How Do I: Christmas - can business be racist?

Dear How Do I: Business?

I run a confectionery shop in Tweed Heads and I swear I've had the most infuriatingly confusing thing happen to me.

I was called racist and shoppers refused to buy from me in the lead-up to Christmas for having Golliwog dolls for sale on my shelves.

Surely these can't be racist? They're just dolls!

Are people just being overly sensitive or should I just bend over and take them down. I don't want to lose any sales because of this.

Alex Partheid


Dear Alex,

I'm truly sorry to hear about your racism, it's a common affliction even in these modern times and there really aren't many  treatments for it.

As far as the Golliwog dolls are concerned, I can't see how a doll that physically represents an inaccurate and harmful stereotype of a group of people who've suffered at the hands of various white cultures could possibly be racist.

In all honesty it would be like someone telling you to take down those dolls of Derrick the Deserting Digger. Sure, nobody likes to call the Anzacs a pack of cowards but it's just a joke.

In the end, you should probably take them down, especially if it's costing you sales. I honestly hadn't thought of it that way until you pointed it out. I'd only thought about it in terms of the hurt caused when people of colour see toys that were originally designed to make fun of them still on sale in 2013.

But your justification is much better.

This column is satirical and any alignment with real people or events is completely unintentional. In the context of today's column, complaints would be hilariously self-defeating.