A British-based company is taking hits for a line of sponges it has begun selling in the U.K. and the U.S. that use figurines of black icons like Diana Ross with a brillo pad for hair that you can actually use to wash the dishes.
While the company, Paldone, claims that the idea was to make a chore like washing up more “fun,” protestors overseas have targeted the company for attack, asserting that using a brillo pad afro of a black woman when you clean your home is patently offensive.
“That can’t be a positive thing in the 21st century that we are using images that were really invented in periods of slavery and discrimination,” Weymen Bennet from a U.K. group called Unite Against Fascism told the Daily Mail.
The sponges join a long line of products like toothpastes, candies and soaps from overseas markets that miss the mark when it comes to racial sensitivity. Though sites like TheRoot.com claim that the sponges aren’t a big deal, we think that any products that use a caricature of black people for “fun” are part of the dehumanizing process that people of color have long endured across the globe. After all, Little Black Sambo was also intended to be “fun.”