…and it doesn't stop

The battle continues. Objects with racist themes are created, produced, and sold weekly in the United States. In some instances, the objects (or images) are racially insensitive or demeaning in direct ways. In other cases, their racist meanings are more nuanced. The only redeeming value for all of these objects (and images) is that they can be used to teach tolerance and promote social justice.

James Earl Ray bumper sticker

James Earl Ray

Does calling something a "Politically Incorrect Spoof" absolve the creators from responsibility for creating a racist item? Or is this just a clever way to introduce, create, and sell racist objects without being held accountable?

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Find a Way José!

Find a Way Jose

Racially insensitive stereotyping or just gaming fun? Users of the Find a Way, José! app have expressed different views concerning the game, which challenges users to help José accomplish his only goal - to reach his bottle of tequila.

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Anthropologie "Trinket & Treasure" Candlestick

Instant Rapper

The initial collection of Anthropologie's "Trinket & Treasure" candlesticks generated a great deal of controversy as it offered products that featured both a black mammy figure and a caricatured Asian person. Anthropologie removed the offending candlesticks from its website and issued an apology shortly after scathing critiques of the candlesticks went viral online in early January 2013.

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Instant Rapper Kit

Instant Rapper

In stereotypical fashion, the creators of the Instant Rapper costume kit project the image that the defining characteristics of the successful rap star are gold teeth and gaudy gold and diamond jewelry.

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"Pocket God" game and comics

Pocket god Character

A hugely popular gaming app that has spurred the creation of a comic series and related merchandise, Pocket God focuses on the experiences of island-dwelling "pygmies," whose caricatured appearances have sparked debates about racism and negative stereotyping.

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"Jolly Obama Bank"

Jolly Obama Bank

The creators of the "Jolly Obama Bank" unabashedly admit that this item was directly inspired by the "Jolly Nigger" banks of the early 20th century.

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Obama Dartboard

Obama Dartboard

There is nothing new about putting an image of a black man on a target. This dartboard, and a number of other recent objects, uses a caricature of President Obama to decorate the target.

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Obama Pin Cushion

Obama Pin Cushion frontObama Pin Cushion side

This product is promoted as a collectable. The advertisement on ebay cites the current value of the Hitler Pin Cushion as evidence that the Obama Pin Cushion is a good investment.

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"Tatted Obama"

Many images present President Obama in a positive light, but here he is portrayed as a modern brute.

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Presidential Wine Holder

This object presents a highly caricatured President Obama holding a wine bottle. Notice the similarities to some of the caricatured images of the past.

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The Afro Sponge

New objects based on caricatures and stereotypes of African Americans constantly enter the marketplace. This example uses stereotyped ideas about the style and texture of African hair and is in line with the negative imagery of the past.

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The Trayvon Martin Target

The Trayvon Martin Target trivializes the killing of a 17-year old black youth by an armed neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida. The targets were sold from the Internet site and are no longer available; the site owner claimed that he sold out of the targets in two days. The site, hillerarmco.com, was taken down.

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Chocolate Reign

The Obama presidency has inspired many images. Some, like this one, can be seen as a positive reflection on the President, or as mockery; different viewers will disagree.

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Adidas Shackle Shoes

The Adidas "shackle" shoe caused a lot of controversy, and Adidas canceled the product. The designer said the shoe was inspired by a childhood toy. Adidas released a statement:

"The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery."

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