A One Dollar Zone! store in Bayonne, New Jersey was forced to remove black rag dolls from its shelves after people registered their displeasure over it being racist and offensive.
Known as the “Feel Better Doll,” the black smiley doll, which was manufactured by Harvey Hutter, Co., according to its description, is meant to be abused anytime its owner is not in a good mood and feels like hitting a wall.
“Whenever things don’t go well and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little “feel better doll” that you just will not do without. Just grab it firmly by the legs and find a wall to slam the doll and as you whack the “feel good doll” do not forget to yell “I feel good. I feel good,” the description reads.
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According to a statement, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, who represents Bayonne and Jersey City, after receiving and seeing complaints about the doll personally went to the store in question and had the general manager pull them off their shelves.
“When I heard about this doll on social media, I knew I had to do something immediately. This doll is offensive and disturbing on so many levels. It is clearly made in an inappropriate representation of a black person and instructs people to “slam” and “whack” her,” McKnight said.
“Racism has no place in the world and I will not tolerate it, especially not in this district. When I saw the doll in person, I cringed and was truly disheartened by the thought of a black child being beaten by another child or an adult for pure pleasure. To have a product depict or teach children that it is OK to hit another child, regardless of race, in order to feel good is sick. Dolls should be a symbol of love, care and affection.
“I thank the community for bringing this to my attention.
“When we see or hear something discriminating and abusive, we must act instantly to correct the action,” she added.
The President of One Dollar Zone, Ricky Shah, in a statement to NBC Boston issued an apology claiming it was an oversight as they did not properly inspect the items before they were distributed.
“This somehow slipped through the cracks,” he said.