Associated Press, July 26, 2019
Black rag dolls that came with instructions to slam the toy against a wall were pulled from three stores following complaints that they were racist and offensive.
The president of One Dollar Zone said roughly 1,000 dolls were pulled this week from its store in Bayonne and two others also in New Jersey.
The Feel Better Dolls featured instructions saying: ‘Whenever things don’t go well and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little “feel better doll”‘, the instructions read.
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 dolls were made of black fabric with yarn hair of red, green, black and yellow in the style of dreadlocks, and featured large white eyes and a white smile.
State Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, a Democrat whose district includes Bayonne, called the dolls offensive and inappropriate.
New Jersey State Senator Sandra Cunningham said that the doll is offensive. She explained: ‘It brings back the thoughts of slavery. That is not what you can do.
‘So it’s not censorship, not if you do something that purposefully hurts other people.’
One Dollar Zone President Ricky Shah apologized for the dolls’ appearance in the stores and said they were pulled Monday after someone posted images online.
The Paterson-based company didn’t adequately check a large lot of items it had received before distributing them to stores, he said. ‘This somehow slipped through the cracks,’ he said.