Thursday, November 18, 2010
Subverting Ideologies? or Respressing Them.....???
I started my morning attempting to do something productive instead of wallowing in the regret of these past few months. After waking up in a borrowed room, and sleeping in a borrowed bed, I decided to do my homework that Ive been avoiding since September. There is just something about American Literature with Dr. Irby that grinds my gears. The lady is just so aloof! We were assigned to watch a video entitled Native Voices which illustrated the importance of oral tradition and the true American Narrative. Then I moved to Utopian something or another about the puritans and how they striped the land from the natives and persecuted the Quakers by cutting off their ears and slitting their noses. Lol good stuff right. I then remembered Ethnic Notions, a documentary about the evolution of black stereotypes in America, a topic we vaguely brushed in critically approaches a couple weeks ago. As I was watching the 3rd installment of the series on YouTube, I became intrigued with the way blacks were portrayed in films and media for children.
This led my thought processes to the most recent stain in black culture as it's depicted by Disney, "The Princess and the Frog". I can sit here and repeat everything that every other informed commentator has said but hey we all know she was a frog the entire movie. From that point I googled these exact words [racism + disney]. From my research I came upon a very informative website listing the 9 most racist disney films ever. Now remember, we've all grown up with the Disney classics, so any derivative of that "where dreams come true" persona is taken with disdain. However, the thing that disturbed me most as I went through the list of cartoons was my own reaction. Ive been so interpellated and conditioned that I never realized my enjoyment of these so called "family cartoons". Instead of being disgusted, i found myself tapping my foot and humming along to the jingle of "I want to be like you". When all along disney is spitting in my face, reinforcing the fact that blacks can never be comfortable in their own skin because they are always striving to be white. Striving to change their pigment and relate to something that they simply will never be. Ive been conditioned to overlook the disgraces of society and in consequence Ive become docile. Like the friendly neighborhood Sambo, saying "ye' sah masah sah". Ye sah, white man do whatever you like, stomp on my race and my pride and my people while I obediently smile. Ye sah, white man, close down our HBCU's so that we may assimilate and strive to be something God never intended us to be. "Ye sah masah" as I tap my foot and do a jig to the racist banter you call a disney masterpiece! NO SIR MASTER NOTHING!
I am not a slave. It is wounding that whenever the term "African American" is uttered the subject of slavery has become synonymous with it. Every black person today cares about race relations, I don't truly believe you can find one who does not, but most have been conditioned and trained to be submissive. No longer do we fight; we have become stagnant in our goal for change. Somehow slavery has ended with the election of Obama? But is this not the beginning? Is it not time, now more than ever to overthrow the hegemony and revolt against the ideologies that have suppressed every person who is NOT white. It is time that we no longer consider ourselves as "the other" but now we are "the standard".
If you'd like to view any of the websites and videos they are listed for you below: