Kevin Turner, Daily Record (UK), Nov. 14, 2006
A REPRINTED Dandy annual dating back to 1939 has sparked a race storm.
Dundee publishers DC Thomson have produced thousands of copies of the book for the Christmas market.
But when Jamaican student Winston Walker bought a copy, he was horrified at what it contained.
The annual’s Smarty Grandpa strip features numerous references to “n****rs”.
And business student Winston hit out: “It’s extremely derogatory to black people.
“Any decent person would be disgusted by the terms used.”
Now the Commission for Racial Equality are to investigate.
The Smarty Grandpa strip starts with the character saying he’s going “to listen to the n****r minstrels”.
Grandpa then finds his face is blackened when a bag of soot he’s holding bursts.
As Grandpa heads for the sea to wash the soot from his face, an old lady says: “Poor old n****r minstrel. Here’s a sixpence for you but your show isn’t very good.”
Grandpa then thinks: “That lady thinks I’m a n****r. That gives me an idea.”
The character is shown dressed in a beach tent, saying: “Hi folks, help the n****r minstrels”.
He later helps two minstrels whose own show has flopped.
Winston, 42, who attends Dundee College, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I opened the book and saw the Smarty Grandpa page.
“I do not know what DC Thomson were thinking.”
He added: “There is no doubt in my mind the reprint should have been edited.
“My partner is white and she was also thoroughly disgusted when she read it.
“It certainly sends out a bad image of Scotland and one that doesn’t reflect the truth. I have lived in Scotland three years now and never really experienced any racism.”
DC Thomson have reprinted thousands of copies of the book, which is available for £16.99.
A spokesman for DC Thomson said: “This is a true facsimile of the edition published in the 1930s.
“Obviously, sensitivity at the time did not consider this to be inflammatory at all.”
He insisted: “It is promoting racial harmony if anything. Smarty Grandpa earns money for pals for a slap-up feed because they couldn’t do it.
“I don’t think he says anything that can be considered racially prejudiced.”
A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality said: “We will look at the book and make a decision on whether it is inflammatory.”
(Posted on November 14, 2006)
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