34 thoughts on “Ok. No.

  1. albie

    Now I’ve got “Black Man” items showing up on my Amazon front page as “Recently Viewed Items” — ew.

    Do people actually collect these things? Wait, why am I asking — of course they do.

  2. Vikki

    When I read “black man bottle opener”, I thought it was a bottle opener being marketed for black men. This was puzzling enough but then when I clicked on the link, well, I actually flinched when the image appeared.

  3. steph

    For those of you who feel dirty, you can view & edit your Amazon browsing history and remove those items from your list.

    FWIW, I think there is a *huge* difference between an Aunt Jemima cookie jar and a bottle opener made of a demeaning caricature of a person (not to mention the “give me a penny” bank). I am surprised Amazon is carrying ANY of this stuff, though.

  4. john

    Sarah – be glad he’s decapitated. Otherwise, think where you might have to put the bottle to open it!!

  5. kara

    I worked at an antique mall a few years back. These items were very popular and I can see how the older items might be very rare and collectible. However, I find the reproductions to be in HORRIBLE taste.

  6. Choice

    Actually, no. There is no difference between an Aunt Jemima cookie jar and a Black Man Bottle opener. They are both caricatures of Black people intended to perpetuate racism. One simply happens to be attached to a popular brand of pancake syrup.

    However, it should be noted that all of these items are violations of Amazon’s posted Community Standards for sellers (see http://preview.tinyurl.com/vx25z). If this content outrages you (hopefully, it does), then you should contact Amazon and insist that it be removed.

  7. christina

    Side note to my post: clearly there’s a difference, however, between preserving and perpetuating. Obviously, the items are Amazon are not there for educational purposes.

  8. Gayla

    What creeps me out is that someone appears to be remanufacturing these items. We already know they exist and people do collect them for all kinds of reasons, some of which are legitimate in terms of not trying to wash away the dirtier parts of history… but making new ones? Wow.

  9. Aunt Raina

    I just want to make it perfectly clear that the
    Raina in comment #1 was absolutely not me! But I think we all know what Raina it was, right Matt? (comment #8)

  10. Melanie - Holy Schmidt!

    Aren’t these all charictures from the old commercials? Aunt Jemima, Uncle Salt and Pappy?

    I don’t know what I think about the “Give me a penny” bank, but the others don’t seem to bother me as much, especially since I’ve seen them in the homes of some of the people I know…

  11. Bookratt

    I do not collect black memorabilia and do not know its particular importance to collectors, but have seen pieces like this recently on The Antiques Roadshow.

    Some black collectors of black memorabilia themselves say it is important to both collect and display these pieces, if only to be able to say “this is how we were once treated and we need to remember this so that it never happens again.”

    I am not sure how I really feel about that sentiment or this item.

    A lot like a British Gollywog, for which Blacks and whites both appear to have had, at different times and for different reasons, great affection, this item would never grace my home, but I have seen things like it in others.

    The idea behind their display of the items was NEVER to replicate hate; in fact, in one home the idea was to say, in your face, DO NOT DO THIS, EVER or DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING ME A FOOL LIKE THIS.

    Decide for yourself.

  12. Amica

    AMAZON’S REPLY TO MY COMPLAINT – I guess not enought people have complained about the other two items:
    “Thank you for writing to Amazon.com with your concerns about BLACK
    MAN GIVE ME A PENNY BANK and Cast Iron Dilly Brand Laxative Black
    Americana Bank.

    As a retailer, our goal is to provide customers with the broadest
    selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any item they
    might be seeking. That selection includes some items which many
    people may find objectionable. Therefore, the items offered on our
    web site represent a wide spectrum of opinions on a variety of topics.

    We value all feedback from our customers, and I thank you again for
    taking the time to send us your comments about this issue. We hope
    you will allow us to continue to serve you.

  13. Maggie Post author

    I think they took it down because Valleywag picked it up, and possibly Metafilter? Though I can’t find reference to it there.

  14. Megan

    I am continually amazed at how people will find things to be outraged about. Lighten up. If you want to be outraged, read about what’s going on in Darfur or Iraq. A friggin bottle opener? Give me a break.

Comments are closed.