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#61 of 107 Old 01-23-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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*Derailing thread*

But you can't separate racism from slavery!!!! The two were deeply, intricately, intimately intertwined!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, you can separate them. The ancient Romans had lots slaves, many of them Caucasian , just like the Romans.
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#62 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:12 PM
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Yes, you can separate them. The ancient Romans had lots slaves, many of them Caucasian , just like the Romans.
Yep, and there were white slaves here in America alongside the African slaves. Many Irish were involved in slavery and indentured servitude. The first woman in Salem to have been executed for witchcraft was a former Irish slave (Goody Glover).

Also, North African countries enslaved large numbers of Europeans from 1500-1800. Pirates would seize Mediterranean ships and take the whole lot captive.

Saying that slavery and racism "were" deeply intertwined suggests that slavery is history. It's not.
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#63 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I think the racism here is assuming a black man is just a chauffeur.Why didn't you assume he's an educator?Why is he not the person who runs the sanctuary that protects endangered animals and he is educating his passengers on how they can help save these animals?

In fact I just decided to ask my daughter what she thought the toy was.She though it was a zoo set and the man driving the car was taking care of the animals and the passenger were me and her.

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#64 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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I didn't read all the replies but i wanted to pop in here and mention this: yesterday i was at our local waldorfy-ish toy store and spotted this toy...

except the picture on the box had a white driving and then a black man and a kinda mexican looking women riding in the back.

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#65 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Like this one? http://www.cowandlizard.com/product/...ooden-play-set

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#66 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by onyxravnos View Post
I didn't read all the replies but i wanted to pop in here and mention this: yesterday i was at our local waldorfy-ish toy store and spotted this toy...

except the picture on the box had a white driving and then a black man and a kinda mexican looking women riding in the back.
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#67 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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i have a feeling that WAY too many people here have WAY too much time to think about these things.

i suggest that instead of complaining about the racisim involved with these toys perhaps you create some that would reflect how you would like people to view the world.
or maybe you can volunteer for some organization working to equalize race or something.

arguing over a toy on a forum about whether its racist or not is just getting ridiculous and people are getting WAY too deep about it.

its a TOY, if you dont like it, dont buy it.
IMHO I really don't think anyone was arguing and honestly it's a valid complaint that opened up dialogue and it was done in the right place - Multicultural Forum.

This was a spirited debate with different viewpoints on a very emotionally charged subject which is to be expected and more importantly it's authentic. Personally I believe that people should take time to have an open and honest dialogue on race and diversity because it really doesn't happen enough. La Sombra is right that the ideas on race is so embedded in our culture that we often end up blind to the real implications.

This is a converation that we can't afford not to have because you can't solve the problem if you can't talk about it and accept that it's going to be uncomfortable. I'd like to thank all the posters for opening up this dialogue it was great reading.
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#68 of 107 Old 01-26-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I think the racism here is assuming a black man is just a chauffeur.Why didn't you assume he's an educator?Why is he not the person who runs the sanctuary that protects endangered animals and he is educating his passengers on how they can help save these animals?
This was kind of my first thought but I thought maybe I don't 'get it' because I'm white.

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#69 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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I like that they mixed it up a little with the passengers, but I'm pretty choked at the employment change in the safari company... maybe the former driver got a promotion?

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#70 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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IMHO I really don't think anyone was arguing and honestly it's a valid complaint that opened up dialogue and it was done in the right place - Multicultural Forum.

This was a spirited debate with different viewpoints on a very emotionally charged subject which is to be expected and more importantly it's authentic. Personally I believe that people should take time to have an open and honest dialogue on race and diversity because it really doesn't happen enough. La Sombra is right that the ideas on race is so embedded in our culture that we often end up blind to the real implications.

This is a converation that we can't afford not to have because you can't solve the problem if you can't talk about it and accept that it's going to be uncomfortable. I'd like to thank all the posters for opening up this dialogue it was great reading.
Very well said Pokeyrin! And thank you to the OP, you made me rethink some birthday purchases that I am going to make for the young people in my life.
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#71 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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interesting read.
i think at first glance at the toy i wouldn't have thought much about it... BUT after reading some of the posts here it does make one think. what is it saying? just because more then likely the driver would be black, doesn't mean that it can't make someone feel icky.
i think it is easy to brush off what someone would see as racist because it is uncomfortable. i feel that it is easy for some who haven't experienced racism to think that everything isn't about race, but i think maybe that unless you have lived it you really can't say.

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#72 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 03:37 AM
 
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I think the racism here is assuming a black man is just a chauffeur.Why didn't you assume he's an educator?Why is he not the person who runs the sanctuary that protects endangered animals and he is educating his passengers on how they can help save these animals?

In fact I just decided to ask my daughter what she thought the toy was.She though it was a zoo set and the man driving the car was taking care of the animals and the passenger were me and her.


My two elder sons (4 and 5) actually would have argued over who got to be the driver. No one in this set resembles them, both are seemingly white and both are boys, but they barely notice skin color differences whereas they would notice immediately that the driver is a boy like them.

Plus being the driver is the central arguement over every trip to the choochoo at the mall, the big toboggan we have for sledding, and most of the 2 person rides at our local amusement park. Frankly I feel like most kids would assume that the driver was in the best position, which maybe doesn't jive with us jaded adults who shuttle kids around all day.

I am becoming very uncomfortable with the assumptions being made on this thread. Had the driver been white the assumptions would have been EXACTLY what the above poster suggested. Instead people are appalled because the toy HAS JUST GOT to be depicting this lowly downtrodden victim...because black guys totally can't be employed in the same capacity as a white guy. When a white guy drives the shuttle, he is the educator, when the black guy does, he is the "chauffer". Got it...I'm just glad my kids don't.

I'd gladly buy them this toy, as I don't see anything wrong with my kids pretending to be the shuttle driver, or the passengers, or the giraffe.
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#73 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 04:52 AM
 
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Yes, you can separate them. The ancient Romans had lots slaves, many of them Caucasian , just like the Romans.
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Yep, and there were white slaves here in America alongside the African slaves. Many Irish were involved in slavery and indentured servitude. The first woman in Salem to have been executed for witchcraft was a former Irish slave (Goody Glover).

Also, North African countries enslaved large numbers of Europeans from 1500-1800. Pirates would seize Mediterranean ships and take the whole lot captive.

Saying that slavery and racism "were" deeply intertwined suggests that slavery is history. It's not.
You can not separate American racism against people of African descent from the trans-Atlantic slave trade. (FWIW, the toy itself isn't a big deal to me ... but the intention of the statement being referred to in these responses is both clear and accurate.)
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#74 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 11:49 AM
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You can not separate American racism against people of African descent from the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
I believe that you can, but that's another topic and beside the point.

As another poster mentioned, I think it speaks volumes that the OP assumed that the black character in the toy set was nothing more than a driver.

I also agree with Kreeblim about a child's reaction to the toy. I know that my boys, when they were little enough to enjoy such a toy, did not pay attention to what color people were. My eldest DS's best playmate at daycare, when he was 3-4yo, was a little black girl. She was the only black child at the daycare. If you asked him which child was his best friend, he would not point and say "the black girl." He would say, "the girl with the pink shoes," or, "the girl with lots of ponytails."
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#75 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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I believe that you can, but that's another topic and beside the point.

As another poster mentioned, I think it speaks volumes that the OP assumed that the black character in the toy set was nothing more than a driver.

I also agree with Kreeblim about a child's reaction to the toy. I know that my boys, when they were little enough to enjoy such a toy, did not pay attention to what color people were. My eldest DS's best playmate at daycare, when he was 3-4yo, was a little black girl. She was the only black child at the daycare. If you asked him which child was his best friend, he would not point and say "the black girl." He would say, "the girl with the pink shoes," or, "the girl with lots of ponytails."
I can't say that it's worth my time to get angry at a toy, since it's not clear what they intended to covey in depicting the race of the driver. But what sticks in my head from reading NurtureShock and the original article at Salon that prompted me to buy the book.

The article is a bit more inflammatory then the chapter in the book, but it makes the vivid point that it is a myth that children are colorblind. Before delving into the issues after reading the article, I too was heartened that my kindergartner voiced no awareness about the differences in her classmate's skin color. It was ignoring that it is my responsibility to have frank conversations about race. The book points out that kids are just wired to notice differences, not providing them the language and the context isn't helping.

Providing toys that show a multitude of races isn't enough either if they don't get the significance. I don't know enough about all the issues surrounding safaris and employment and certainly as the OP mentioned it would be horrific to have a slavery playset, but it is more horrific to think that avoiding controversial toys absolves you of the duty to discuss issues of race with your kids.

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#76 of 107 Old 01-27-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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My 5 yr old daughter is absolutely not color blind.And when she got to the stage in her life where she wanted to organize everything she told me how families x,y and z(all family friends that have one black parent one white parent)didn't match.I saw it as an excellent opportunity to explain family.

I think the toys linked are an excellent opportunity to show positive roll models.An opportunity to make positive assumptions.And I'm really glad that's what my daughter did.A zoo keeper and two lucky zoo goers who got to catch a ride with the zoo keeper.

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#77 of 107 Old 01-28-2010, 12:25 AM
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The article is a bit more inflammatory then the chapter in the book, but it makes the vivid point that it is a myth that children are colorblind.
I'm not saying that children are colorblind. I'm sure my boys noticed that people all look different; they just didn't focus on it. It wasn't important to them.
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#78 of 107 Old 01-28-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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A previous poster mentioned that they wanted to call Imagiplay because this sort of racism needs to be stopped. Why not spend some time in your community helping disadvantaged kids with their school work or what not? I think that would go much farther at helping end racism than bugging this company. Just my two cents. We need perspective here.

