If you’re reading this now, you’re probably concerned or perhaps offended by a particular one of the decks that I offer: The Golli Oracle.
I respect your feelings if you are offended by the premise of the deck or the character it is named for … but in turn, you need to respect that not everyone agrees with you — and not everyone who DISagrees with you is a Monster or a Racist. Art is part of our lives for many reasons, and one of those reasons is to challenge perceptions.
In his book Buy Golly! (New Cavendish Books, 2005), author Clinton Derricks writes, "If people disagree with a product, they have to learn to deal with it in a mature and adult way. A ban infringes on artists' rights to express themselves freely." I highly recommend Derricks's book to all, as it does not fail to look at all the profound issues associated with the Golliwogg. Derricks is an African-American actor and musician who has been collecting golliwogg and black memorabilia for over thirty years. In the forward to his book, he writes: "The golliwog's links with slavery and racial prejudice may prove to be unpalatable and uncomfortable to some, though I stand by my every word. My affection for the golliwog is not based purely on artistic appreciation, but derives from love and respect for my culture and its historical associations. Everyone has their reasons for loving or disliking golliwogs and we should recognize that we are all entitled to our own opinions."
There is NO consensus of opinion on this subject -- even among people of color. My mother dealt in American Folk Art for most of her life, and had a special interest in and affection for African American Folk Art and History. Wherever she went, African American people were her best customers -- at the same time, it was always the white folk who came up to her angrily demanding that she take it down. This is a fact. The Golli Oracle is clearly offered in an ANTIQUARIAN CONTEXT -- and I believe strongly that you cannot re-write history to suit the sensitivities of the present day.
To a large extent, The Golli Oracle was made in memory of my mother, using materials derived from her Folk Art and Memorabilia collection that I inherited from her. My mother was no racist, nor am I, and anyone who suggests otherwise is libeling me. I made the deck, in part, as a way of coping with her death. It was a labor of love. That's why I defend it so fiercely; that’s why I say "Go to Hell" to all of the Haters.
I write about this subject much more extensively on the original website that I created as a home for the deck. You can visit that site by following this link. And be sure to watch the video I’ve embedded both at that site, and here below. Yes, there is hatred in the world, and yes, we should all do what we can to defeat hatred with enlightenment. But neither this deck nor the materials it is derived from are expressions of hatred; and furthermore, suppression and censorship create ignorance and intolerance, not the opposite. It's easy to take offense at something, anything, especially something that you don't understand. But what happens if we base our culture on the principle of "only allowing it if it offends absolutely nobody"? If that becomes our standard, in no time at all you will find that all Art and History are wiped out of existence, forever.
Thank you for reading this.
www.tarotbyducksoup.com • www.ducksoup.me