Titanic: No Golliwogs Were Saved! (27.10.2022)

The American author – Walter Lord – produced a narrative (historical) masterpiece with his 1955 book entitled ‘A Night to Remember’ – which records the actual events of the last night of the RMS Titanic as it ploughed into an iceberg on the night of Sunday during April 14th, 1912 – whilst traversing the North Atlantic Ocean, (370 miles [600 km] Southeast of Newfoundland), during its maiden voyage between Southsmpton and New York! The Titanic struck an iceberg at 23:40 hrs Sunday night – and sank just two hours and forty minutes later – at 02:20 hrs on a freezing Monday morning (the sea temperature measured −2 °C or 28 °F – and was two and a half miles deep). There was around 2,224 passengers on board (no one is quite sure of the number – even today) – with around 1,635 men, women and children (mostly Steerage – that is Third Class passengers) dying from drowning or hypothemia in the freezing water! The twenty available lifeboats (sixteen solid and four foldable) saved around 700 mostly First and Second Class passengers.

In 1958, William MacQuitty, (who had witnessed the launch of the Titanic in Belfast [during 1911] when he was a 6-year old child – and the ship’s maiden voyage a year later in 1912), produced the 1958 movie epic entitled ‘A Night to Remember’! This is a superb adaption of Walter Lord’s book and records the tragic historical events exactly. Having just read this book – I can assure readers that Walter Lord makes no reference to the despicable racist ‘Golliwog’ doll featured in the movie! What he does do, however, is make a record of the racist and classist attitudes that the British (White) Middle and Upper classes possessed! Most deaths occured in the Third Class – where the iron gates were kept ‘shut’ to prevent these poor people accessing the upper decks and making it into the lifeboats or even off of the ship and into the water – away from the wreckage!

Walter Lord points out that all Asians were assumed to be ‘stowaways’ – and ‘Japanese’ for reasons not entirely clear (I have written elsewhere about the eight ‘Chinese‘ passengers aboard who were technically ‘British’ subjects) – with the ‘White’ British expressing dislike for the twenty or so ‘Italian’ waiters working in one of the special restuarants on board. (These men were ‘locked’ into their restuarant and drowned – never being let out). Black people are not ‘toys’ for White children to play with – plain and simple. Imagine teaching your children that another ethnicity is nothing but a passive object that exists to entertain your curiosities, desires and perhaps even perversities! Even today in the UK there are still White people who think these racist dolls are acceptible and even justify selling them in their shops!