22nd June 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Trying to start racism (Ian Selbie)

Is The Shetland Times so hard up for news/headlines that you have to devote half a page to the vile-mouthed Lemn Sissay.

If the shop keeper was black and selling pink dolls would he have made the same racist/insulting comments? I doubt it. It’s bigots like him who go to places where there is no racism then try to start it up and then clear off.

Does he want to burn at the stake the black dolls/gollywogs that our grand/great grandchildren have? What is the diferrence between white kids playing with black  dolls/gollywogs and black kids playing with white dolls?

What about those who play with animal dolls? Will he call the animal charities or the RSPCA?

In my view the best part of Sissay’s act was when he went on the plane/ferry to the mainland. Shetland doesn’t need the likes of him.

Ian R Selbie
17 Twageos Road,
Lerwick.

14 comments

  1. lemn sissay

    I shall visit your fine Island soon. Maybe I’ll be invited to read poetry there. again. Maybe I could visit your fine schools again. It was after one such visit i saw the dolls. I am dismayed but unsurprised that your own MP hasn’t seen fit to take this issue by the scruff of its neck. I guess it’s left for people like you to tell people like me that we’re not welcome. I guess the gollywogs will stay and normal service will be resumed shortly. At least its on record. Shall I pop up? There’s much to talk about.

    Lemn Sissay

    Reply
  2. Craig Russell

    Come up to the island if you want, I’ll give you a talking to. You think you’re perfect but your not, your poetry is rubbish and you have done little for our community, so if I had my say I’d tell you to clear off and not come back.. It’s pretty pathetic that this is the way you are trying to promote your work

    Reply
  3. Ron Stronach

    I cant understand what the fuss is all about, Golly’s have been around for years and surely bears no resemblance to any actual living creature???

    Reply
  4. Douglas Young

    I think if Mr Sissay were to read Mr Selbie’s letter at no time did he say Shetland would not welcome him in Shetland. He stated quite clearly Shetland had no “need” for him.
    Reminds me of the recent wound-licking-I’m-mortally-offended Mr Farage visit to Scotland.
    Come awa Lemn, all welcome in our beautiful Island hame. Just leave the widden spoon ahint.

    Reply
  5. Susan Jolly

    The only ‘Lem’ from down sarf I’d like to see in Shetland is the one from Motorhead – Shetland Arts take note!

    Reply
  6. Rebecca Dickie

    These toys are certainly not ‘pc’ anymore, but is it really the policy of the Shetland Times to so openly condemn a local shopkeeper? The lady explained in an honest and reasonable way, her intention in selling these dolls without underlying racial intent. This article must have been humiliating to read, and it may have been more appropriate for Mr Sissay to have voiced his concerns to her in a more tactful way. Shetland has a strong sense of community and rightfully look to defend their own, this is not to say that incidents of racism are ignored or accepted here, they simply are not.

    Reply
  7. George Gillon

    I invite the race-baiting ‘Yorkshireman’ to peruse the Longrider blog site where my wife and I shared his despicable behaviour towards Mrs Leask. As far as ‘Yorkshireman’ goes, if a dog is born in a stable it doesn’t make it a horse……

    Reply
  8. Sandy McDonald

    Here’s a bit of poetry:

    There was a chap by the name of Sissay,
    Who really was rather quite prissy
    His visit to the shop
    Inclined him to strop
    But his motives were really quite fishy.

    Reply
  9. I can assure Shetland Times readers that Mr Sissay has caused quite a controversy on the blog site where I am a contributor and none of it in Mr Sissay’s favour, it seems to the readership of this Blog that he is a pathetic small minded man trying to “Big up” his own career with little or no regard for the elderly shopkeeper.
    What a rude and devious little bigot he is.
    I sincerely hope the locals show him a good old Shetland welcome next time he graces their shores.

    Reply
  10. David anderson

    Every bloody thing is supposedly racist nowadays, you cant even call a rubbish bag a black bag anymore as it isn’t “pc”! What is the world coming to? There is no place for racism in this day and age, but selling a black doll is hardly racist is it! Folk needs to get a grip. There’s more to worry about in this world than to worry if something is racist or not.

    Reply
  11. Stella Smith

    I think Mr Sissay must have a big chip in this shoulder, ( I had never heard of him )
    I always thing of Robertson’s jam when I see Golly’s, you collected tokens & got pin badges, the world has gone to pot with all the PC, why can’t we just be kind & thoughtful to each other, we all arrived in this world & will all go the same way.

    Reply
  12. Richard Mutimer

    I’m assuming it is just ignorance that gave rise to the letter above and associated ravings. This piece is informative:
    http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/golliwog/

    Reply
  13. John Tulloch

    Mr Mutimer,

    May I draw your attention to my comment on the other thread which I’ll reproduce for your convenience:

    “Meaning of “projection” in psychology:

    “a. The attribution of one’s own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others: “Even trained anthropologists have been guilty of unconscious projection of clothing the subjects of their research in theories brought with them into the field” (Alex Shoumatoff).
    b. The attribution of one’s own attitudes, feelings, or desires to someone or something as a naive or unconscious defense against anxiety or guilt.”

    This isn’t “bad” it’s something we’re all well capable of, it’s subconscious from earlier conditioning and it causes a hell of a lot of trouble in the world.”

    Reply
  14. Kevin Sterling

    As a black man and having and still living in Shetland for more than 20 years all this Golly wog thing has been blown up out of proportion i don’t object to this and i don’t lose sleep over it. Yes i worked for a London council nearly 30 years ago who stopped buying Robertson’s products because of this and at the time i thought it was a storm in a tea cup and i think there are more important things to talk about and write about.

    Reply

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