Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Obama Monkey Sock Doll!?!? That Sh*t Is Racist!!!

We've only been at this a few months now, but it seems like these sorts of "I'm not racist, I buy my weed from a black guy in the mailroom" stories seem to be popping up with greater frequency. Check out this latest sad story from the Mormon state.

The Web site for a Utah company that had offered a sock monkey named for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama now says the toy won't be manufactured. Some had called the toy racist.

On Saturday, Sock Obama LLC issued a statement saying it didn't mean to anger anyone. On Sunday, a statement on the company Web site said, "We are very apologetic to all who were upset by our toy idea. We will not be proceeding with the manufacturing of this toy."

The company that was going to manufacture the doll also issued an apology on its Web site. Rob Bishop, owner of Binkley Toys Inc., says he didn't realize the toy would be offensive until angry e-mails began pouring in.

"I personally apologize to anyone who found this toy idea offensive, and I am sorry I did not make the negative connection myself," Bishop's statement said.
Out of all the animals Bishop could have chosen, he just had to pick a monkey, and despite likely seeing that Curious Obama shirt controversy in Georgia only a few weeks ago, he "did not make the negative connection myself". Please.

And to think, I've actually enjoyed my past visits to Utah.

But wait, there's more.
While a number of speakers -- such as Railroad Commission chairman Michael Williams and Mike Huckabee -- have praised the advance of Barack Obama and what it means towards a colorblind society, at least one vendor hasn't gotten the message.

At the Republican state convention, a booth hosted by Republicanmarket was selling a pin Saturday that says: If Obama is President will we still call it the White House.

There were other pins that weren't necessarily conveying the positive, inclusive, united front that has been portrayed during the convention. One said, "Press 1 for English. Press 2 for Deportation".
And here's the button in question.

Keeping up with this sorta stuff is tiring, but to some degree, it feels oddly necessary.

Because for all the illusion of progress that many seem to believe the Obama campaign represents for America, these sorts of incidents are a mirror on the sad reality that many people aren't ready.

Question: Do you believe the makers of this Obama Monkey Doll were really clueless about it's potential for offending people? Are you getting a bit tired of seeing this sorta stuff or is it somewhat of a refreshing sign of the times?

Racist Obama Doll Nixed [AP]

Stick a Pin in It [Dallas Morning News]

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