A Sacramento, California mother was outraged when she discovered a doll with a slave collar in her five-year-old son’s toys.
Ida Lockett was reportedly helping her son put his Playmobil pirate ship figurines together when she came across instructions directing her to assemble a play shackle around one figurine’s neck.
The dark-skinned doll is shoeless, wearing ripped jeans and a torn shirt. The ship to which the figurine is connected appears to include a dungeon.
“You cannot have this specific accessory and call it anything else,” Lockett said. “The fact that you can Google it, look it up, say what it is—it’s a slave collar.”
“It’s definitely racist,” Lockett told CBS Sacramento. “It told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck, and then to play with the toy.”
Lockett took her case to social media where it received a lot of response.
The boy’s aunt, who bought him the ship, blasted Playmobil in a scathing Facebook note when she learned that the play ship included a play slave and a play slave collar.
“#PlaymobilUSA, I am MORTIFIED to have recently bought your Pirate Ship Set 5135 for my nephew only to hear that when assembling it, they found that its assembly instructions indicate to add the neck cuff/shackle to the black character’s neck,” she wrote.
“WOW,” she wrote. “Would it be too much to ask for you to just create a regular old black pirate?
Playmobil issued a statement defending the toy ship and the historical context of its characters, contending that the toy was intended to portray life on a 17th-century pirate ship.
“If you look at the box, you can see that the pirate figure is clearly a crewmember on the pirate ship and not a captive,” Playmobil said in a statement. “The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context. It was not our intention to offend anyone in anyway.”
The NAACP is getting involved and wants the toy banned, reported the Post.
And although Lockett has received an overwhelming amount of support, not everyone agrees:
Slaves (black & white) were used to row boats. Slavery is wrong but this woman's outrage is ridiculous. http://t.co/kngF1MwJSS
— Debra DeBoer (@debradeboer) October 7, 2015
.@debradeboer History sucks man. Get over it. I agree with you, out of hand rage.
— Semper Fortis (@LiberalMediaSux) October 9, 2015
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