Thursday, October 09, 2014

Niggers & Redskins

Now who is using sensationalist headlines. I do so to make a point.

Sister took Little Jo to the Royal Melbourne Show and bought R a show bag, a cheap one of course. Mine must have been lost as I never received it. R's was a Bertie Beetle showbag, with a few lollies and chocolates inside.

Now rightly so, you can no longer buy Nigger Boy liquorice and there used to be Nigger Boy show bags. But note, the word is not as offensive in Australia as it must be in the US, but still it is clearly a word not generally heard now. I don't know that Australians found this particularly offensive, but Harry Connick Jnr certainly did. He would have been condemned at home I guess, if he remained silent. For me, it does not represent anything and I don't connect the performance to American black people or slavery.



But I was surprised to find in the Bertie Beetle two lollies called Red Skins. Isn't that pair of words a derogatory term for American natives? I can remember these lollies from my childhood too, but not what they tasted like. I didn't like it much. If you have fillings, don't bother trying one now.

16 comments:

  1. Andrew, I loved lollies when I was a child.

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    1. I did too Gosia, but not so much now. I have lost my sweet tooth.

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  2. I must admit I was kind of shocked when I read the title

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    1. John, maybe not the village where you live but you are a person of the world. Southern Australia never had black people, apart from our our aborigines who we got really wrong about, until Indian, Asian to you, migration. They fitted in well enough. We had no black people with African heritage to speak of. We don't understand the sensitivities of the UK or the US, as far as they go. You must be up to the third or fourth generation now of African heritage people.

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  3. Oh you poor dear,next year your sister may bring you a show bag! I say why can't we Australians use whatever words we like...I am personally tired of not trying to offend people. We all know what we mean, it's not related to skin colour or race. That's the last thing that comes to my mind.

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    1. WA, unlikely. I have to constantly apologise to R for her school teacher ways. I can't be taking offence too. She is my sister. I can't do much about that. It is hard for us who don't know the culture of American black/white relations, and frankly, why should we?

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    2. It really doesn't concern us the American/Black people unless we live in the US, we have our blacks!

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    3. WA, just as well your state eliminated all your native people then, or did you? I will go to my grave not knowing things.

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  4. Perhaps R was supposed to share his show bag? I always got the Bertie Beetle one as a kid, it had so much more than now, all eats and no junky toys except for the 'clicker' toy which always got us sent outside. I remember the nigger boy name, but not the licorice, we bought choo-choo bars and licorice squares. Now that I think about it, the squares may have been nigger boy. I used to love redskins, but preferred milky bars; same size ans shape but creamy vanilla. Like you said, I don't dare eat such things now, they'd rip out many fillings for sure.

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    1. River, frankly, Bertie Beetle show bags are now cheap because there is very little in them. Liquorice blocks, four for a cent. They were sold loose and I don't recall them being named. Cherry Ripes, I still like them but never buy them. If I am offered one, I will take it with glee, and then spend the next couple of hours removing coconut from between my teeth.

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  5. My brothers and I were allowed two show bags each, paying 3 shillings for an average bag. They used to select show bags on the number of lollies and comics inside.

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    1. Hels, some showbags were quite good with useful toys, maybe a ruler for school, a money box. All sorts of things. But of course as kids we wanted the ones with the sweets.

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  6. I remember seeing that show Andrew, I remember thinking Harry whats his name needed to lighten up a bit :)

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    1. As I thought Grace, but imagine if the US got hold of a copy. It could have ruined his career almost.

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  7. Sometimes I wonder what people are worrying about. I used to eat "Nigger kisses" when I was a child in Germany, which was a kind of mash mellows now they are called different because of racial offence ! But they still taste the same, lol !

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    1. Gattina, I had to google them. We have biscuits like that called Chocolate Royales. I love them. Yours are now called 'Buys Zoenen' (Buys Kisses).

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