OWNING A YARD JOCKEY: Racism?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 27, 2008 8:31 PM GMT
    So I'm talking to a group of friends in a car on our way to a social thing. A couple of the friends I know well and the other two are more acquaintances.

    We happen to pass a house with two "yard jockeys" out in the middle. For those of you that don't know what that means, "yard jockeys" came about in the 1800's as those who held horses when a rider rode up to a stable or home. The job was to hold the reins of the horse until the owner returned.

    These days they are little 3 or 4 foot high statues (some even have lights in them). Because of my long history with horses, horseback riding, instruction and showing, I've always enjoyed them. I'd love to get one for my yard.

    I made that comment out loud when I saw the yard jockeys and one of the guys said, "Are you racist"??
    I think I was totally taken aback and responded, "Um what"?? He asked if I liked to have black yard jockeys in my yard. I was totally dumbfounded and said that I didn't give a damn what color they were.
    In reality, the two I saw there were white yard jockeys. While I'm generally pretty reasoned, I was disgusted and told him he ought to be ashamed of even asking something like that. He later apologized.

    I guess you never know when you might step in controvery... even with a yard jockey....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2008 8:38 PM GMT
    Hndsm..u friggin bigot!!!!

    (lol...just kidding). Yeah...the "racist" comment seems to have come out of the blue....no need to lose sleep over it though, people get misinterpreted all the time (although in this case its kinda wierd how he got reacist from yard jockey). Was this person one of your friends or an acquaintance??
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    May 27, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    I must admit the black yard jockeys I have seen border on racist, but that is my on opinion.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 27, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    nysexy saidWas this person one of your friends or an acquaintance??



    He was an acquaintance. My friends thought it was kind of funny. I don't think they took the comment seriously.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 27, 2008 8:44 PM GMT
    Wysiwyg60 saidI must admit the black yard jockeys I have seen border on racist, but that is my on opinion.



    But if they were white jockeys, then its ok then?
    I'm curious.....
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    May 27, 2008 8:47 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidSo I'm talking to a group of friends in a car on our way to a social thing. A couple of the friends I know well and the other two are more acquaintances.

    We happen to pass a house with two "yard jockeys" out in the middle. For those of you that don't know what that means, "yard jockeys" came about in the 1800's as those who held horses when a rider rode up to a stable or home. The job was to hold the reins of the horse until the owner returned.

    These days they are little 3 or 4 foot high statues (some even have lights in them). Because of my long history with horses, horseback riding, instruction and showing, I've always enjoyed them. I'd love to get one for my yard.

    I made that comment out loud when I saw the yard jockeys and one of the guys said, "Are you racist"??
    I think I was totally taken aback and responded, "Um what"?? He asked if I liked to have black yard jockeys in my yard. I was totally dumbfounded and said that I didn't give a damn what color they were.
    In reality, the two I saw there were white yard jockeys. While I'm generally pretty reasoned, I was disgusted and told him he ought to be ashamed of even asking something like that. He later apologized.

    I guess you never know when you might step in controvery... even with a yard jockey....



    I've heard the term used in a racist manner but I've never jumped to the assumption if someone had one or two on their lawns that they were racist. I just found them unattractive in general. Just like those little gnomes all over someone's yard. I don't like lawn ornaments in general.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    white yard jockeys just look like someone painted over black yard jockeys.

    Personally, I would never have one because they do carry the racist stigma.

    Get a hitching post and a nice stepping block with a boot scaper

    Many of the old historical homes in Old Town Alexandria have the boot scrapers built into the front steps
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    May 27, 2008 8:53 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said[quote][cite]Wysiwyg60 said[/cite]I must admit the black yard jockeys I have seen border on racist, but that is my on opinion.



    But if they were white jockeys, then its ok then?
    I'm curious.....[/quote]

    Never seen one to be honest so I can't comment. The black jockeys are associated with a racist past. I personally am not a big fan of lawn ornaments so when I get my house I won't be thinking about it!
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    May 27, 2008 11:42 PM GMT
    My brother has an african-american friend who for some reason had a black yard jockey. My brother who is not racist but loves old junk and off-color jokes said he really liked it. His african-american friend said "take it I hate the f*cking thing".

    I told my bro I thought it was considered a racist thing to have and he should expect negative comments about it. He told me the story of how he acquired it and I felt like the uptight one in the room.

    EDIT: He keeps it on the back porch, not out in front for everyone to see (for what it's worth).
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    May 27, 2008 11:45 PM GMT
    I've always gotten a kick out of the yard jockeys - although I can understand how some people can fins them offensive. Have you condsidered a yard Gnome? icon_lol.gif
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    May 27, 2008 11:49 PM GMT
    Unfortunately we can't go back and erase many of the hateful racist things that people did in the past. And to many, items like this may hold some pain.

    I was in a friends antique store a year or so ago and noticed that he had a chest full of original Nazi china. I was blown away. I asked him how he would even allow such a hateful symbol into his store and he didn't get it.... I'm not jewish and it offended me, which is hard to do.

