01 June 2005

I collect racist objects

I thought this was a fascinating article. An excerpt:

I have a 1916 magazine advertisement that shows a little black boy, softly caricatured, drinking from an ink bottle. The bottom caption reads, "Nigger Milk." I bought the print in 1988 from an antique store in LaPorte, Indiana. It was framed and offered for sale at $20. The salesclerk wrote, "Black Print," on the receipt. I told her to write, "Nigger Milk Print."

"If you are going to sell it, call it by its name," I told her. She refused. We argued. I bought the print and left. That was my last argument with a dealer or sales clerk; today, I purchase the items and leave with little conversation.


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

That is an excellent article -- thanks! The "Alligator Bait" drawing is shocking and horrific. It's amazing that someone could find something like that funny (I'd assume it was intended as humor, anyway). I'm not sure if that's the most awful thing in his collection -- I would hope so, for it's hard to think of something worse, but it actually sounded like he might have had some.

Racism (and, well, other types of prejudice, like homophobia) is just completely baffling to me; even though I can understand it on a purely theoretical level -- cultures typically have a fear-of-the-Other ingrained, and that's a pretty obvious Other, since race is something you can often see right off (there are some exceptions; for example, people who can "pass", to use a rather odd term). But, still -- it's one of those things that while you can, I suppose, academically see how it can manifest, it seems baffling, on a personal level, to see that it _does_.

Humanity makes me sad sometimes. Every so often, you're reminded that we're just another dumb animal, heh...

9:47 AM, June 01, 2005  

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