Update: June 15th - Sockobama will discontinue marketing the Obama doll. See updated post for details.
Update: June 18th - Obama doll, along with a John McCain doll, now marketed on a new website.
A West Jordan, Utah enterpreneurial couple, David J. and Elizabeth A. Lawson, have stirred up considerable controversy over their latest creation. It seems like it's "politically incorrect". A number of people are crying about so-called "racism", according to primary stories published in the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune and aired on KTVX Channel 4. Discussed at Stormfront, the Vanguard News Network Forum, and Chimpout.com.
The creation? A Barack Obama doll (shown above left). And, according to the Sockobama website, the motives of the Lawsons are anything but racist. Indeed, the Lawsons present three reasons why they're marketing the doll. First, to provide a "cute and cuddly toy" for the Obama fans. They explicitly state they are proud of Obama's achievements. Second, to introduce young children to the political process and to a successful man in American history. And finally, to create presidential election memorabilia.
Of course, this might go down a bit easier if the doll didn't have a TAIL. Here's the KTVX video report:
Unfortunately, they're out of stock at the moment. But they expect a new shipment. They cost $29.99 each, plus shipping. Click HERE for ordering instructions. Special Note: The website has been restored, but they will discontinue marketing the doll. See updated post for details.
As expected, the usual suspects are already chimping out. Salt Lake NAACP dominatrix Jeanetta Williams said the sock monkey can only be interpreted as offensive. "I was really very surprised to see something like that because it is pure racism and it's extreme. We thought racism was being healed with a viable candidate who happens to be African-American. But then to see him mocked with that kind of caricature is surprising. In essence, it's pure racism at its extreme. I hope it does not reflect Utah's values as a people. I just hope other people, not just African-Americans, would be as outraged by this", Williams said (combines the quotes from both the News and the Tribune).
Charles Henderson, a black Democrat running for the Utah House of Representatives, was amazed that the makers could claim ignorance to the racial undertones of their toy. "When have you ever seen another presidential candidate depicted in such a manner? This has been around for 100-plus years, how can you not be aware of that?" he said. "It just blows me away that this would happen. Here we are in 2008 and some people still haven't gotten it." [Ed. Note: Charles Henderson is running against Republican incumbent Eric Hutchings for House District 38 representing Kearns.]
Misty Fowler, the chairwoman of the grassroots group Utah for Obama, said she doesn't believe the portrayal of Obama represents the average Utahn's views. "The sock monkey as Senator Obama is obviously a racist thing, but whether their motivation was a racist one or is unintentional naivete, I don't know," she said. "I've talked to quite a few other Obama supporters here locally, but it's something we're just trying to ignore because it's not worth our time."
In response to the growing furor, the Lawsons sent out a statement to 22 different media outlets clarifying their intent. Here's the full statement, as published in New York Magazine:
We at TheSockObama Co. are saddened that some individuals have chosen to misinterpret our plush toy. It is not, nor has it ever been our objective to hurt, dismay or anger anyone. We guess there is an element of naviete on our part, in that we don't think in terms of myths, fables, fairy tales and folklore. We simply made a casual and affectionate observation one night, and a charming association between a candidate and a toy we had when we were little. We wonder now if this might be a great opportunity to take this moment to really try and transcend still existing racial biases. We think that if we can do this together, maybe it will behoove us a nation and maybe we'll even begin to truly communicate with one another more tenderly, more real even.
This is only our introductory plush toy. If we choose to move forward with a Republican candidate, we'll begin with an elongated and slightly lumpy, fuzzy Idaho potato. Had a different Democratic candidate won the nomination, we were prepared to move forward with the cutest, fluffiest 12" chestnut and golden-haired squirrel, with a short Farrah-like do in a brown pantsuit and call her Squirellary.
In earnest folks, we're so sorry we offended anybody.
TheSockObama Co. www.thesockobama.com
The Deseret News story has drawn over 150 public comments so far. Of those who express a partisan opinion, it's about 50-50. Those who think it's not a problem basically say it's only a doll; a few are courageous enough to say it's humorous. Those who are against it claim it's racist. But that's really become irrelevant, because anti-white racism has become politicall institutionalized in America. In response to one statement which claims that George W. Bush was also portrayed as a chimp, the response was that "African-Americans have been portrayed as monkeys before". So in the name of historical remediation, we're supposed to accept a double standard.
Wrong! This white man does NOT and will NOT accept the double standard. If we're gong to continue to tolerate separate emphasis for different minority communities, then it is time for the white community to start thinking racially as well. If we don't think racially while other communities do, then we are putting ourselves at a disadvantage. We're fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.
If we want to place common American nationality ahead of individual heritage instead, then we better start applying those standards and expectations to all races.
The problems between whites and other races in the long term can be worked out. Non-racist whites are not a problem, either. Like Ron Paul, they simply believe that racism is an ugly form of collectivism, but they don't impose themselves upon us. They respect free speech. On the other hand, the problem with anti-racist whites within our own community cannot be worked out. Anti-racist whites are too far gone to be reasoned with. They are hopelessly brainwashed. They seek to obliterate free speech in the name of "anti-hate"; consequently, they are an enemy. They are not worthy of civil discourse; only the mailed fist will impress them.