    I would say stay away from the lawn jockey. If for no other reason than showing respect for someone who's heart may drop when they see it.
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    May 27, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidHe was an acquaintance. My friends thought it was kind of funny. I don't think they took the comment seriously.
    I think I would have perhaps mentioned that I had heard that they are considered offensive by some and opened a conversation regarding why rather than ask a question like "Are you racists", but some people are up front and get it on the table...I tend to dance around the bush more ..... I don't think I'm usually offensive either icon_smile.gif
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    May 28, 2008 12:03 AM GMT
    I had to google Yard Jockey because I had no idea what it was. The first one I saw white. I didnt think it was racist. The next picture I saw was of a black one. WOW. My mouth hit the floor. If I saw that on someones lawn I would be truely offended.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 28, 2008 1:08 AM GMT
    go for a classic gnome
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    May 28, 2008 1:13 AM GMT
    I would recommend caution. It could be interpreted as racist. In my hometown, the "old folks" used to say: "Avoid even the appearance of evil..."
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    May 28, 2008 1:14 AM GMT
    I'm afraid that they do carry a certain stigma.

    Now, if you got the fat-granny-bending-over-in-the-garden-showing-her-bloomers, well, that's just class and hotness!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 28, 2008 1:17 AM GMT
    I've always wanted a flock of flamingos. Not the two you normally see, like 50 of them clustered together. Or 200 of those whirlygig flowers that spin in the wind.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    May 28, 2008 3:18 AM GMT
    Owning a lawn jockey makes someone a racist? So does that mean I can't buy Aunt Jemima syrup anymore?
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    May 28, 2008 3:19 AM GMT
    ShawnTO saidOwning a lawn jockey makes someone a racist? So does that mean I can't buy Aunt Jemima syrup anymore?


    Aunt Jemima is ok...they keep her up-to-date ... icon_lol.gif
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    May 28, 2008 3:20 AM GMT
    "And Black women in this profession
    As for playin' a lawyer, out of the question
    For what they play Aunt Jemima is the perfect term
    Even if now she got a perm"

    -Big Daddy Kane Burn Hollywood Burn
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    May 28, 2008 5:12 AM GMT
    I remember when people had black yard jockeys with red coats - and they were kind of leaning forward - I never knew they were to hold horses for people. I remember later seeing the blak faces painted white on some of them. I don't see anything wrong with it. I asked a black friend this question - and he sees nothing wrong with it. Jockeys and others who take care of horses can be any nationality or color.
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    May 28, 2008 5:14 AM GMT
    ShawnTO saidOwning a lawn jockey makes someone a racist? So does that mean I can't buy Aunt Jemima syrup anymore?


    I think that you're ok with the Aunt Jemima syrup. I just don't think that you can put the bottle on your front lawn.
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    May 28, 2008 5:16 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan said While I'm generally pretty reasoned, I was disgusted and told him he ought to be ashamed of even asking something like that. He later apologized.


    Now I feel sorry for your friend. He based his response on a stigma that lawn jockeys have. But you in your apparent ignorance lambasted him. He was made to feel bad and apologized. When, in truth, it was your ignorance of the background and context of lawn jockeys that made you feel like you had the right to explode at your friend and make him feel bad.

    I think it is you who needs to go back to your friend and apologize. Let him know that you were ignorant of the stigma attached to lawn jockeys, that you unfairly judged his question, and should not have responded as you did. Especially, since you did this IN FRONT OF OTHERS in the car. Imagine the impression you left of him to those others. He has to live with your ignorant condemnation. That's not fair to him. You need to apologize to him...and let the others know that you now understand the background of lawn jockeys, so you now understand where he was coming from. It is your responsibility to correct this situation. You caused it. He shouldnt have to ask this of you.

    Oh and if MikePhil wants to categorize this as curmudgeon, fine with me. Even a blind man could see that that thread was bound to go that way...with me or someone else. What were you thinking when you started it?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 28, 2008 11:33 AM GMT
    caslon said[quote][cite]HndsmKansan said[/cite]


    Now I feel sorry for your friend. He based his response on a stigma that lawn jockeys have. But you in your apparent ignorance lambasted him. He was made to feel bad and apologized. When, in truth, it was your ignorance of the background and context of lawn jockeys that made you feel like you had the right to explode at your friend and make him feel bad.
    [/quote]


    Nah, I'm not the least bit uninformed and I didn't "lambast" anyone. That would be ungrounded. It was a simple discussion only. I think the only person here I feel bad for is you Caslon, our unfortunate private conversation, your behavior and my
    action of having to block you from additional conversation.
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    May 28, 2008 11:55 AM GMT
    Those lawn ornaments have long been considered racist. Flannery O'Connor wrote a famous short story about racism whose title refers to the lawn jockey as "The Artificial Nigger."

    I didn't know they were even around anymore.