About a week ago, I posted an article about the controversy surrounding UK based Paladone Products’ Afro Washing-Up brushes, the black disco figurines with afros that scrubbed your dishes. Many consumers, and civil rights organizations around the world didn’t see the humor. Others thought the brushes were indeed good clean fun. I took an unscientific poll to get your take. Here are the results:
About 6% thought the sponges were racist, A little over 63% did not! 19% thought they were racist at first, until they saw their white sponge counterparts. And a little over 13% thought they were ALL stereotypical and preferred to use Brillo Pads.
Insight: A majority of black people I talked to liked them. Some whites did not.
I will admit, I cringed when I saw the photo of the white hand scrubbing a plate with the afro sponge. Seemed that was a joke made at black people’s expense. But then I thought, that would look so cute in my kitchen in my hands. What say you? Here are some of your comments:
“In my opinion, our recent history in America is still too recent. The idea of “using” an African-American to clean up just isn’t an acceptable image” —T. Cunniff
“If the images are stereotypical, they’re more stereotypical of the era. Everyone dressed like that (and white folks had afros too) once upon a time. Note: I’ve burned all pictures of me taken in the ’70s!” — S. Reginald
“At first I was disturbed by them. But only at the idea of them falling into the wrong hands like the pair pictured above. I actually like them and seeing the white ‘counterparts’ does soften the blow. Some.” —E. Elliot
I posted my write-up on Paladone’s First for Fun Facebook Page to get their opinion. They referred me to their press release at paladone .com for an official statement:
“The fact that these products in isolation could be construed to be racist has not even crossed our minds. In fact in January 2011, Pride magazine (a publication aimed at black women www.pridemagazine.com featured the Diva Washing Up Sponge in their ‘Hot List’ and asked the question; ‘you just have to love the Diva Washing Up Sponge, who knew an Afro could be so versatile?’. ©Pride Magazine January 2011.
There will be additional products launching later this year. You can purchase the Diva Washing-Up sponge for $9.98 and the King of Disco for $12.98. Amazon.com