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Thatcher's Daughter Makes Racial Slur

02.11.2009 - Racial Epithets in Cultured Accents

Carol Thatcher, the 55-year-old daughter of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, has enraged the black community after casually remarking that French tennis star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reminded her of a golliwog doll.

The character, inspired by blackface minstrel rag dolls, rose to fame in the late 19th century through Florence Kate Upton's children's books. The golliwog was a toy as popular as teddy bears before it became a widely-used racial slur in the 1950s.

Ms. Thatcher, who is a regular contributor to the BBC's "The One Show," was fired for not making a formal apology and waving off the incident as a "light remark."

Coincidentally, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's cousin, soccer player Charles N'Zogbia left his team Newcastle United after being called "insomnia" by coach Joe Kinnear.

Ms. Thatcher's incident follows a troubling trend of high-profile Britons making off-color remarks. First there was Prince Harry calling a fellow Army officer his "little Paki friend." Then, it was revealed that Prince Charles refers to his Indian friend as "Sooty." There's also the matter of the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, who has a long history of blatant racism. Take his 1986 advice to British students studying in Beijing: "if you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed."

And what about Boris Johnson. A politician whose idea Papua New Guinea is that of a country of "orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing." After making this remark, he promised to "add Papua New Guinea to my global itinerary of apology." This is the man Londoners elected to be their mayor last year.

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