhoff. Taking European Peasant costume out of context is so gross.

You'll also note that the figurine displays a rather rotund lady sitting down. Why? Why can't this fatso be doing 200lb deadlift? Disgusting.

Jonathan Swift you are not.

LOL