brotherpeacemaker

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Bee Defends The Princess And The Frog – Part II

“What I don’t understand is why Tiana’s man–not one that she chased after, or even wanted for most of the movie–is such an issue. In the context of New Orleans, of the American melting pot, I think the relationship between Naveen and Tiana makes sense. Where else would she find a prince that would, in the end, give her the European style fancy dresses and traditional wedding that viewers, black and white, expect? It obviously couldn’t have been an African American man because there are no American princes. I certainly would have been upset if she had had an African prince who dressed her up in traditional clothing, denying Tiana the chance to dress up like all the other princesses (besides, of course, Pocahontas and Mulan, who both wore traditional clothing and were considerably less popular than the other Disney princesses). Maybe, then, the story should not have been set in America. But imagine the racist images the viewers would have seen if the movie had been set in Africa–the Dark Continent is still too “Other” to most Americans to allow animators to make a film without gross stereotypes. Plus, there has already been a popular Disney movie set in Africa, The Lion King.
I say all this to make the point that, in my opinion, Disney made the best Disney-princess-movie-featuring-a-black-princess they could. I recall all of the hoopla about Tiana working as a maid and being called Maddy a couple years ago when the movie was still in production. If they had put her with a black man, invariably someone would have complained that Disney thought black women were unattractive to other men, or that they didn’t support interracial marriages. No matter what they do, they’re racist. There’s no winning.
For my part, I agree with allhoney that black girls deserve a movie where the prince is hardworking and true and the princess doesn’t have to struggle for each little thing she gets. Maybe we’ll get that in The Princess and the Frog 2. Maybe a second film will allay some of the discontent and feelings of exclusion so many in the black community felt when examining the Princess and the Frog.
To answer your question, Brother, I would not have been pleased with a Maldonian princess. You’re right about that. I guess what I don’t understand is why all of the characters in the black princess’s movie have to be black. I still hold that Disney has no responsibility to provide role models for any particular group. I certainly would’ve been offended if Tiana had been some trash-talkin’, agrammatical hoochie, but that would’ve been the company’s choice and I would’ve boycotted the film and raised hell about the representation (just as you are with this issue).”
Bee

Thanks for the feedback Bee,

But I can see from your reply that you are not someone who makes caring about black people or the black community a priority in their life. You have made a variety of negative prejudiced assumptions about black people. Everyday in America black people get married and have weddings with the finest of European gowns. Why do you believe a black man would not be able to give a black woman a European styled wedding dress? This is nothing more than a glimpse at the contempt you hold for black men. You are more than ready to believe a black man simply couldn’t provide a wedding dress. It is an impossibility in your eye. But some guy from the fairy tale land of Maldonia can.

You said that all the viewers expect a black woman to have a European wedding dress. Why? In previous Disney films, the female didn’t require a fancy European wedding dress. It didn’t happen in Snow White, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas, or Mulan. Why is it required now? You stand more than ready to apply a different set of standards to this film that did not have to be made for the other films. That is disparity. And then again, why do you believe that somebody of African American descent could not provide the European wedding dress? Your rather racist assumption of the inherent inferiority of the black man is showing.

Your assumption that Africa is too unacceptable to most Americans to provide a setting for a Disney film is just another demonstration of your willingness to buy into the propaganda against people of African descent. The story Coming to America, featuring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, clearly demonstrated how America is ready to accept a story of an African prince coming to America. That movie was, and is, a box office smash hit. All kinds of people accepted the story of Prince Akeem making his trek to Queens, New York to find his bride. The movie even had the fancy European wedding dress at the end with a wedding the envy of any princess. But the fact that you want to make all kinds of assumptions as to why this wouldn’t work for Disney shows your submission to racist stereotypes that black men simply cannot do what others can because they are black men. Africa is too strange to be a setting for a successful film even though it has already been done.

You also assumed that if Disney had a film where a black woman connects to a black man somebody would argue that Tiana was not attractive to other men. This is nothing more than another nonsensical assumption on your part. Nobody said that Princess Jasmine was not attractive to other men when she made her connection to Aladdin. Nobody said anything about Mulan not being attractive to other men when she doesn’t get her Maldonian prince. Why do you keep insisting on holding this film to a totally different set of standards that don’t appear to apply to other Disney films? And even if people did get upset about Tiana being mated to a black man, you said yourself that Disney isn’t responsible for meeting people’s expectations. Why do you want to make it appear Disney had to meet people’s unfair expectations now? You appear to pick and choose when to apply your arguments and it makes you look rather hypocritical.

