Owners of a boutique store in Queensland have declared they are 'not racist' after they came under fire for selling controversial dolls.
Avalon Home and Gifts on the Gold Coast has doubled down on their choice to sell the tone-deaf toys, saying they believe there is nothing wrong with stocking them.
Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin, one of the co-owners defended the sale of the toys, saying: "I have a collection of golliwog dolls, I have also bought them for my own grand-daughter.
"Kids love them, and they are not racist, adults are... I think it is (the criticism) just petty," she added.
The golliwog was originally born from a 1895 children's book by British author Florence Kate Upton called The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg, where the doll was described as 'a horrid sight, the blackest gnome'.
While the toy became popular throughout the 20th century, it has become a symbol of racism in recent times due to its crude depiction of people of colour.
Activists have regularly attempted to stop the sale of the racist dolls, with Indigenous advocate Henrietta Marrie saying in 2018 that it was shocking that they continued to be sold in this day and age.
"It's the look and connotation which sends a negative message. It is insulting and gives a negative image about who we (Indigenous) are as people.
"Let's get them off the shelves and educate people as to why we've done that."
African-British writer Hannah Pool has also previously spoken out on the issue, saying the doll was definitely racist.
"Let's get one thing clear from the off: the term golliwog is offensive," she wrote in The Guardian. "Whether you use it public, in private, on-air, or in the green room, no one in their right mind cannot be aware that this is a derogatory term to describe black people.
"But unless you have been spat at, kicked or had eggs thrown at you, all while being called that hateful term, it is unlikely you will ever understand why a small doll causes such a big fuss."
The doll is still currently available to purchase in the store's gift shop, despite the criticism.
On the store's website, Avalon Home and Gifts describes itself as a 'unique boutique gift store' that supports local Australians'.
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