Hallmark Telling Customers Gone with the Wind Ornaments are History

Hallmark Telling Customers Gone with the Wind Ornaments are History

Gone with the Wind OrnamentReports are swirling on social media that Hallmark is telling customers their famed Christmas ornaments themed after the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind are no longer available.

Recent civil unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has elevated the charges of racism and “white privilege” in American culture.

As a response, companies all over America are posting racism policies and quickly distancing themselves from anything that might be construed as racist. Aunt Jemima is suddenly being retired after being in business on syrup bottles and boxes of pancake mix since 1889. Uncle Ben’s Rice is “evolving the brand”. And HBO removed Gone with the Wind over its depictions of “ethnic and racial prejudices.”

All of a sudden, after decades of enjoying “one of the greatest of all time films” acclaim, anything having to do with Gone with the Wind is poison. Snowflakes nationwide are suddenly triggered by what has been right in front of their face this whole time. Here’s a good example of their shock and outrage.

To be fair, other streaming services have kept Gone with the Wind available and the buying public has recently made Gone with the Wind a popular buy on Amazon streaming.

Popular movies of all types are frequently used to market Christmas collectibles in the form of ornaments. Christmas enthusiasts are famous for theming home decorations and Christmas trees under all manner of topics, from foods to music to, yes, movies.

So for Christmas collectible fans, far removed from the racial debates, the sudden unavailability of a collectible line that has been around for years is a bit much to handle.

On the one hand, all the grey market sources for these ornaments are going to clean up. Secondary markets such as eBay and Amazon for used for excess inventory sales are sure to enjoy healthy price increases. On the other, honest fans who spend years building up a collection at considerable cost the sudden change is aggravating.

One member of a Hallmark collectibles group on Facebook was just outraged when Hallmark would give no explanation when he called to order. “She just said it’s no longer available,” the poster commented. “Not it’s temporarily out of stock. She made it sound like Hallmark would not be bringing it back”. Several other posters claimed similar conversations with Hallmark.

Another poster commented that if Hallmark made a “mammy” ornament available she would gladly purchase it. That comment quickly resulted in the now-common retort that the poster’s “white privilege” needed to be checked.

Hallmark has not responded to our requests for further information.

Given the current trend in marketing it will not be a shock if Hallmark causes its Gone with the Wind products to go the way of Disney’s Song of the South.

The irony in that is that Hallmark has fallen under some criticism lately for not having enough people of color in their famous made-for-TV formulaic Christmas movies.

Clearly Hallmark has a problem and they know it.

Editor’s Note: A few hours after we posted this a kind reader on Twitter shared this screen shot from their seach at Hallmark for Gone with the Wind products:

Hallmark

Brace for the Charges of Racism in Christmas

Brace for the Charges of Racism in Christmas

Three years ago we mothballed this site declaring victory in the war on the war on Christmas with this simple statement. We hold to that statement.

It was never about Christmas in the first place. It was about religion and your right to practice it. Christmas is, for many, a means of practicing their religion.

We stopped our part in it all because it appeared people were starting to get it. Besides, the war on Christmas is depressing. Nearly everyone on all sides of it are weary of it. Nobody wants to really talk about it.

Well, we were wrong.

We re-open our site now because it is clear a whole new battle is coming to Christmas. As usual, it will distort truth. It will label Christmas enthusiasts unfairly. It will discriminate against the religious.

It has to do with racism. That will be the new rallying cry in the War on Christmas.

Literally, if you love Christmas, if you celebrate it, you will likely be labeled racist.

But there is, as there always is, some truth to what they will be saying. Christmas, like so many other things, DOES have a problem with racism.

~ Examples of Racism in Christmas ~

Zwarte Piet or Black Pete – The Dutch tradition of Black Peter, a helper of the Dutch St. Nicholas, has for nearly two centuries been celebrated in Dutch culture. But a seemingly black man shown in shackles has long rankled activists in Europe and has thrown annual holiday traditions into sharply divided debate.

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/Christmas – In 2018 social media critics pointed out that Franklin, an African American child in the animated holiday specials of Charlie Brown, had to sit alone at the Thanksgiving table, a sign of racism in the works of Charles Schulz.

Confederate Christmas – The American South has celebrated Christmas perhaps longer than any other region in the United States. Frequently, their decorations are garnished with the colors and designs of the Confederate flag. Many online retailers sell millions of dollars of these decorations each year. The Confederate Christmas has also been celebrated in parades with people dressed in Confederate uniforms and carrying Confederate flags in memorials to ancestors who fought for the South. In recent years such displays have been condemned as racist.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – In the decades since Rudolph rose to near Santa-like prominence in popular Christmas culture it wasn’t until 2018 that critics began to call his story “problematic” at best and “racist” at worst. The outcry in 2018 was that his story is a parable on racism, homophobia and bigotry.

White Christmas – The seemingly totally secular Christmas movie, White Christmas, references the white vaudeville tradition of black-faced performers in minstrel shows. Somehow how this makes both the movie and the song White Christmas racist.

Do They Know Its Christmas? – An 80s Christmas song intended for charitable purposes is now called racist.

Jingle Bells – A Boston University professor says the song Jingle Bells, which never once even mentions Christmas, has its origins as a minstrel number and is thus racist.

A Christmas Story – with references to Italians to the accents of servers in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day, many cry that this Christmas classic movie is full of racism

The Dolls in Disney’s Santa’s Workshop (1932) – A classic Disney Christmas cartoon of the 1930s is full of racism

Disney’s Night Before Christmas (1933) – Santa goes to a home of poor children that all have to sleep in one bed. After chasing Santa up the chimney one kid dances around in blackface.

Dr. Seuss Racist – The Grinch is green and everyone else is white. That somehow makes Dr. Seuss racist.

