The first movie I ever saw in theaters was Disney’s Song of the South, a heartwarming tale of Brer Rabbit and how he outsmarts Brer Fox and Brer Bear in their never-ending quest to eat him for dinner. I don’t recall being aware of any racism in the film, though admittedly I was like three years old at the time. I saw it with my mom, my aunt and my cousin, and none of them conveyed any racist sentiments that my three-year-old brain processed. Now, some 45 years later, I still fail to register any particular racism in the film, and I have even shared the extremely rare DVD I have of the movie with my own daughter (9 last week).
Yes, there is a rich white family at the center of the story, and yes they have servants who are black, but the heroes of the story are absolutely the black folks and the most socially evolved people in the tale are the children of both races. I have dearly loved riding “Splash Mountain” at Disney World because it takes me back to the movie, the Uncle Remus stories my grandmother read me many years ago, and the unforgettable antics of Brer Rabbit and his pals.
The politically correct assholes made it very difficult for me to obtain the movie itself, and now they are apparently depriving me of the pleasure of reliving those childhood movies on the ride, as well. I certainly have no objection to a ride based around The Princess and the Frog, which is one of my daughter’s favorite and most-watched Disney flicks, but I do take exception to the “politically correct” bullshit behind the change.
Among the cultural icons taking hits over the last few weeks are the Rice Krispies elves (Snap! Krackle! and Pop!), the Land O Lakes Native American girl (once again we have removed the Native and kept the land), Aunt Jemima and maybe even Mrs. Buttersworth, whom I recall as being an elderly white grandmother from the days when I actually had to sit through commercials.
I have to admit, I fail to understand how a few vocal and ignorant people can wield the power to effect such change in our country. What’s more, I wonder why people with such apparent power and influence don’t set their sights on something a great deal more significant than Disney cartoons and cereal boxes.
There are serious issues facing people of color in this country, especially since Donald Trump was elected President by a minority of Americans in 2016. It has been made increasingly hard for people of color – especially poor people of color – to vote, obtain a quality education, find health care, get reasonable housing…why can’t the PC folks target any one of those areas to focus their attention upon? Those are areas where very real, sustainable change can be made, but instead they are worried about whether or not people should be able to stream Gone with the Wind.
What a waste of time!
I am all for equality. In fact, I was raised by parents who saw no color, no sexual preference, no rich and no poor. In retirement my (white) Mom and stepdad work tirelessly with the NAACP in North Carolina to fight for racial equality. My (white) dad has been extremely active in Kentucky’s Democratic party as they strive to overcome the racist, classist regime of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I am proud of the work they are all doing to change the real problems with the United States.
It would be nice if the PC forces fighting for breakfast cereal equality would turn their attention to something much more meaningful and leave my childhood memories alone.