You claim you don’t understand why all the characters in this film have to be black. Who said they had to? This appears to be another one of your attempts to derail the discussion. Please point to any suggestion made that says all the characters had to be black? No one here has made that contention so the statement is somewhat inappropriate.

However, I will say that if this film is intended for black people, then the two characters that are to be portrayed as love interests should have been black. Why does Disney feel the need to portray two loving white characters in their other films such as Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, and such? Is it too much of a stretch to have two black people fall for each other? Or is two black people falling in love and living happily ever after a fantasy that not even Disney’s make believe magic can pull off?

You write that you would not have been happy with the film if the princess was from Maldonia. You write that if she was from Maldonia you would have raised issues with the film. But this goes to show your hypocritical nature because from the beginning you argue that Disney doesn’t have any responsibility to portray their stories in any fashion. If everything you said was true, if you believe what you have written, what would there be for you to argue about? According to you, Disney would have been racist no matter what they did. According to what you have written here, you would have no foundation to base any complaint on.

You will argue that people need to cut Disney some slack. But the idea of you not getting your role model is enough for you to threaten a boycott against the movie. I do believe that was my original statement. As long as you, a black female, get what you want from Disney it’s all rosy and nothing else really matters. It is this self centered type of thinking that really spells trouble for any future for the black community.

Peace

Thursday, January 7, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts | ,

22 Comments »

  1. Preach on Brother peacemaker. Its unfortunate that too many of our people, like Bee, have adopted a white supremacist outlook on life. Such actions will only lead to cultural “menticide” for our people, and Bee and her twin brother Carlton are leading the charge!

    MK

    Comment by Umkhonto we Sizwe | Friday, January 8, 2010 | Reply

    • I never said Bee was 100% correct, I just gave proper respects to some very well thought out points. As for saving the minds of Black children, we all are individually responsible for that. My boycott of Disney won’t save one Black child’s mind because I’m not a black child. but if I talk to my children about what they saw and what it means for our family the way BPM did for his toddler in explaining a certain episode of the The Backyardigans to him instead of totally censoring or banning the show from the house (which any parent shouldn’t hesitate to do if they think it does more harm than good) then I’m doing the more correct thing in my honest opinion. My kids are too old to enjoy a story such as The Princess and the Frog, but if they were still in that stage, I might go take them to see it if they wanted and discuss what parts I enjoyed or was bothered by like any good parent should do. I hold that rather than being out and out racist, it is more likely that Disney is a money whore and dismissive of just how important this film was going to be to black families. That mindset in and of itself isn’t totally racist. If it were, we’d have to ask Spike Lee to be more racially sensitive, too to expect parity and I enjoy my Spike Lee films just as they are, thank you very much. He has become increasingly less relevant to me as he has strayed away from making films about the black conversation. I don’t know if it’s because he was less marketable because some white people felt his honest “Do the Right Thing” was unfair, or because he wanted to show he was more than a guy who can only talk race, but he made his personal choices. You don’t hear black people calling him ‘sellout’ because he quit making “black films”. Is that because he continues to blame white folks for his every problem in the film industry? If so, I guess I’ll never have the love of any black people except the kids I work with then, because I *make* changes. I don’t have time to try to force the guy in the cubicle next to me to change or time to rant and wait while he tries to decide whether he will or not. You have to be a part of something to effect permanent change within it. But these are the people we alienate by calling them sellouts or ‘Uncle Toms’. We are social animals. So will the average person just go home and be a hermit if their “people” refuse to have civil discourse with them? I say they won’t but instead of allowing them to get in where they fit in, we continue to let ourselves be defined by some narrow view of what ‘black’ is. It makes it oh so easier for the majority and other races to box us in when we paint ourselves into a tight corner for them. I want to see the definition of what is black being broader and bigger. Black people will forever be portrayed and stereotyped as the righteous angry or the thuggish buffoon as long as we continue to only support those type of black people economically and kick out everyone else as ‘trying to be white’ or ‘white absolutionists’.

      Comment by Carlton | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Carlton,

      But you never said that Bee was any percent wrong either. And while you give her proper respect for some well thought out points, other people feel that she and people who think like her are misguided and part of the problem that continues to plague the black community.