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#79 of 107 Old 01-28-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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I believe that you can
In what way?
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#80 of 107 Old 01-28-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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I'm not really sure what the age is where kids start to recognise and conform to the notion in society that skin color is a significantly bigger difference between people than height, or hair color (for instance) but my kids at 4 and 5 certainly aren't there yet. Doesn't mean they are color blind, just that they don't yet understand how much bigger of a deal skin color is to the rest of the world.

I try to have an open dialog with them about everything, so if anything ever came up we would talk about it openly with no ignoring things that are tough. I really don't see any reason to bring it up prematurely though in the same way I wouldn't point out that it's wrong to make fun of the chubby kid in class unless my child did it or witnessed it or was the target of it. Out of the clear blue all it does is reenforce that there actually IS something wrong with being a little overweight while making it completely abstract at the same time.
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#81 of 107 Old 01-29-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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I'm not saying that children are colorblind. I'm sure my boys noticed that people all look different; they just didn't focus on it. It wasn't important to them.
I was trying to make the point as was the NurtureShock chapter/research that children won't naturally place importance on race in the way that adults do, but that does not lessen our responsibility to call attention to it with honest and appropriate information and dialogue. I thought my 5yo not noticing/caring about skin color was a good thing, but I no longer feel that way. It was only a reflection of privilege on our part that skin color never had a reason to be talked about.

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#82 of 107 Old 01-29-2010, 05:23 PM
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I was trying to make the point as was the NurtureShock chapter/research that children won't naturally place importance on race in the way that adults do, but that does not lessen our responsibility to call attention to it with honest and appropriate information and dialogue. I thought my 5yo not noticing/caring about skin color was a good thing, but I no longer feel that way. It was only a reflection of privilege on our part that skin color never had a reason to be talked about.
I see things differently. I think racism stems, in part, from placing importance on skin color in general. I'm a woman; you're a woman. Why would we need to discuss the color of our skins? They only become important when people find reasons to call attention to them, whether for good or bad.
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#83 of 107 Old 01-30-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I see it too, and I think you should be pissed. Going after kids with racist messages (even subtle ones) is lower than low. I encountered racism for the first time when I was 5. We had a guy at church telling very young kids that black people were demons, and that the darker the skin color, the more demon they were. When they found out, my church scrambled to find out which kids he had talked to. I was then told that racism is wrong, and was encouraged to play with the half black girl in my sunday school class. I grew up after that viewing all races as no different from me.

So be offended, and always be on the lookout for these psychos who want to go after kids. It's disgusting.

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#84 of 107 Old 04-01-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Did they change the toy?

I stumbled on this old post and I am not seeing what you all were seeing. Check the link again and tell me if I need to get my eyes checked. I'm hoping the company was responsive to someone's email.

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#85 of 107 Old 04-01-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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Did they change the toy?

I stumbled on this old post and I am not seeing what you all were seeing. Check the link again and tell me if I need to get my eyes checked. I'm hoping the company was responsive to someone's email.
I was wondering that too. I kept trying to enlarge it to see it better. I think they hired a new tour guide.
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#86 of 107 Old 02-12-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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Definitely looks like they have made changes.....

 

http://www.imagiplay.com/productsdetail2.php?id=130&name=African%20Safari

 

The driver is now white and the passengers seem to be African and Asian. 

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#87 of 107 Old 02-12-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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Aaaaaaaaugh.

They weren't supposed to change the driver! Way to colossally miss the point, hippie toy company!

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#88 of 107 Old 02-12-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Haha, come on they're trying. I guess its a South African tour driver now wink1.gif

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#89 of 107 Old 02-12-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Yeah, I guess it's a step in the right direction. My problem with safari sets Is that they ALL feature a black driver and white passengers. Now we have one that doesn't. Maybe I'll eventually find one that that doesn't make me cringe at first glance.

The concept of a thriving tourist industry in Africa, serving mainly non-Africans, doesn't bother me in the least. Got lions and zebras? Charge the folks without lions and zebras money to come and see your lions and zebras. Duh. But the history around it is just so fraught... I dunno, maybe it's stupid of me to have this gut reaction, but I can't help it.
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#90 of 107 Old 02-12-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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I never saw the original toy but it sounds like it looked a LOT like some family pictures I have.  My grandma and aunt went on safari (one with little impact.. meant to just see animals in their natural habitat without bothering them) both are blond with blue eyes.  Their tour guide was a black african.  The same tour guide they used for the whole trip and the same guide my aunt used for a couple other trips too.

 

I understand the issue behind a black tour guide and white passengers for sure, but I also feel like it doesn't have to be seen so negatively or that children will see it as anything other than an African tour guide and a white family.  I guess the original toy wouldn't make me angry or anything, I'd just want multiple family/race options.

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