4.11.04

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While I'm on the subject of misery... sorry this photo is a little
fuzzy, but I think you can still see clearly enough that the worst
racist stereotypes are readily available in the form of Mardi Gras
beads, made in China -- how's that for cruel irony? The good news is
that I only saw these particular beads in one shop out of many, many,
many similar tourist traps in the French Quarter.

More bad news, though: "retro" black caricatures, big red lips & all,
were distressingly widespread, not just in New Orleans, but also in
touristy shops along Beale Street in Memphis. So white tourists from
the North can come to the South, experience racist nostalgia by
touring antebellum mansions, maybe visit a few Civil War sites, &
then for souvenirs they can bring home these horrible icons of the
Black people they probably never even talked to on their trip. Is
that the idea? Or are these trinkets meant for white tourists from
other parts of the South? What are all the Black tourists supposed to
bring home as souvenirs of the South? I didn't see any cute little
dolls portraying ignorant white racists.... oo, getting a little
mean. Blame it on post-election ire.

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