There has been a steady stream of eBay sellers in the US complaining that their Black Americana listings have been cancelled by eBay. Now, eBay have announced an update to their offensive items policy to include Black Americana items that are discriminatory.
In the light of #BlackLivesMatter, many are re-examining norms which need to be adjusted. There is no point complaining that your items reflect history in a world where the slightest offence will be massively highlighted and so eBay are now banning products that could be percieved to portray negativity or stereotypes based on race or ethnicity, such as items that use caricatures or demeaning portrayals which may be seen on dolls, figurines, housewares, historical advertisements.
Let’s get serious about this – there was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to give children a ‘Golly’ rag doll and they were once so popular that it was considered a great marketing idea for Robertons’s Golden Spread marmalade to adopt one as their mascot – you could even collect coupons for an enamel pin. Most people today would acknowledge that this is totally unacceptable. In the same way products in the Black Americana category that have in the past been deemed acceptable are deeply offensive to some parts of society – just because someone is willing to sell it and someone else is willing to buy it doesn’t mean that on balance it’s ok and so eBay are evolving their policies to reflect the world we live in today.
If you sell Black Americana products, you’ll be well aware that in 2015 eBay decided to prohibit the sale of confederate flags and many items containing the flag image, because they believed it had become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism. If you sell Black Americana products you will need to reassess your stock and decide what is suitable to sell and what may be more suitable for destruction.