A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Monday, October 19, 2009
From what little time I spend in antique stores, there seems to be a renewed interest in overtly racist children's toys which are commanding higher prices than ever. Most of these dolls and figurines, depict black americans in extraordinarily poor regard, evoking minstrel archetypes of the "jolly negro" or "dandified coon," and so it's interesting that the most avid collectors of these offensive artifacts are the young (primarily white) urban liberals categorized by their projected tolerance and who have been responsible for the propagation of "political correctness."
Since political correctness has been outed by the forward thinking as a masked form of discrimination, this proclivity towards these kinds of objects seems a somewhat logical (though equally troubling) next step. The justification, I imagine, is that the acceptance of these most intolerable objects both assumes responsibility and acknowledges a part of our cultural heritage (which is explicitly behind us.) It's difficult then to tell if the practice of collecting these "cultural artifacts" is in fact the sign of a truly liberal society or if it is just another form of imperial liberalism.