St. George and the Gollywogs

This week we watched a lady being arrested for displaying a Gollywog in her window. Apparently this white lady doesn’t get on with her black neighbours so when she placed this little black cuddly toy in her window it was deemed racist and the court case is soon to follow. I do admittedly wonder if the black family would have been arrested for placing a white doll in their window, but that is neither here nor there for should this Gollywog be found guilty the greatest witch hunt for a single toy could soon take place in museums, homes and collections nationwide. It’s just as well she hadn’t displayed a St. George’s flag in her window!

Gollywog hides in the dark to evade capture!

When Marian was a little girl in Ghana many children played with cuddly Gollywogs and when I was a wee boy in Glasgow we had no shortage of Robertson’s jam, yet neither I as a Scot or Marian as an African saw anything insidiously racist about the little fellow. We still don’t! What you hear, so very loudly, are the politically correct do-gooders telling you all Gollywogs must be destroyed at all costs, but what would you see if you were a black person living abroad? You would see the English people hell-bent on destroying a little smiling black doll. What could be more racist than that?

Only a racist would keep the white dolls and destroy the little happy black ones!

Whatever this white lady’s motivations were for putting the Gollywog in the window, although I must confess they don’t look good, if this case against the cuddly Gollywog succeeds the potential results of the precedent are enormous. Apart from the pillaging and pyres of burning of Gollywogs outside museums every single Englishman who has a St. George’s flag flying or on display will soon be told to take it down because it too could upset a neighbour. Take your St. George down or go straight to jail! If you have a Leak in your garden your Welsh neighbour could accuse you of planting it out of anti-Welsh racism and if you sell Campbells soup in your local corner shop the McDonalds fast food next door could have you closed down. No one is safe, if you buy an Irish Setter and a Yorkshire Terrier the O’Somethings from Pontefract could have you arrested and the poor dogs put down. Humour aside it’s time to save the Gollywogs, your right to fly the flag of St George could be dependent on it!

What sort of person would want to destroy a happy little fellow like that?

Even if this white lady’s motivations were totally wrong this case against the Gollywog should be thrown out now. If displaying a cuddly Gollywog can merit arrest for racism then without a shadow of a doubt someone else will soon have their neighbour arrested for flying the Union flag or St George. I am not English, but I believe my English neighbours on both sides, especially the one with the ferocious ex-police dog, have every right to fly that flag whether it upsets me as a Scot or not.

There are no winners in this case and neither Marian nor I see how this sort of behaviour can help black people or white people at all. A national Gollywog cull will bring unnecessary resentment and hurt, especially where that cuddly toy belonged to a bereaved child or has emotional attachment. Please neighbours, sort your dispute between you, we’ve had enough riots and racial hatred already thank you!

Cuddly friendly Gollywogs have the right to feel safe in the light!

Look at that lovely smile and those big eyes!


About Paul Sinclair

Paul Sinclair, often referred to as The Faster Pastor, has 30 years proven ministry as a pastor, speaker, published author and writer. His wife Marian is from Ghana and has been a minister in song for as many years. When Marian sings… expect an anointing!
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8 Responses to St. George and the Gollywogs

  1. I agree with you Paul. I think the controversy came not from PC bullies deciding they were racist, but from racists calling black people gollywogs or wogs for short. By people reclaiming the gollywogs we reclaim their innocence, so well done.
    The late, great Lenny Bruce set out to reclaim and free the word “nigger” from racist connotations.He insisted that by using the word we remove the negative power it has; by avoiding it we hand it over to racism. I’m not sure he succeeded, but the sentiment was right.

    • lillirayne says:

      Though I agree that this situation is complete nonsense, I have to say that Lenny Bruce was really not in a position to “reclaim” the word nigger because he was never in jeopardy of being identified as one. “Kike” maybe but not the other. We have become a world of hypersensitive people and at some point we need to stop expecting others to do and be the way we believe that they should be and just and just let them “be” who they are.

  2. We had trouble at a garden centre in Ashford where the owner of a toy shop was “asked” to remove golliwogs from his shop display as it might be offensive. Fortunately he saw sense and refused!!

  3. Chris says:

    Gives me the hump all this, it was the picture of the gollywog on the jar of lemon curd that my mum used to buy which brought back good memories.

  4. Jim Colville says:

    Ours was given by a dear black African friend who sadly/happily went to heaven, she didn’t see it as insulting.

  5. Meg Sweeney Lawless says:

    We’ve had our own troubles re adorable character/term vs. patronizing/hurtful slur in the US. One example: (and the restaurant “Sambo’s” changed its name to “Sam’s”). If you have your nerd caps on, the language/image problem involves “transvaluation,” (see The Crisis article “How Shall He Be Portrayed”). e.g. young women can call themselves and be called “girl” today because it is not the patronizing insult it was when I was a young woman — same word, transvalued.

  6. Meg Sweeney Lawless says:

    Here is an excerpt from “The Crisis” with just a small part of the symposium “The Negro in Art: How Shall He (sic) Be Portrayed?”

  7. As a Scout Leader I am proud to wear the St Georges Cross on my uniform. Am I going to be banned from wearing it?

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