      You say that your individual boycott of Disney won’t save one black child’s mind. But the same can be true for the individual soldier in a war. Chances are his single bullet from his rifle wouldn’t win the battle. But his bullet combined with the bullets of his fellow soldiers, together will make a force to be reckoned with in the larger picture. If the majority of the black community held together and refused to patronize Disney, the company would be more likely to meet the black community demands for more representation in order to broaden its market appeal.

      Instead, because so many black people act like the little the company does is so wonderful, Disney has no incentive to change because too many of us celebrate the crumbs they decide to give us. You might say that your boycott won’t save any black child’s mind. Your support of Disney won’t save any black child’s mind either.

      As far as Disney being compared to an episode of the Backyardigans, the difference is night and day. If my son ever saw an episode of the Backyardigans that made clear distinctions along racial lines, I would never sit passively back and allow him to ever watch that show again. It would never be allowed in the house. While you see nothing wrong with taking your children to see anything that might give black children the impression that black people may be less than our white counterparts I would never support anyone who would give my child that impression. The way I see it, me taking my child to this Disney film would be like taking him to see white people lynch a black man. There’s nothing for us to discuss, other than the fact that somebody needs to go straight to hell.

      You say you want the definition of black to be broader. But what incentive does anyone have to broaden that definition when so many of us settle for the definitions the dominant community bestows upon us? The Princess and the Frog says that women from the black community would rather date lazy men from fairytale land rather than date their own black brothers. And too many black people are ready to settle for that definition. Too many black people aren’t willing to do the hard work to save the black community. It’s much easier to let others fight for the changes in the definition of the black community.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

      • Once again, I can’t define what is right or wrong for other people. We each make our choices and we live with them. And if some of us are going to hold that Disney is racist because they don’t care how their movies effect black people, then we can’t fault white people who try to actively destroy everything black, either. Because by your own definition, if a black producer makes a “black” movie to uplift black children, he is actively seeking to destroy the minds of white children.
        You’re right, everything we do matters. The flutter of a butterfly’s wing can win or lose a decades long war. But why do we need to get out insecticide and seek to destroy “the butterfly variable” when we don’t even know what effect that action may have in the great scheme of things? We assume it can only make things better-tain’t necessarilly so. Just ask Australia about the cane toad or those of us here in the South about kudzu.
        It reminds me of a story. A guy accosted a Buddhist monk he saw with a copy of Playboy; accusing him of being a hypocrite and no kind of holy man. The monk informed him: “When looking through this magazine at pictures of beautiful, naked women I can choose carnal lust or revered appreciation of the aesthetic beauty and engineering excellence of the nude female form as was intended by our Creator. I choose the latter.” Attitude colors everything, including our relationship as black people with Disney. Black people have lined up for and against this little children’s story. Judging by the wide disparity of opinions I’ve read, it would have been close to darn impossible for Disney to make this movie in such a manner as to please all Black folks (because we are not a monolith). So they did what they do best-they made it in such a way as to make themselves some serious grip, “black opinion” be damned. It’s one reason I don’t own a company of my own-too much compromise involved and you eventually have to balance what is right with what will keep you in business. Should Disney even try to cater to 13% of the population that can’t by it’s very nature even decide what is “black” or should it write something millions of people will show up for? They made their choice and now we must make ours. I don’t care what side someone comes down on; what personal decision they make. But why does my decision have to be seen as being made in complete ignorance? Almost all of us are rational beings, (it’s a hallmark of being human) including murderers and child rapists. What differentiates us from criminals is just that their conclusion comes from a different set of experiences than ours.
        For example, that white lady who hugs her purse when I get into the elavator with her may or may not be a racist. Maybe she had a bad experience with a black mugger or maybe her parents taught her all her life that every black man is looking to take something he didn’t earn. If I have any chance of reaching that lady’s rational chain of thought and breaking it or changing it, is it best served by me yelling five inches from her face, “WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM, YOU DAMNED WHITE DEVIL!!!” or might she most be convinced to rethink her training by a succession of two thousand black men who refuse to cut their eyes or give the cold silence, or refuse to acknowledge her existence? What if instead we said “Hi” warmly and stood as far away as to keep her as comfortable as she could be in this situation? I can’t say if doing the latter will help that little old lady change her preconceived notions any but it does MY soul good and what I would expect a white gentleman to do if my grandmother was uncomfortable in his presence.

