I’m really taking to the Wheeling, West Virginia-based Ogden Newspaper Group owning The Maui News—and every other paper on this island except this one. There are all sorts of advantages to reading a paper that now belongs to a chain that’s based in one of the more rural, conservative parts of the country.
Like the fact that every two weeks, The Maui News includes an issue of the Ogden-published American Life & Traditions. The May 17 issue is 16 pages of mostly middle America fluff and commemorative coin ads, but there’s one notable exception: in the upper left corner of Page 8 is an ad for the “Classic Edition” of Helen Bannerman’s incredibly controversial and racist book Little Black Sambo.
You heard me.
For just $11.95 (plus $3 shipping and handling) you can buy your copy of Bannerman’s 1900 tale of Black Jumbo, his wife Black Mumbo and their little African boy Sambo. But wait—this isn’t that pussy 2003 version with the all-new, “realistic” illustrations of Sambo and his family—this is a reprint of Bannerman’s first edition, the one with the “original 27 color illustrations” that helped inflame so much racial hatred.
“Although, Sambo was about the adventures of a little Indian boy,” states the ad, “to a few it later became a symbole [sic] of racism.” Yeah… that’s great, except that Bannerman’s illustrations were clearly not Indians. They blatantly displayed all the cruel Jim Crow caricatures of Africans that were popular at the time: big lips, broad noses, kinky hair. And they’ve outraged more than “a few”—try hundreds of millions of people all over the world.
But I’m getting off-topic. AL&T insists that it doesn’t “knowingly accept fraudulent or objectionable advertising” and anyone who’s outraged should “report any misrepresentations to the advertising manager.”
So how about it? The manager’s name is Jeff Tilden and you can reach him at 1-800-678-5779. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. MTW