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Topic: Sock monkeys and racism?  (Read 14024 times)
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almostexact
« on: November 13, 2008 03:08:13 AM »

I have a question I want to ask - do people consider making sock monkeys to be racist or offensive in any way? The thought has not crossed my mind until this morning when I find that I have an offensive comment on my blog referring to two sock monkeys I made, in which I am asked if I am racist or just ignorant? I don't understand this and it has really upset me.

I know its just a comment on a blog and there are a lot of weirdos out there that write all sorts of nuts things just to insight people in to feeling bad... but its still really upset me  Cry

I don't consider sock monkeys to be at all racist on their own. I could only imagine them to be racist if they were used and talked about in derogatory ways concerning minority groups somehow. I just never think of them like this! Sock monkeys are joyful animals that are cute and fun to make - they are nothing about marginalizing people. But maybe I am naive and unaware of what other people think.

What else do people think about this? Is it fair to ignore this comment or should I respond to it directly? I guess I feel so upset because I have been judged unfairly and very inaccurately by someone I don't know and doesn't know me.  Cry
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katpac
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2008 06:08:01 AM »

I've never heard of sock monkeys being racist.  Were these sock monkeys posed in a certain manner or made out of a certain color sock?  Did they have accessories?  It might be context not just the sock monkeys.  Or it might be nothing... people are strange.
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almostexact
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2008 06:51:20 AM »

One was made of a brown sock and one was made out of a grey striped sock. They were both presents for friends (grown ups) so I made them in more drab colours than usual, and I chose brown because that's the colour monkeys often are in the wild... not for any other reason. I feel a bit picked on for no real reason and let down by people's quick to judge attitude.  Huh   Sad
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katpac
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008 05:37:29 AM »

Don't let it bother you.  If you did not make them stereotypically racist then people are just being PITAs.  Brown is the natural color for a monkey.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008 02:41:37 PM »

I've never heard anything like that before. A sock monkey is just a monkey made out of a sock.
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008 02:53:22 PM »

From a completely objective standpoint, I can almost see a vague connection to sock monkeys and racism...if I squint, and look a little off-center of it.  They do, at times, bear a close resemblance to some black face I've seen pictures of.  That, combined with the era, maybe?  Honestly, I have no idea...I'm trying to make links.  I wouldn't worry about it, though.  There may, at one point, have been negative racial associations applied to them, but I think they've stood the test of time as "classic American" toys, and I know absolutely not a one person who would make one for any reason other than to give joy to themselves or someone else, with a completely pure heart.  To shun sock monkeys would be like shunning White Christmas, or Meet Me in St. Louis just because some of the songs are inflammatory.  Same thing with banning Mark Twain.  People do those things, sometimes, but for the most part, they're just silly.

Make your sock monkeys.  Love your sock monkeys.  Don't let some crazy blogger get you down.   Grin
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foreversandals
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008 03:34:41 PM »

I think I figured out where the issue came from...
Apparently this company http://www.thesockobama.com/index.html was making sock monkeys of Obama. Which apparently some people took as racist [if you streeeeeettttttccccchhhhhhh it, I see the issue - the whole African Americans being portrayed as monkeys for so long thing]. Here's a blog by someone who finds it racist: http://www.plunderbund.com/2008/06/11/racist-obama-doll/. Here's a post by the same guy regarding the company's response to his complaints: http://www.plunderbund.com/2008/06/12/obama-monkey-doll-seller-our-intention-is-not-to-offend/.

So maybe you're getting hated on because of that?
Otherwise, I'm not sure why people would have problems with it.
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muguet
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2008 03:47:24 PM »

You made them with all good intentions.  Ignore people who don't know what they're talking about.
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008 09:13:31 PM »

lmao, how on earth can anyone honestly find a sock monkey racist? jeez.
Ignore them, or if possible delete the message. Heck, ask them for me, cos I honestly want to know, how anyone can find a sock monkey insulting lmao  Cheesy how silly are they  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008 03:16:51 AM »

I read this and thought, what small minded person would call a sock monkey racist.  I haven't seen your monkeys, but I'm sure they aren't.  The sock monkey originated during the great depression because money was scarce and American mothers made them trying to find inexpensive toys for their kids.  In the 1930's The Nelson Knitting Company started making the red heel socks and included the pattern with each pair.  Anyone who doesn't find the sock monkey adorable, needs to look deep inside of themselves and see what is really wrong to make them think they are racist.  That's just wrong
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