        Comment by Carlton | Saturday, January 9, 2010

      • Carlton,

        Once again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what is right or wrong, what is racist and what is not. Nobody said we have to make choices for each other. That argument is just plain stupid and adds no value to this conversation. Your insistence on returning to this refrain time and time again is rather annoying. The fact that so many black people choose to support Disney’s lame attempt at a movie intended for the black community is proof that people make their own choices. And just like a black person has the right to choose to support this movie, other black people have the right to say something about black people who make the choice to support this movie.

        Again, Disney isn’t racist because they don’t care how their movie may impact the black community. The Disney Corporation has never cared one smidgeon about their impact on black people. What appears to be racist is the fact that their movie developed with the black community in mind depicts a black woman who has to go outside the black community to develop a meaningful relationship. Why is their movie intended for black audiences depicting a black girl who makes the choice to abandon all hopes for a relationship with someone in the black community for a relationship with someone from Maldonia?

        And I’m sorry, but I don’t see how the criticism of Disney here means that nobody can “fault white people who try to actively destroy everything black”. That is one serious leap that defies every definition of intellectual logic. What definition have I given that says a black movie that uplifts black children is trying to destroy white people? Better yet, show me a black movie that destroys white people. I really would like to see where you believe this is happening.

        Now, would you like for me to demonstrate a product of Hollywood that destroys the self esteem of black children? Friends, Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, all of these shows have a common theme that can be described as the virtual absence of any noteworthy minority involvement. When it comes to Disney, we’ve already seen their productions of Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Song of the South, Alice In Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Sword In The Stone, Mary Poppins, Bed Knobs and Broomsticks, Pete’s Dragon, The Black Cauldron, The Shaggy D.A., James and the Giant Peach, The Hunch Back of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan, Recess: School’s Out, Return to Neverland, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Christmas Carol, and many, many, many others. None of these shows have any black people in any meaningful, respectable role.

        All of these productions individually are bad enough for their exclusion of black people or for the menial roles black people play in their depiction. Collectively, the subtle message that is being reinforced time and time again is that black people don’t matter. Combine these films with the constant development of so many productions from other sources and the impact to the black community cannot be denied. When black children and impressionable black people are subjected to this repetitive programming, constantly seeing images of white people combined with the virtually total lack of black people, the damage to the black child’s self esteem is measurable. Even if you had your doubts, you should know that this is a possibility if you were truly a student of psychology with concern for the black community.

        And just because there is a wide range of opinions doesn’t mean anything. There is a wide range of opinions on any subject. When do people do anything as a collective monolith? In most social circles, it’s never necessary for everyone to have buy-in before anything gets done. It is unfortunate that black people like you think the fact that there is a difference in opinion in the black community is an excuse not to do anything to try and change things for the better.

        Your talk about monks reading Playboy and white ladies in elevators and your grandma might be entertaining, but such talk really isn’t pertinent to this conversation. The subject here is Disney’s lame attempt to pacify the black community with this film. Unless your story about the monk somehow conveys his opinion about this film and its relationship to the black community, we’ll just have to save the topic of the monk for another day.

        As a black person, I refuse to give this film a pass and laud Disney as an entity that has truly made an effort to reach the black community because I’m too afraid to make change or because there are so many opinions out there that I’m afraid to say anything that might be interpreted as a true concern for the black community. Other black people feel differently. That really is a shame. For as long as we settle for crumbs, there is no incentive to give anything more.

        If you truly believed that you’re not trying to change anyone, why do you continue to come here and voice your opinion? You won’t say anything to the white woman in the elevator clutching her purse. But you want to keep coming back here to tell us that we need to give these people a break. Why the disparity? Are you not trying to make change?

        But instead of trying anything to change anyone in the dominant community who might be racist for whatever reason, you want to change black people, convince black people that it is in the black community’s best interest to tolerate white people’s racism. Don’t black people have their own reasons for the way black people think? But instead of giving us the luxury of riding the elevators and clutching our collective purse and looking at racism with a glaring eye, you’re more than ready to stand there and say something like, what the fuck is your problem you black devils.

        Peace

        Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, January 10, 2010

  2. The way some black people attack other people of color instead of trying to convince them of their point in a civilized matter makes me giggle inside. It’s so funny. It’s like a child ranting because you can’t convince him/her exactly WHY they can’t have candy before dinner. Instead of listening to what the other person is saying and trying to truly understand, the kid just waits for their turn to rant.
    It’s the wrong tack to take with someone like me. I’m evolved and adult. Not that i’m better (or worse) than any other person, but name-calling from someone who doesn’t even attempt to partake in a rational diatribe for me is like getting called a ‘poopyhead’ by a seven year old, simply hilarious. All this hate being spilled over an opinion over a movie? I simply stated that both Bee and BPM made very good points and expressed that Bee (having seen the movie) brought out some points to ponder. Yet still, I love you man, and there ain’t nothing you can do about that.

