Camping couple approach village shop owner about selling Golliwogs at gift store

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Golliwog dolls being sold in a village gift shop in Yorkshire has left a couple outraged.

The dolls were spotted by the couple displayed in the window of The Village Store And Gift Centre, Goathland.

Adam and his girlfriend Jessica, both aged 30, were in the North Yorkshire village after spending the night camping there

The couple also said they found “an obsessive amount” of other racist memorabilia including pens, keyrings and dolls all being sold in the village, Yorkshire Live has reported.

Sharing his account of events on social media, Adam said: “It started with me and my girlfriend looking to buy jam for my nan until we spotted these in the window. We wandered around the shop & found heaps more like them, as well as fridge magnets & keyrings.

Sharing his account of events on social media, Adam said: “It started with me and my girlfriend looking to buy jam for my nan until we spotted these in the window. We wandered around the shop & found heaps more like them, as well as fridge magnets & keyrings.

“We decided to walk along to the other shop along the same row. More racist dolls. I asked the lady in the shop what the obsession was with racist dolls, she told me she wasn’t the proprietor of the shop. Luckily the owner was there, so I asked her.



The store in North Yorkshire

“She told me the dolls weren’t there to offend. I told her I was offended. She told me I was in the minority of people that were offended by them, then said she gets this every day – I presume she meant people challenging her for selling racist dolls.”

A Golliwog is a black doll that started appearing in children’s books in the late 1800s but it is historically linked to blackface – white people blacking up to imitate black people using offensive stereotypes.

“Wog” is a derogatory form for people with dark skin.



The shop window display

Adam said it angered him when the shop owner tried to justify selling the memorabilia by pointing out that her husband was mixed race and accused the white couple of being easily offended.

Adam added: “The shopkeeper said we were in the minority of people who were offended trying to justify why they sold them.

“But these figures were used to dehumanise black people and they are using them as nostalgia for a time people suffered because of racist tropes and stereotypes.

“She then came out with that she was offended by the Black Lives Movement because All Lives Matter we tried to explain that racial differences people face we left at that point.

“She even tried to explain that the word wog wasn’t offensive and said it was an abbreviation for White Oriental Gentleman.”

In 2018 the shop owners re-branded the collection ‘Jolly Gollies’, according to The Daily Mail .

They have also attracted negative reviews online with people pointing out that the items should not be sold.

One review said: “Disgraceful! This shop has Golliwogs displayed in its windows!

“The fact that Robertson Jam no longer depicts this image on their products and the fact that all Enid Blyton books refrain from including this character in their novels anymore because it is classed as BEING HIGHLY OFFENSIVE AND EXTREMELY RACIST WITH ALL THE CONNOTATIONS ATTACHED!!!

“Tell me why the owners of this shop think it is OK to sell such products??”

A sign has been placed in the window by the shop owners that reads: “We are the Jolly Golly family. Remember me from my bygone years along with many other things we sell in the shop. My fond memories of the Robertson Jars etc.

“We are not here to offend, please enjoy.”

The Village Store And Gift Centre was contacted for a comment.



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