The story in the last week’s Herald led to dozens of readers getting in touch with their views.
The majority said they did not see an issue with them being on sale, with Mariane Emery saying, “There are many more harmful things to complain about which cause more offence than, what is basically, a doll! I am sure this person could find something to complain about in their own town so leave Eastbourne alone to enjoy our gollies!”
Paul Doling added, “Having read the cover story of this week’s Herald, my general concern is that should Golliwogs be withdrawn from sale at Beachy Head, how long is it before more racial charges are levelled at them for the heinous crime of selling only white dolls”, while Rebecca Westguard said, “Was last week’s Herald front page for real? I have never read such rubbish.
“I have a golliwog keyring and also a soft toy which apart from anything else reminds me of the Golly badges collected from Robertson’s as a child. Racist? What???? I don’t think so!”
Rowan Righelato said the dolls were a product of our racist past, adding, “The words associated with the doll – wog, and golliwog itself– are used as racial slurs. To use either term of a black person is an unequivocal insult. There’s no other way of interpreting it.”
While another reader Ann King said the item caused offence overseas. She said, “When my daughter was two years old, we stayed on a US Army Base in France and there were many African American soldiers there waiting to be shipped over to Vietnam for their tour of duty. One of these soldiers, Sam was his name, became very attached to my daughter, and she to him.
“We were horrified one day to see how upset he became when he saw the two golliwogs my daughter was playing with, and to be honest, we found it very difficult to explain to him that there was absolutely no disrespect intended towards him or anyone else of African/Caribbean origin.”