Race row over Rothesay shop doll

A ROTHESAY shop has been heavily criticised this week over their sale of a potentially offensive doll.

Reader Victoria Bird, from Dulwich, south London, contacted The Buteman to express her concern after she saw a 'golliwog' for sale at Bute Tools in Montague Street during a visit to family living on Bute.

"I was shocked, dismayed and frankly outraged that a giant golliwog was in the window at Bute Tools," Victoria told us.

"I can't believe that such an offensive toy would be sold, and I would be embarrassed to bring my many foreign friends to Bute in case they might be offended.

"Clearly Bute is not a diverse multi-racial area, but that does not negate the tacit acceptance of such an offensive toy.

"I suggest that Bute Tools remove the toy from sale."

We contacted Bute Tools in search of their side of the story but were told the company did not wish to comment.

Debate has raged over the political correctness, or otherwise, of the dolls for many years. Though very popular in the 19th and 20th centuries, their have fallen out of favour in recent times due to their racial overtones, the derogatory nature of their name and the offence they can cause to ethnic groups.

However, they are now an increasingly rare sight, and this has prompted some to hit out at those who wish to see the dolls disappear entirely.

The doll's supporters argue that regardless of their negative or positive influence, the toys are a part of British history and as such should be preserved as part of a collective cultural heritage and a reminder of perhaps less enlightened times.

What do you think? Should the dolls be phased out completely? Are they a harmless reminder of childhood memories or an offensive racial slur? Is it a case of political correctness gone a step too far?

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