MindspillI have a friend in Phoenix, AZ; we’ll call her “Snapshots” (for the sake of anonymity) who last year told me how racist the atmosphere was there, which was a surprise. I have been to Phoenix only once & I fell in love with it, I also tried to talk Suite Suzy into moving there but she was not having it. We settled on the idea of retiring there in years to come.

Since Snapshots gave me this tidbit it has been n the back of my mind & upon discussion with others, Snapshots’ assessment was echoed. So now I wonder if Phoenix anymore racist that any other area, wellllllllllll maybe because they do not honor Martin Luther King Day?

So today I was listening to my favorite NPR program “News & Notes” in particular the African American Roundtable segment when during the lightening round the subject of pickaninny images rolling in AZ (read below for the story).

Even though the very thought of seeing a pickaninny displayed openly is sickening, this is America & we all have the right to free speech, good bad or indifferent.
Ariz. to still allow racist images on trucks

PHOENIX – It’s still going to be legal in Arizona for trucks to have splash guards with racist terms and silhouettes of naked women.

The House on Thursday rejected a Democratic amendment that would have banned splash guards with “images that are obscene or hateful.”

The amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Ed Ableser of Tempe, said he’d seen a splash guard that used the word “pickaninny” — a derogatory term for black children — and said his proposal was intended “to make sure those individuals that have hateful motives don’t express or push those images upon others in our communities.” (read more here)
Picaninny Background

The picaninny was the dominant racial caricature of Blac k children for most of this country’s history. They were “child coons,” miniature versions of Stepin Fetchit (see the section on the coon caricature). Picaninnies had bulging eyes, unkempt hair, red lips, and wide mouths into which they stuffed huge slices of watermelon. They were themselves tasty morsels for alligators. They were routinely shown on postcards, posters, and other ephemera being chased or eaten. Picaninnies were portrayed as nameless, shiftless natural buffoons running from alligators and toward fried chicken.

The first famous picaninny was Topsy — a poorly dressed, disreputable, neglected slave girl. Topsy appeared in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Topsy was created to show the evils of slavery. Here was an untamable “wild child” who had been indelibly corrupted by slavery. (Source | Ferris State University)