    Comment by Carlton | Friday, January 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. All I want to know is can Carlton do the Carlton Dance from Fresh Prince of Bel Air? That alone will immunize him from any critical thoughts by me!

    Sorry, but its been a while since I’ve contributed one of my idiot thoughts of the day!

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Friday, January 8, 2010 | Reply

  4. Mike,
    That used to be the most irritating thing about having this name. Older people used to always give me the “This is Carlton, your doorman” line from the 70’s show “Rhoda”. I take it all in good fun now. This past September I played in a charity softball tournament to help foster kids. The announcer started singing “It’s Not Unusual” when I came up to bat. I started doing the dance and got the other team so thrown off I got a double. Anybody who’s played Chicago style baseball knows how hard that is to do. So I’ve got a sense of humour about the name; it’s not like I picked it or anything.

    Comment by Carlton | Friday, January 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the feedback Carlton,

    The rant that you accuse Umkhonto we Sizwe of isn’t a reaction that happened in a vacuum. It’s not the irrational reaction from a child. Although your comment in itself is fairly innocuous in its support of Bee, who’s devotion to the black community is highly questionable, combined with your own history of arguments supporting the continued disparity of the black community, one could hardly dismiss the comment as little more than a rant. What you dismiss as nothing but hilarity, I see as a sign of frustration. While you are dismissing Umkhonto we Sizwe’s comment as nothing but a rant from a child, he dismisses your comment as nothing but hollow praise of anything that supports the subjugation of black people.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. I really appreciate your views brotherpeacemaker. I have felt many of the same feelings toward this movie since I first heard it was in production. The prince should have been black and Disney knows this. They went out of their way to “make him up” so no one can claim about historical accuracy. There however ARE black African royalty and could have chosen any numerous African stories to choose from….anyways getting back to the point..lol.

    With that I fully expect to see the next white Disney princess….ahem! Rapunzel, with a black or non-white prince. But of course this will never be the case. Because only black people need to be “open-minded” when it comes to the way we are represented. This is same old Disney doing what they do best. I saw the movie and it was as I had expected. Over the top singing, dancing, and “humor”.Often quite nerve grating and quite lacking in dialogue, though it had its positive messages/moments. But I was not expecting a perfect fairytale. That is for us, black people to create for ourselves. Only then will we be able to define what a black prince and princess is meant to embody. Elegance, wisdom, beauty and respect. This is what our little girls need to see. Not expecting other people to tell our stories for us. Almost no other people do this but us.

    Comment by Leene | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

  7. Thanks for the feedback Leene,

    But I know for a fact that the Disney Corporation would never allow their name to be associated with anything that benefits the black community, because if it benefits the black community it must be against the dominant white community. As far as us doing it for ourselves, when will black people have the resources to do something as well as a Disney production? And when will we have the resources for distribution and marketing as well? If Disney can do it for the white community, why can’t they do it for the black community with the same level of respect? Black people should stop patronizing Disney and maybe then they will learn to appreciate the black community instead of trying to sell us the kind of bull you see on movies like the Princes and the Frog. But that require that the black community finds things like this movie despicable. And it appears that way too many black people love this movie for something like that to happen.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

