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allmc2008

Is Song of the South racist??

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I have never seen the movie but I have heard that it is an incredibly racist film in today's standards. I have also heard that the movie treats the black and white people somewhat equally and that it was never intended to be a racial movie.

Also, why is it not banned in Europe? Isn't the whole point of banning it to not embarrass the U.S. and Disney by preventing others from seeing it??

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I have never seen the movie but I have heard that it is an incredibly racist film in today's standards. I have also heard that the movie treats the black and white people somewhat equally and that it was never intended to be a racial movie.

Also, why is it not banned in Europe? Isn't the whole point of banning it to not embarrass the U.S. and Disney by preventing others from seeing it??

It's not banned in Europe because they aren't filled with racial baggage and cry babies like the US is. Even if something IS racist, trying to pretend it doesn't exist doesn't make it go away. It is what it is. People can't look upon things as a historical reflection of the times they were made and move on with their lives. The reaction should not be "Let's make sure nobody ever sees this", it should be "Thank God things are different today". Having said that, I don't feel Song Of The South Is racist.

Edited by alphanguy74

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I do know that Walt Disney lobbied hard to get the actor who played Uncle Remus a special Oscar after he was snubbed that year out of a nomination.

He's the first African American (male) actor to earn an Oscar (even if it wasn't in a competitive category).

Edited by Y&RWorldTurner

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I saw it as a kid and don't remember much except the song Zip O Dee Doo Dah. It probably has bad stereotypes like Uncle Remus, but I don't think the movie meant any harm.

I don't find Uncle Remus to be any kind of bad stereotype. He's a sweet old man that likes to tell stories. He reminds me of many people's grandpas. The same mindset that wants to erase Song of the south also wants to erase the sissy. Poor Harvey Fierstein will never work again if that comes to fruition.

Edited by alphanguy74

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Judged by today's standards a lot of films from the 30s and 40s could probably be labeled racist, including a classic like "Gone With the Wind". So why "Song of the South" has been singled out is a mystery.

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I like everyone's answers. I recently watched a loony tunes spoof on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This one was called Coal Black and de sebben dwarfs. I forgot why/how I found it but part of me felt un easy watching it as it was VERY stereotypical but part of me realized that it was a spoof on the popular Jazz theme of the 40s. Unlike others, I did not find it racist but I could see where others would feel that way. I just looked at it as how times have changed. I do not think the creators of that cartoon where meaning to be racist. That style of humor was just acceptable back then while today it is not. I wrote down part of my anti-censor ship phillosophy on that YT video. Basically I beleive that people should use comman sense. If they do not like a program, a book, a movie, or any other kind of media because they do not agree with there views or not intelligent enough to look at things in a different perspective (i did NOT write that part down) do something else. Nobody is forcing you to watch things you deem offensive. Just because someone deems something offensive that shouldn't mean it has to be banned because there are people like me that enjoys watching retrospect and enjoys looking at improvements made in society. If something new came out that was racy, such as 50 shades of grey, I do not think libraries should ban it. People should read the back of the book. See if they like it. If they do read it. If they don't move on with your life. I will never read it because people might think I am weird reading a book like that. If parents are concerned if they sons or daughters are reading/watching something that goes against the family values the parents should parent by monitoring them and explaining why a book or movie is against the family values. I would do that but I will also go a step further by saying once you are an adult make your own decision. Until then, tough.

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It's not banned in Europe because they aren't filled with racial baggage and cry babies like the US is. Even if something IS racist, trying to pretend it doesn't exist doesn't make it go away. It is what it is. People can't look upon things as a historical reflection of the times they were made and move on with their lives. The reaction should not be "Let's make sure nobody ever sees this", it should be "Thank God things are different today". Having said that, I don't feel Song Of The South Is racist.

I have never seen it but I would probably look at in terms of the era. Europe probably has a different version of racial baggage. A relative told me years ago about "Baa Baa Black Sheep" being banned from public schools in England since :black sheep" was deemed to be a racially offensive term. I found it extreme.

America's relationship with race today is complicated by "experts" and contradictions. The definition of racism is so fluid now that you can be accused of it if you look at someone the "wrong way." Look at the contradictions over the word "N" and rules about who can say it and what I consider the false claim of taking a word back that you didn't come up with in the first place. Not to mention that adding definitions to a word does not in any way erase the original intent and definition of the word. Say the word happened to be "illiterate" instead, how many people would run around embracing a word that meant something negative and pretend that modifying the spelling changed the entire definition of the word and now no one else can use it except them because it somehow empowered them even though it still meant illiterate?

I neve rsaw the movie either since it's way before my time but I did hear discussion about it o na black blog and they deemed it racist.

I wouldn't see that as any more than the opinion of whoever said it and ten of her or his friends. It is possible that a significant number of people can be convinced that something is this just because someone said it and it not be true. Look at how many people fall into line and use the term "Uncle Tom" as the equivalent of "selling out." I would love for someone who actually read the book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to explain to me who Uncle Tom sold out. They somehow manage to overlook the two slaves that told on and beat other slaves for their master, to come to the conclusion that Uncle Tom who chose not to run away but be sold because he wanted to spare his fellow slaves from being sold, betrayed someone. Apparently his crime was being subservient and my guess is that Malcolm X influenced certain people's perception of Uncle Tom which was then spread around as if Malcolm X's opinion was fact. He and Martin Luther King, Jr. took radically different approaches to the same problem, yet in today;s society the white washed version has them both on the same plane.

If 99 black bloggers say it's racist and one says it;s not, who is right? All of them because it's just an opinion and an opinion is not a fact, it;s someone's version of the truth as that individual sees it.

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ReddFoxx   

It presented an image of the south that was not real. Disney, of course specializes in fantasy, but it was pretty ridiculous even in a film set in Reconstruction to have a black person running around being happy go lucky, even fantasy is ridiculous at some point. A film like that was made in a time when blacks were not even allowed to vote or even go to proper schools, so of course there is racial connotation behind it. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I think the film is stupid.

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It presented an image of the south that was not real. Disney, of course specializes in fantasy, but it was pretty ridiculous even in a film set in Reconstruction to have a black person running around being happy go lucky, even fantasy is ridiculous at some point. A film like that was made in a time when blacks were not even allowed to vote or even go to proper schools, so of course there is racial connotation behind it. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I think the film is stupid.

I disagree with you specifically regarding it being ridiculous to believe that a black person could not be happy despite not being allowed to vote or go to proper schools. Not everyone cared about those things and so one is unlikely to be unhappy if he simply doesn't care or if those things were not at the top of his list of things that are significant in life. We have this tendency to project our own feelings onto situations but that doesn't mean that individuals of any specific time feel the same way we do about everything or even anything at all.

Would it make me angry if I were treated as less than human? Sure. Would I be unhappy all the time because of it? No. I would either accept it or fight to change it but I wouldn't let it make me unhappy.

Uncle Remus is a stereotype because people who don't care for him see him as one of those common depictions of the happy go lucky negro or the magical negro. He's the opposite of the stereotype of the angry black man. The problem with the stereotypes is that people are stupid enough or ignorant enough to believe that this is typical of all black people. The fact is that there are happy go lucky black men that give out advice and there are black men who are constantly angry but there are also happy go lucky white men and white men that are constantly angry.

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I didn't think there was any debate over Song of the South being racist and outdated. Of course it is. However, I completely disagree about it being "unavailable" here in the US. If movies like Gone with the Wind, Birth of a Nation etc can still be shown on TV then there is probably a place for Song of the South too, although airing it on the Disney Channel would probably be out of the question. That said, it didn't stop Disney from using the movie as the theme and setting for Splash Mountain did it?

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