Anthropologie apologized this week for selling racist candlesticks. They included a mammy souvenir from Washington, D.C., and a stereotypical depiction of an Asian woman.
I’m not surprised they were for sale or that someone considered them art. I see mammy all the time in antique stores. She sits on a glass shelf with an affordable price tag. She is often flanked by others shaped as salt and pepper shakers, cookie jars, pretty much anything for the kitchen.
I study her for a moment. I look at her black face and her exaggerated features. I’m torn. Should I purchase her, take her off the market and put her in the closest closet or should I accidentally knock her from her pedestal and pay for my “mistake” so that no one can have her? No and no.
I can’t afford it on several levels. I walk on by. I forget mammy, until I see her again, sitting on a glass shelf with an affordable price tag.