  8. Miss Leene,
    I agree with you, but you are not allowed to encourage individual black producers and creative people to be productive and “leave other black folks behind”. It’s seen as being ignorant of the bigger problem which is, in essence, getting these white folks to change. I won’t hold my breath. To say black people have to wait on white folks to change puts us in a very precarious situation as a people. Our success is dependent upon their change instead of our action. If Chief Carl M. Brashear had waited on those white folks to change before he became the first black Navy diver, simply going out and making speeches and calling them names, he would have been an old man still waiting for these people to come to their senses (and may I add a bitter, nonproductive man). When something is racist and pervasive, such as the ‘white messiah’ theme that runs through “Avatar” and almost every sci-fi movie made, I don’t mind pointing it out. But I can’t dwell on it or waste time playing Quixote to their windmill. I just encourage the kids I work with to do what they can to change things for themselves and their community.
    As for my response to name-calling, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not people *think* they have a good right to be dismissive and rude. I have standards and I try to stick to them. Like any other human, I get angry or frustrated sometimes but I stopped namecalling in middle school; it just does little to fix a situation. What name could we have called Hitler to get him to take a look inside himself? I can’t think of one. It may not have even helped to have a civil sitdown of mutual respect with the man, either. But to namecall would simply serve your immediate baser sensibilities. Being civil, I believe, better serves my eternal soul. But in the end, everybody’s got to do what they feel works for them. So if going around dismissing other black folks from an already small fold makes someone feel as if they are contributing by calling names and being rude, who am I to say they are wrong? I’m just a man, too. I might be wrong. These are just opinions people, nobody will care what I or anyone else wrote here in a hundred years most likely. I visit these blogs and comment sporadically because it’s fun and as a lover of my race, enjoy reading people’s thoughts. But for me, personally, calling someone an Uncle Tom or saying they don’t matter in the larger conversation isn’t helpful. I can share this world with a Muslim fundamentalist, Hindu, Buddhist or even a Southern Baptist as long as we uphold a mutual respect for each other. But the minute we start to namecall and say someone else’s worldview doesn’t matter is when it starts to fall apart, I believe. If we would all just give up our “right to be right” on every little point, we’ll see the status quo eventually change because the individual success of each of our people will ensure it. I grew up in the projects (and still live a mere mile away) and work there now. If a kid wants to follow me out and learn some things other than what pearls he can find there, I will offer him my hand and help him blaze a path back and forth.

    Comment by Carlton | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Carlton, I wasn’t engaged in name calling. I was simply calling you WHAT YOU ARE (A JIVE ASS UNCLE TOM!). I have been a long time reader of brother peacemaker, and the comments that you have made in multiple threads have caused me to draw my conclusion. Unlike brother peacemaker, the Black sentinel, and other who are truly interested in the collective interest of our people, you have been a consistent defender of white supremacy and the denigration of the black community.

      Comment by Umkhonto we Sizwe | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Reply

  9. Thanks for the feedback Carlton,

    But who knows what is being written today will matter to anyone a hundred years from now. Seventy years ago, a little Jewish white girl hiding in an attic in Germany probably never thought the things she was writing in her diary would ever see the light of day. But these days, The Diary of Anne Frank is standard reading for a lot of kids going through school.

    And if you truly didn’t think it would make a difference, why leave a comment at all? Obviously you care enough to make your opinion known to other people today. It is the present that matters to most of us now. Hopefully, the things we do and say will influence each other now and the future enough to make things better. You might not think your words will have any impact. But then again they might.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Your Anne Frank point is a very good one. I agree. I think where I have a problem with some people who have attacked me is that I am a man of action and logic. Opinions and emotion to me are just fun to hear. I express my opinion because I hope someone hears and considers it and I believe it important that we all formulate an opinion rather than be apathetic about our situations. It doesn’t hurt my feelings or send me into attack mode if someone disagrees. I don’t see myself as more right than anyone else and I think that other people don’t believe me when I say that (probably because they see themselves AS their opinion rather than their opinions beng an extension of themselves). If I say something they feel as counter to their mindset, they perceive it as an attack. It almost never is. I’m a peace-loving hippie. I just like civil conversation. I’m not out to change the world despite the fact that I do know words hold some power.

      Comment by Carlton | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Reply

  10. I do tend to ramble. That’s the way my mind works. But this time I’ll try to stick to Disney. I never said that black people have to put up with racism. I want them to be aware of it at all times and not just idly accept it. I don’t fault anyone who wants to boycott this movie or write Disney a letter showing them just what points they are offended by. However the focus has to be us as a people that do the changing because we can do nothing as humans to change another human being who isn’t open to that change. Corporations, however, can be touched a little. If we can effect their pocketbooks, we can cause some change.
    But if I’m going to be totally honest, I have to say, Disney is more ignorant and greedy than racist. Back in the day, they did loads of cartoons of Africans with bones in their noses saying “booga booga” and throwing spears or wide-eyed negroes running from ghosts. But those images have all but disappeared.
    Despite whatever trend is out there, most of us black men are married to black women. So it comes to this: why did Disney ignore the truth? Is it because they are racist pigs actively seeking to deny black children an accurate depiction of black life? Or are they simply trying to make this movie as marketable as possible to every kid of every color? I hold the latter is true.
    And it’s not like we as black people don’t have our opportunities. BET, TVOne, Spike Lee, Will Smith & Denzel and other black millionaires all have access. These are the people we need to try to convince to make more positive entertainment. Disney will never get it right because they don’t care about blackness; their only concern is greenness. You make something specifically to lift up the black race and we are only 13% of the population. Some of us are too poor to afford the $30 or more it takes to get our kids to a movie so the profit margin on such a film is going to be low anyway. Disney is not going to make a black cartoon the way we’d like to see one because it simply doesn’t help their pocketbooks. Shoot, I’m guessing we’d be hard put to find a black production company that makes one the way we’d like either because like Leene said we are the only group not focusing on making our own stuff, profit margin be damned. Israelis, Chinese, Mexicans, Muslims, Indians, they all make their own entertainment and have given up on trying to get Disney, Miramax, or FOX to make a movie they would be proud to take their children to. They just buy their DVD’s at the market and leave Disney to do what Disney does best-churn out smarmy crap that makes the majority that don’t question how these movies may be affecting their kids to continue to line Disney’s pockets. So in conclusion, I’m not taking sides here. So many people believe that either you or Bee have to be correct. I refuse to hold that. You both make some very pertinent points. And both sides are relevant and actually support black people.

