Playmobil has a very mixed lot of skin tones in its safari line. You can also buy extra people in large range of skin tone and they get mixed into whatever the adventure is quickly. The Native American family is a hot commodity in our family because they mother has a sling/papoose.
This toy makes me angry - Page 6
I can say I was pretty offended for both me and my husband when we were commented on as him being my guide while passing through a street... was offensive to both of us, a lot of assumptions and prejudice in just a few words of a random coment of someone we didn't know and we won't meet again, but which I obviously did not forget - one among similar other random comments we've had.
Us='mixed' couple, quite different in appearance through origin, at that time no kids yet.
Just had to think about this again while reading this thread.
This is a pretty crude analogy but what would we be saying about our children playing with a toy set called "Antebellum Times." Slaves working the fields? And the happy house slave cooking in the kitchen? Totally accurate! But including these things in a TOY set normalizes them for our children. Instead of teaching them about racism and about the complex ways in which racism appears throughout history, it shows them that this is normal and fine.
Some people seem to think that because being a safari guide is a good job in terms of certain parts of Africa that this is not racist. I think that people who have studied Africa and studied the history of these things will realize that the implications of the tourist industry in Africa can be troubling and that a deeper analysis of this system (like so many other things) is worthy of further thought or discussion before we simply foist these things on our children without thinking about these things.
Exactly. Poverty is a Problem, created by colonialism and perpetuated through neocolonialism. One of the most important tools of colonialism is raising children "back home" in Europe or America or wherever, to see the oppressed as non-people, or less-of-people, than them. The oppressed are showcased with the animals as exotic specimens to wonder at. Otherwise, too many people would seriously object to colonialism, because the majority are decent people who would never dream of kicking say, their neighbors, off their land to build a mine. Toys like that safari set have a long history of supporting racism and oppression.