Big Crosby AbrahamRacism in Holiday Inn – The 1942 movie about holidays features Bing Crosby singing in blackface while celebrating the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

It’s a Wonderful Life – The maid of the Bailey family in It’s a Wonderful Life. That’s just one layer of racism found in this #1 rated movie of all time.

Hallmark Christmas Movies – The “unbearable whiteness” of Hallmark holiday movies

~ Does Christmas Need to Change? ~

Of course Christmas needs to change. We all need to change.

The current discussions of racism – absent of the violence and the needless destruction of monuments and history – are important. Real change begins with honest discussion.

But with that change comes the hard cold fact that we can change NOTHING of the past.

How we deal with the past needs to be very carefully considered.

Does Bing Crosby singing in blackface prevent us from listening to Bing Crosby Christmas music at all? Does celebrating the tradition of an elf-like helper to the Dutch Santa make one racist now?

It is interesting to note that from the examples listed above ALL of them are from secular elements of Christmas.

But our prediction will be that the extreme activists of our time will twist the celebration of Christmas as an attack on the religious USING the types of secular racism we see above. In other words, if you celebrate Christmas at all for whatever reason – especially for religious reasons – you’re a racist. That is what’s coming.

We do note, with some sense of irony, that these debates of Christmas are not new at all.

The famed schism in the Church of England in the 1600s was all about how secular excesses had overtaken the spiritual observance in the Church and that Christmas then had to be banned.

We never seem to get anywhere in this War on Christmas, do we?

We believe the selective censorship we’re seeing in today’s civil unrest with the wrongful destruction of monuments and the outrageous banning of things like the word “antebellum” or “Dixie” will bleed into the season of Christmas.

That’s why we’re back. It’s about to become absurd once again.

Spain Abandons Black Face Tradition

Spain Abandons Black Face Tradition

The issue of black-faced whites portraying Christmas characters in parades and seasonal festivities is not limited to the Netherlands. After years of controversy government officials in Madrid say that any future depiction of King Balthazar in Spain will be portrayed by a black person. In years past the part has been played by a white individual with a blackened face. Spanish tradition in Madrid includes a parade in which the three Wisemen are shown.

“This change is much more than just anecdotal,” Socialist city councillor Mar Espinar said on Wednesday. Her party has spent years championing changes to the event. “Given the increasingly large community of colour in our city, it seems absurd that this role continues to be represented by a person with their face blackened.”

Over in the Dutch capital of The Hague meanwhile, the education board said elementary schools would no longer use Santa helpers with painted black faces, another holiday tradition that had caused considerable offence.

The move, which came after the United Nations called last month for the “Black Pete” practice to be modified to avoid reflecting negative stereotypes, is the broadest measure against the practice, and will affect more than 160 schools, Reuters reported.

A majority of Dutch people reject any suggestion that Black Pete, typically played by white people in blackface, is racist. But many others disagree. Starting this year, schools in The Hague will begin phasing out the use of blackface, curly hair wigs and red painted lips, with the changes to be completed within three years. They will be replaced with visually neutral Santa servants.

It would be important to note that while Spain and other Catholic dominated societies enjoy the tradition of Three Kings Day the Bible doesn’t actually mention how many of the Magi there were or what their ethnicity might be. The names of Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar are nowhere to be found in Christian scripture. Many places around the world show the Wisemen at the Nativity but the Bible says they actually did not show until the Christ child was likely more than 2 years old.

Farrakhan Calls for Blacks to Boycott Christmas

Farrakhan Calls for Blacks to Boycott Christmas

A new wrinkle in the lead up to Christmas 2015 comes from the lips of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who is encouraging black consumers to boycott Christmas claiming “white business” enjoys a bonanza thanks to black consumers.

Quoting Martin Luther King, Farrakhan said, “He said ‘we have to find a way to redistribute the pain,’ He talked about going to businesses that benefited from black dollars and he said, ‘We have to now withdraw our economic support, so that those who give us pain can receive some pain in return.’”

Farrakhan quickly added this disclaimer, “We intend to boycott Christmas, but not Jesus. We think that they have taken advantage of us and our consumer dollars by materializing the respect and honor of Jesus and making it a bonanza for white business.”

This is part of what is being called the “Justice or Else” campaign. ““So the ‘or else’ for us is you’re either going to treat us right or we’re going to withdraw our economic support.”

Farrakhan lamented how “a white man from the North Pole with eight reindeer can knock Jesus to the curb” and even suggested that pastors all across the country shouldn’t even be buying Christmas trees.

This rhetoric is coming at a time when racism has entered the public dialogue about Christmas like no other time in history.

Battle Lines Being Drawn Over Confederate Flag in Roanoke Parade

Battle Lines Being Drawn Over Confederate Flag in Roanoke Parade

In early July we tipped you off to the issue of Confederate flags becoming a flash point for Christmas this year. This has not been hard to foresee given the difficult summer stories of the Charleston black church shootings.

That early July story focused on a Christmas parade in Brunswick, Georgia. Georgia has been mentioned as a target by some activists for the Civil War monuments at Stone Mountain, Georgia.

But we are hearing of a bigger battle brewing in Roanoke, Virginia and their “Dickens of a Christmas Parade”. The annual parade has long featured the Sons of Confederate Veterans and they have long featured the now-controversial Confederate flag.

What all this has to do with Christmas is not the issue.

The issue is race and the appropriate use of the flag in a city-sponsored event, which just happens to be a Christmas parade. Local media tells the story of the controversy, the plans of officials from the Sons of Confederate Veterans not to give in and now a counter protest in the works that will make the Dickens of a Christmas Parade a Dickens of a Mess.

Locals are afraid they will become the lead story on Fox News the day of the parade. It is a valid concern.