    Comment by Carlton | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Carlton,

      I have been following your back and forth conversation with BrotherP on this topic and just had to ask a few questions about some of your statements. You said “Disney will never get it right because they don’t care about blackness; their only concern is greenness. You make something specifically to lift up the black race and we are only 13% of the population.” Why don’t you tell me at what percentage of the population we need to be in order for it to make sense or become profitable to make movies which uplift our community? Because the last time I checked, Asians are less than 5% of the American population. But somehow Disney saw fit to make Mulan which was an actual Chinese fable with an entirely Chinese cast of cartoon characters. And if we go by this being a film about the Chinese race, then they are only 1.5% of the American population. Yet, they still decided to make ALL the characters Chinese. They didn’t need to have Mulan run off with some racially ambiguous prince from Maldonia in order for the movie to be successful.

      Not only did they not do that, they went so far as to set the movie in China not the US. So they also must have known that it would not offend Chinese or white Americans. Yet, somehow I should believe that since blacks, even though they are a larger percentage of the population, should not expect to have anything close to the movie Mulan. Disney felt that it wanted to portray Chinese culture correctly so they sent their artistic directors to China for three weeks to soak up the atmosphere and get a feel for the culture they planned to represent on the big cartoon screen.

      And for The Princess and the Frog they sent no one nowhere and got no ideas. But somehow Bee and apparently you, think that we should be thankful that they put that kind of effort into it. Disney was able to find a Chinese fable and an Arab fable but said they couldn’t find any African fables, really? Or did they not bother to try? This is why we don’t have a palatable black Disney film now. Because we don’t hold these Disney bigots accountable. They are in the business of making cartoons for American people. And the last time I checked blacks are Americans and deserve to be represented regardless of who produces the movie.

      And the Arab community is only about 1% of the American population. But that didn’t stop Disney from making Aladdin. And they also set the movie in the Middle East. Not in Deborn Michigan which has the largest population of Arab American citizens here in America. But for some reason we had to settle for New Orleans instead of maybe Africa. Even though America has no African American princesses or princes which Bee who is so full of insightful wisdom, let us know. Well did it ever occur to Bee that Disney didn’t even bother to use a black fable for this so called black princess either?

      Yet, Disney again went out of its way to at least get someone of middle eastern descent to ensure the correctness of scenery etc. But again, instead of holding Disney accountable for their obvious racial bias, people such as Bee whom you defend wish to ignore what they HAVE done for other races without all the controversy. There isn’t one reason why Disney couldn’t find one of the many African, Brazilian, and if they really wanted to include voodoo, then Haitian fables which they could match a a black princess with a black prince. Not some racially generic non existent man from Maldonia.

      So to me it is totally obvious that Disney’s only interest isn’t in making movies marketable to as many races of kids as possible. And why is it that only blacks need to find a way to circumvent Disney or whatever company in order to make our own films. Other races of people are happily represented and yet in order for us to be happily represented, we have to wait until we can do it for ourselves. Isn’t that racist? I mean you do realize that not only do we need to find the capital to make the movie but market it as well. All without using white owned and operated firms which turn down black produced films which don’t meet their criteria, daily. And exactly what movie theaters are we going to place these movies in? Oh, right we are supposed to build our own theaters as well, right. So, I guess all that black people need to do is just start our own Bollywood. Come on.

