Fresh off the heels of controversy over a textbook publisher referring to slavery as “immigration” and slaves as “workers,” comes another case of racial insensitivity.
Ida Lockett, of Sacramento, California, said her 5-year-old son recently received a toy Playmobil Pirate Ship as a gift that came complete with a figurine resembling an African-American slave and instructions to place it in a neck shackle, reports The Washington Post:
The toy’s instruction manual shows a dark-skinned doll wearing no shoes, ripped pants and a tattered yellow shirt and directs the assembler to pop the silver piece around its neck. The ship appears to include a dungeon.
“It’s definitely racist,” Lockett told the CBS affiliate. “It told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck, and then to play with the toy.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, Playmobil said the toy was “intended to portray life on a 17th-century pirate ship.”
“If you look at the box, you can see that the pirate figure is clearly a crew member on the pirate ship and not a captive,” according to the statement. “The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context. It was not our intention to offend anyone in anyway.”
But parents aren’t buying it.
Neither is the NAACP — Sacramento NAACP President Stephen Webb told CBS Sacramento he wants the toy banned.
“This is deplorable. This cannot be accepted, and it needs to be pulled off the shelf,” he told the outlet.
What do you think about the toy manufacturer’s claim they did not intend to offend anyone? Sound off below…
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