San Francisco progressive Tanya Schevitz is shocked by Playmobil’s political incorrectness:
“Mom, when the Americans killed the Indians, that is this set!” squealed my five-year-old ecstatically as he tore the Christmas wrapping off the Playmobil Western Fort.
Oh crap. What??! My head nearly twirled around exorcist style as I turned to look.
After the arrival of the Playmobil fort, I tried to explain to my son that the Native Americans were protecting themselves and reacting to the expansion of American settlers into their land. My kids attend a school where they learn that the Native Americans were forced into California Missions and mistreated. Even in preschool they learn about civil rights and the fight of Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers. So I thought that dealing with this would be no problem.
That first attempt at talking about the plight of the Native Americans didn’t go well.
“It’s not nice of the Indians to go bad. They should have just said ‘Stop,’” countered my son. Uh oh.
Other toys that shocked her included cops and robbers, because of the guns and violence, a (Belle Epoque?) cop and hobo, despite the lack of violence, a black basketball player, a housekeeper who’s “a darker skinned woman with long dark hair, possibly implying that she is Latina, or someone not Caucasian,” and, worst of all, a hunter! Gasp!