What’s especially unfair about those who condemn blacks who criticize The Princess and the Frog is that whites, as a race, are not condemned as ungrateful or otherwise for critiquing the numerous white Disney princesses (or society at large.) Whites have taken Disney to task over white princesses’ independence, agency, body size, beauty, and intelligence among other things.
There are academics and writers who have built a discipline out of critiquing Disney – particularly its princesses. While some whites now paint Disney as a desperate corporation scrambling to alter Tiana and assuage the endless demands of blacks, they fail to note how Ariel was the headstrong response to white complaints about obedient Cinderella and Belle was the feminist response to white criticism about willing-to-give-up-her-voice-for-a-man Ariel. Whites have made countless demands about their heroines, and Disney has altered their creations in response to those demands.
Yet whites also know that if any given princess isn’t pleasing, in a few years another will be created. This is the first and most likely last black Disney princess. After all, while Disney repeatedly makes white princesses, it has yet to create more than one princess from the same minority ethnic group. In that light, it’s important to get Tiana right on the first (and probably only) shot. from a larger essay about the Princess and the Frog on Racialicious. I originally read this and posted about it a few years ago, when I was starting this blog. So those last few lines especially struck me this time… because it was so right. Since that was written, both Rapunzel and Merida became princesses. Anna’s in the works. Anyway, the entire essay is worth reading. (via feministdisney)
And of course, isn’t that new show ‘the new normal’ about two white cis gay men? hmph.
I kept beating the drum on this when people were painting DADT as a “white gay male” issue when black lesbians and bisexual women were the ones disproportionately being discharged under the policy. QWOC (esp. black) families are more likely to be in poverty too. Nobody seems to want to address that. Every issue impacting queer people, even the ones people think are a waste of time or w/e impact QPOC that much worse due to intersectional concerns.
Disliking hip-hop doesn’t make you a racist any more than liking hip-hop makes you not a racist, and I’m sure there are plenty of Stormfront enthusiasts with Rick Ross in their iTunes. If you don’t like Jay-Z because you just don’t like the way he sounds, or you’re sick of his cloying ubiquity, or you wish he’d talk about something other than where he’s from for five seconds—hey, I’m not mad, I don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons. But if you don’t like rap music—a genre that contains multitudes—because of a self-satisfied moralism, or because you’re scared of it, or because you wish those people would stop talking about their problems and get out of your television and radio and kids’ bedrooms: well.
And I’m not just talking about the American right, I’m talking about all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
Rap music doesn’t get unarmed kids shot to death, “it’s different” does. “It’s different” infuses “these assholes always get away” and gives solace to people who hear that sound bite and nod their empty heads in agreement. “It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.
“It’s different” makes me shake with anger because it turns music into a dog-whistle to justify the murder of a kid who doesn’t seem all that “different” from me was when I was his age, not that different at all. I liked Skittles and hoodies and weed, too. And yeah, I’m white and never worried about getting shot for any of it, which is only the most loathsome excuse for not identifying with someone that I can possibly think of. Jack Hamilton, “America Is Dying Slowly: Talking About Hip-Hop After Trayvon Martin” (Good)
Can I just
[Spoilers for Merlin 5.06 and rants about race in the media under cut.]
[I haven’t watched past 5.06 yet, so my wording here doesn’t reflect any spoilers for anything after this episode.]