This is so egregious that it’s hard to believe it’s real: Recently, in L.A., a Thai design firm–appropriately enough called Gumption–exhibited a set of toilet brushes shaped like black people, with the bristles standing in for an Afro. Let me say that again: Toilet brushes shaped like black people. For scraping feces from a toilet bowl. As if it wasn’t enough for the design to been hideous and tacky.
As Design Boom chirps, “Brings some humor to cleaning the bathroom!” Also brings racism!
Gumption Design is, apparently, a Thai company, and was featured in Design Boom’s Asia Now exhibition at Dwell on Design in LA. So given that, you could argue that the toilet brushes aren’t racist so much as they are clueless–Thailand having never shared our ugly history of African slavery and minstrel shows. (The same might be said of China or Japan, where blackface is a regularly occurrence on prime-time TV. Then again, in those countries gross stereotypes are so common that you can only laugh.)
But check out what looks like a chain on the feet of the toilet brush. Your jaw just drops: