There are two guys I know called Thomas Rebel and Bill Child who are involved in a project to:
“permanently obliterate a racist monument on the shores
of the Clyde Estuary on the West coast of Scotland. “
The monument is a rock daubed with red, black and white
paint in the style of a ‘Golliwog’. The
rock also bears the motto ’Jim Crow’. The name ‘Jim Crow’ was the nickname given to
the racial segregation laws observed in the US at the beginning of the 20th
Century – the Jim Crow Laws. The name was also applied in the US to the grossly
exaggerated ‘minstrel’ caricature of a black person – that which was was popularly known
in Britain as a ‘Golliwog’.
For many years the racist Jim Crow rock has stood as a testament
to both blatant prejudice and profound ignorance.
The rock sits on the foreshore of the small community of Dunoon. In 2003
a letter was published raising the issue and objecting to the rock in the Dunoon
Observer and Argyllshire Standard (the local newspaper), but with little tangible
response. In the same year an email was also written to Trevor Phillips, the head of, the then Commission for
Racial Equality, but received no reply.
Feeling this was unacceptable, the two guys drove to Dunoon last June (2009), and in the dead of night used several tins of Drummond’s
International Grey (an almost perfect colour match for the rock!) and following
closely the instructions on the tins, painted out the motif.
This resulted in the local newspaper taking the issue more
seriously, publishing an article on the ‘vandalism’, and allocating space for
the debate in their letters section. There were several letters of support for the protest from members of the local community.
Despite this, within weeks
of the efforts, the motif had been reinstated – most likely with the support of
certain local politicians.
The guys have now pledged to repeat their ‘vandalism’ in order to
achieve the original objective, and will do so again year on year until the
rock is allowed to exist in its’ natural state.
Most recently they have tried to get additional support and endorsement from any other quarters, now including me. Support I am happy to lend, if it means this nasty afront to diversity might be removed.
Please find below some interesting links for your perusal.
The following link demonstrates the strength of feeling of a
portion of the local community.
Another independent website outlining the story.
Information provided by the Jim Crow museum details the history and
significance of Jim Crow
If you want to assist in maintaining the rock in a neutral (non racist state) by periodically painting it with Drummonds International Grey or if you want to just share your thoughts about the issue, please do so here.