Home Page

Monday, July 07, 2008

Happy Belated Fourth and Now Some Links/Stories of Interest

Well, Japan is at it again and you probably thought that you heard the last of this when a Georgia resident encroached on the Obama/monkey business issue a few months back-well think again. I'm not sure if I'm buying that certain Asian countries are not familiar with the history of African-American dehumanization as it relates to people of color being likened to simians. Although I'm just finding out that because of a city named Obama in Japan, our good Senator is allegedly an odds on favorite-but still. I became aware of the proliferation of Sambo dolls being sold in land of the rising sun a decade prior.

As many of you know, I am a collector of sorts (not just comics, vintage ties, watches, etc) and in recent years I started getting interested in Black Americana. One could say that I am gathering evidence of items that might make many people uncomfortable-"colored only" signs, slave auction receipts, racist board games, minstrel photos, etc. I have also picked up some rather interesting toiletries such as "darkie" toothpaste and "lucky coon" soap-purchased where, you may ask? You guessed it-Hong Kong and Japan! So now we have Nipponese racial pixie dust being thrown into the mix thanks to the latest eMobile ad campaign. Here's more, courtesy of the Huffington Post's Ernest Harris (excerpt):

The ethnic tensions stretched taut by the campaign and that have roiled U.S. culture for the last half year rippled across Japan when reports surfaced that a television ad for Japanese cellular telephone provider eMobile starred a monkey as Barack Obama.

In the spot, a large crowd at a political rally is surrounding a speaker, who is firing up the crowd from a podium. Members of the crowd excitedly cheer and hold up placards with the word "change" emblazoned upon them. The speaker, leading the chants at the podium and dressed in a nice blue suit, is a monkey.

The response from black people in Japan and others, once news of the ad spread, was swift. Cries that the depiction was raw racism and an insult to Obama and all Blacks drew a denial of any knowing wrongdoing from eMobile. Spokespeople for the company assured the press that there was no racist intent on the company's part and it meant in no way to demean Obama or Black people. The company pulled the ad within hours after the story broke.

And as promised-links and more links-click here for the Harris piece in its entirety.

Just an fyi-yours truly is scheduled for another upcoming appearance on NPR's News & Notes, July 23rd but please listen in on today's bloggers roundtable with no less than two of my conservative bretheren (Cobb and Kevin Ross of Three Bros. & Sister) waxing on being Black, Republican and in support of Senator Obama's historic presidential run:

Black Conservatives Conflicted Over Obama, McCain

Next, is it true that a Black Greek organization is getting involved in the action figure market? Well, sort of.....check out this Chicago Times piece that touches upon recent deals made by the AKA's (Alpha Kappa Alpha for the uninitiated, literally) with Mattel (skee wee Barbie, is it...), Converse and Ancestry.com:

Oldest black sorority to meet and Greek Barbie

And lastly, a quick hat tip to Sergio of the Bloodsport blog for hipping me to what was inevitable-a conservative support site for Senator Obama:

Republicans for Obama

No comments: