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allmc2008

Is Song of the South racist??

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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.

Yeah, most blacks were too lazy to fight it, so they just accepted it.

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Yeah, most blacks were too lazy to fight it, so they just accepted it.

There's a huge difference between someone accepting something due to laziness and someone accepting something because though thet have the desire to fight they don't have the means.

Though there are certainly people who are lazy, I believe there are far more people who accept circumstances because they don't have the resources.

Slavery is generally discussed as if white men traveled all the way across the world to snatch black men and women from their homes to enslave them with absolutely no help. People filter out the part that makes those Africans who captured and traded fellow humans for whatever those lives were worth to them. The dehumanization started at their place of origin and continued here when it should never have happened in the first place. But it did.

The point I made is about projecting. I can only speak for myself and I'm not going to assume that people are unhappy because they lacked the freedom or ability or rights to do or have what men may have today. I said how I might have felt. I never speak for other people (even when I take a wild guess at what someone might have been thinking), because the only person I can speak for is myself.

So, yes, had I been a slave I might have been a happy one because I might have just figured that there was never going to be another option for me and if that made me lazy or stupid or dumb then I would have been a happy lazy stupid dumb slave who didn't know I wasn't supposed to ever be happy because I was a slave and that would have been my problem and no one else's.

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ReddFoxx   

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.

I should also note that during reconstruction, the Klan had just started up and a lot of blacks were being harassed and terrorized. Even if these people were fine with the fact that they couldn't vote or go to proper schools (they weren't), the factor of the Klan really can't be discounted so easily. Disney magic and the reconstruction era south just don't go together at all. At the time it was made, a preferred stereotype was to show blacks content with their place in the country and not forget that place. You have to understand that there were all sorts of backwards racial messages being portrayed in entertainment up until at least the mid 1950s.

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I should also note that during reconstruction, the Klan had just started up and a lot of blacks were being harassed and terrorized. Even if these people were fine with the fact that they couldn't vote or go to proper schools (they weren't), the factor of the Klan really can't be discounted so easily. Disney magic and the reconstruction era south just don't go together at all. At the time it was made, a preferred stereotype was to show blacks content with their place in the country and not forget that place. You have to understand that there were all sorts of backwards racial messages being portrayed in entertainment up until at least the mid 1950s.

Some of those messages of which you speak probably exist in entertainment today if you look for them. As long as people are around to take those kinds of roles then they will keep going with it. But a lot depends on perception. I used to think the problem was balance but I know better now. There are always going to be people who see things their way and take issue no matter what. People complain about not having any positive black families on tv. The Huxtables came along and people complained that they were not realistic. People complain about films depicting drug dealers and gang bangers and others say that this is reality. People complain that Tyler Perry's movies are minstrel shows and others think he's the best ever. People complain that Shonda Rhimes' black characters are not black enough. We're in a time where too many people think they can be the spokesperson for groups of people because they have this limited view (based on their own personal tastes and those of people they know) of what every black person likes or wants. That's a huge problem.

I have heard people complain about black kids sitting in the back of the bus because apparently Rosa Park didn't go through what she went through for this to happen. Well I would have thought the end result of the Civil Rights Movement was the option to choose where to sit on a bus not to force yourself to always sit in the front when you don't want to. People have the right to vote and ito go to school but don't want to or bother doing either. The people of the past seemingly would have gladly traded places with the people of today who are busy wasting opportunities because of whatever reason they choose.

The irony is those of a certain era who fought and worked so that their children could enjoy better lives than they did were the ones that felt the pain and discrimination, etc. and they persevered and kept fighting. There are people today who moan about slavery and the pre-Civil Rights Act era as if they were the ones who personally suffered through those times and they use all of that as a reason not to even try today.

And I am procrastinating because I should just write an essay on this stuff.

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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??

We watched it in primary school (along with basically every other Disney movie), and it certainly wasn't presented to us (a bunch of kids in Australia in the 90s) as something embarrassing or some sort of horrible example of racism. I'm not even sure I picked up on the fact that it was apparently suppose to be offensive- I had no real knowledge of the Civil War or slavery in America and the thing I think got most out of it at the time was that Phoebe from AMC was in it. Having knowledge of the situation now, I can see where it comes off badly, but I don't think its any worst than things like Gone With The Wind, The Jazz Singer, and Birth of A Nation or, just to stick to Disney, the Indians in Peter Pan and the crows in Dumbo.

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Some of those messages of which you speak probably exist in entertainment today if you look for them. As long as people are around to take those kinds of roles then they will keep going with it. But a lot depends on perception. I used to think the problem was balance but I know better now. There are always going to be people who see things their way and take issue no matter what. People complain about not having any positive black families on tv. The Huxtables came along and people complained that they were not realistic. People complain about films depicting drug dealers and gang bangers and others say that this is reality. People complain that Tyler Perry's movies are minstrel shows and others think he's the best ever. People complain that Shonda Rhimes' black characters are not black enough. We're in a time where too many people think they can be the spokesperson for groups of people because they have this limited view (based on their own personal tastes and those of people they know) of what every black person likes or wants. That's a huge problem.

I have heard people complain about black kids sitting in the back of the bus because apparently Rosa Park didn't go through what she went through for this to happen. Well I would have thought the end result of the Civil Rights Movement was the option to choose where to sit on a bus not to force yourself to always sit in the front when you don't want to. People have the right to vote and ito go to school but don't want to or bother doing either. The people of the past seemingly would have gladly traded places with the people of today who are busy wasting opportunities because of whatever reason they choose.

The irony is those of a certain era who fought and worked so that their children could enjoy better lives than they did were the ones that felt the pain and discrimination, etc. and they persevered and kept fighting. There are people today who moan about slavery and the pre-Civil Rights Act era as if they were the ones who personally suffered through those times and they use all of that as a reason not to even try today.

And I am procrastinating because I should just write an essay on this stuff.

That was just brilliant. Song of the South is not a movie about contentious political issues, it's basically a children's movie. The problem is that some people politicize things that aren't meant to be political in the first place. What is the alternative? Portraying blacks in reconstructionist south as people who lived lives of complete misery with no happiness whatsoever? Just because a specific movie shows you the "happy times" of someone's life, it doesn't mean that said movie is trying to say that life for those people in that period is all sunshine and lolllipops. But sometimes movies are just meant to do nothing but be inocuous and make people feel good, nothing else. It's ok that. It's a disney movie... it's not SUPPOSED to be real, Hippos cannot put on tutus and dance, elephants cannot fly, and skunks do not talk to deer in the woods. I still maintain that Uncle Remus as presented is NOT a negative stereotype, unless you look down on people for having the nerve to have a sunny disposition even if they are not rich or educated. Now... to show what a true racist cartoon is, THIS is a racist cartoon, and THIS show negative stereotypes (most rap videos show the same thing, ironically)

Edited by alphanguy74

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Roman   

Yeah, most blacks were too lazy to fight it, so they just accepted it.

Glad you know what most blacks did at that time in the nation's history.

That was just brilliant. Song of the South is not a movie about contentious political issues, it's basically a children's movie. The problem is that some people politicize things that aren't meant to be political in the first place. What is the alternative? Portraying blacks in reconstructionist south as people who lived lives of complete misery with no happiness whatsoever? Just because a specific movie shows you the "happy times" of someone's life, it doesn't mean that said movie is trying to say that life for those people in that period is all sunshine and lolllipops. But sometimes movies are just meant to do nothing but be inocuous and make people feel good, nothing else. It's ok that. It's a disney movie... it's not SUPPOSED to be real, Hippos cannot put on tutus and dance, elephants cannot fly, and skunks do not talk to deer in the woods. I still maintain that Uncle Remus as presented is NOT a negative stereotype, unless you look down on people for having the nerve to have a sunny disposition even if they are not rich or educated. Now... to show what a true racist cartoon is, THIS is a racist cartoon, and THIS show negative stereotypes (most rap videos show the same thing, ironically)

My goodness.

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SFK   

Glad you know what most blacks did at that time in the nation's history.

He was being facetious.

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Glad you know what most blacks did at that time in the nation's history.

Actually I'll make the wild assumption that it was a dig at me for having the audacity to suggest that if I were treated as less than human I would either accept it or fight to change it. How that equates to my saying or implying that "most blacks were too lazy to fight it, so they just accepted it" is beyond me. I was stupid enough to respond to it because I didn't take enough time to realize that it didn't even have anything to do with what I said so that's my fault.

That was just brilliant. Song of the South is not a movie about contentious political issues, it's basically a children's movie. The problem is that some people politicize things that aren't meant to be political in the first place. What is the alternative? Portraying blacks in reconstructionist south as people who lived lives of complete misery with no happiness whatsoever? Just because a specific movie shows you the "happy times" of someone's life, it doesn't mean that said movie is trying to say that life for those people in that period is all sunshine and lolllipops. But sometimes movies are just meant to do nothing but be inocuous and make people feel good, nothing else. It's ok that. It's a disney movie... it's not SUPPOSED to be real, Hippos cannot put on tutus and dance, elephants cannot fly, and skunks do not talk to deer in the woods. I still maintain that Uncle Remus as presented is NOT a negative stereotype, unless you look down on people for having the nerve to have a sunny disposition even if they are not rich or educated. Now... to show what a true racist cartoon is, THIS is a racist cartoon, and THIS show negative stereotypes (most rap videos show the same thing, ironically)

I tried watching some of the movie and I don't think Uncle Remus was meant to be a negative stereotype.

The cartoon is disturbing to me. I remember coming across a thread on a sports related site about who was hot and someone posted a picture of Meagan Good and one of Gabrielle Union (both in bikinis) and there were a few responses that basically said black women are not attractive. I assumed that those individuals didn't even see people but just some version of ugly which is somewhat like what that cartoon depicts. And the sad part is that some might not see that as racist because they might believe it's a true depiction or at least what they see. I can't even imagine looking at someone in such a horribly distorted way.

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What are you implying, then? You acknowledge the choices to accept it or fight to change it, but you don't acknowledge the "choice" that would have been decided for you without your input: STFU and do what I tell you or get arrested/terrorized/murdered.

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Someday I will just sit down and watch this movie on YT for myself. Even as a kid I wondered why "the movie with Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah in it" had never been released. Of course, I found out years later why, but still, that movie was last released in the US in 1986. They'll still show portions of the movie, but only the cartoon parts with the songs. I grew up listening to these songs on my Disney Collection cassette tapes and on the Disney Sing Along videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcxYwwIL5zQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=170fIOfmoeA

BTW, here's a comprehensive site dedicated to the movie:

http://www.songofthesouth.net/memorabilia/index.php

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Khan   
I don't think Uncle Remus was meant to be a negative stereotype.

Well, of course UR wasn't meant to be a negative stereotype. Doesn't change the fact, though, that he is.

Edited by Khan

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Khan   
What is the alternative? Portraying blacks in reconstructionist south as people who lived lives of complete misery with no happiness whatsoever?

Let's put it this way: it wouldn't hurt.

It's a disney movie... it's not SUPPOSED to be real, Hippos cannot put on tutus and dance, elephants cannot fly, and skunks do not talk to deer in the woods.

But there's a difference: those creations are and were anthropomorphized. UR, as a live-action character in SOTS, is not.

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Khan   
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".

No one above the age of, say, 12 should watch GWTW (even if it isn't for the first time) if they care at all about race relations. As soon as you're in high school, or whenever you take your first class in U.S. History, it's basically all over. Trust me.

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