      And so in closing. You claim that you are not picking sides and so I guess are claiming neutrality. Just remember this Carlton, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

      Thanks.

      Comment by theblacksentinel | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Reply

  11. Carlton,

    Again, you claim that you’re not out to try and change anybody. But then you write that the focus is on black people who have to change because we as humans can do nothing to change another human being who isn’t open to change. What if the black community isn’t open to changing into the caricatures the dominant community wants us to be? In essence, you’re saying that white people have the right to demand that black people have to change, but not the converse. This is evidence of your willingness as a black man to conform to racial disparity.

    Your willingness to recognize white people’s right not to change while advocating that black people must change is very telling. How do you honestly reconcile the two and then describe yourself as someone with a love of the black community?

    And you are correct that Disney is more greedy than racist. But what does that difference have to do with anything? Back in the day a plantation owner was more greedy than racist. A plantation owner didn’t buy African slaves because he was a racist. The plantation owner bought the slaves because he wanted to take advantage of the institutionalized racism that allowed black people to be sold as slaves. Nevertheless, the fact should not be forgotten that the bottom line was America’s most blatant form of racism. Who cares if it was fueled by greed or by racial bigotry? The end result was racial disparity.

    Your contention that Disney’s motivations for not producing this movie with a loving black couple was a focus on their profit margin does not ring very true either. The fact that black people only make up thirteen percent of the American population is an excuse for not doing a black couple really is a reach. Arab Americans make up less than one-point-one-five percent of the population and yet Disney did Aladdin. So what gives? Besides, what percent of the American population comes from the fairytale land of Maldonia? Why do they get represented at all?

    And then we have the excuse that a lot of black people can’t afford the thirty dollars or so to see a black film. If that’s the case, why did Disney do a black film at all? Why not just stick to the old formula of only white people? Probably because this excuse doesn’t hold much water either. There are a lot of black people who can afford to go see movies on a regular basis. And the fact that there are a lot of broke white people doesn’t keep anyone from producing all white films. This is just another excuse without any substance.

    BET and TV One are not institutions designed for the uplift of the black community. In fact, these two stations are more suited to keeping black people distracted from the real issues affecting and plaguing the black community instead of educating black people on issues of race and discrimination.

    And it sounds good to say Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and other high profile black celebrities should get together and do for the black community. But these black people get their checks by working for white dominated institutions. Why would they do anything to change things when it’s pretty obvious that there are way too many people in the black community that don’t mind today’s racial status quo where movies about black girls falling for people from Maldonia are hailed as something that deserves celebration. I know if I was Denzel, I wouldn’t be sticking my neck out to rock the boat when I see so many black people drinking this Maldonian tainted dribble.

    So in conclusion, you say that you’re not picking sides. But I must beg to differ. From the moment you came to this blog you admitted that you wanted to defend the white community from black people because black people were so unfair. Do you remember making a comment that black people wanted to wear their dashiki clothing into the boardroom of IBM? You once said that you would confront racism wherever you saw racism. Yet, in your last comment, you said that you couldn’t do anything to change the white lady in the elevator who would clutch her purse at the sight of a black man. That woman is a racist. Way to confront her racism!

    You might think that all black people are pertinent to the black community. But there are black people who are collaborators in the subjugation of black people and would be loathe doing anything to criticize the dominant community. There are black people who are much more supportive of racism and any and all institutions that would keep the black community stuck in this racially skewed mess. I refuse to accept black people who embrace racism, who in fact need racism in order to show their loyalty to the dominant community, and appear to stand out in the dominant community’s eye.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Well said brother peacemaker. But as many others have told you, Carlton is a lost cause. People like him are much more destructive to our community than the KKK ever was. And the worst part about it is that he thinks that we are (people who think like us) wrong!

      Comment by Umkhonto we Sizwe | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Umkhonto we Sizwe,

      Carlton might be a lost cause. I will admit that I find that his comments aren’t very uplifting to black community spirit. But like before, I want to take his assumptions and show them to be rather absurd and truly void of anything resembling logic. His arguments, like the arguments from Bee, fall apart under the slightest examination. The more we work to show people that we should stand up and challenge the ones who defend the racial status quo the more people we will have thinking about the betterment of our communities.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, January 10, 2010 | Reply

  12. Dang… and I thought ya’ll were in here talking about the Esu character in the Princess and the Frog LOL

    Comment by Crystal | Tuesday, January 12, 2010 | Reply

  13. its rcist

    Comment by jose | Friday, June 18, 2010 | Reply


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