As I was driving to Creation Fest last week, I saw something I don’t see everyday.
Yeah, one of them. And it was white to boot.
I have very mixed feelings about lawn jockeys. I did a quick Wikipedia review, and my confusions were echoed there as well. The article was saying that essentially that black lawn jockeys were really a symbol of refuge for slaves on the Underground Railroad depending on a different colored ribbon tied on the ring held in the hand of the jockey.
Sorry, I don’t buy into the myth.
When whomever thought it was “cute” to exaggerate lips, and darken skin color is a fool and have fooled themselves and the rest of world into thinking that this was a good thing. I’m not doubting the good intentions of those who participated in the Underground Railroad (although the road to hell is paved with good intentions) who sported a black lawn jockey on their front yard, but for those that kept them in their lawn well into the 20th century and are of a skin and cultural persuasion that is not African American, then we have a big problem.
It hearkens back to this notion of being culturally aware but being culturally insensitive. Most people are aware of the history behind the lawn jockey and many other things that are racial flashpoints, however many people aren’t sensitive to how others may perceive such racial and cultural incendiaries and just how offensive they may be.
Personally, I’m offended when I see a lawn jockey and it echoes of an era, not where this lawn jockey may have been a beacon of hope in a dark situation, but rather was a symbol of the entrenched racism and prejudices that pervaded the lives of millions living in this country.
Per the Wikipedia article, I wonder if the lawn jockeys that I saw, I counted three as our bus passed through the village of Shirleysburg, Pennsylvania (clearly this was Hillary Clinton territory, Obama didn’t even stand a chance in places like this), were in fact formerly black and now painted white.
Interestingly enough, when our bus passed back through this town four days later, I didn’t see nary a lawn jockey–white or black.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL