I have been asked why it bothers me that such things as removing Disney’s Peter Pan, Dumbo, or the cartoon Pepe La Pew, when they are meaningless to someone of my age. My response has been that it is not the specific action that bothers me it is the stupidity of it. Emotional reactions are more destructive to society than discussing things logically. Returning to Pepe Le Pew, it is now suggested that his affection for Penelope Pussycat is symbolic of a “rape-revenge narrative” in many cases it was Penelope who became the aggressor. In the end, it is a cartoon. The Indians/Native Americans, characterization is viewed as degrading. The degrading imagery of the crows in Dumbo, with one named Jim Crow is the closest thing that needs to be removed, yet again it is a cartoon, and the crows could be revoiced and renamed without effecting the story. The story lines are either educational or just comical there is no reason to deny them to future generations
Recently in North Carolina a class of 4th graders was given an assignment to write tweets as if they were in the Civil War era. In an article in the Washington Post the assignment was made to look like a white supremacist workbook. Some of the students wrote, to quote the article, “You may not agree with slavery but I do and I’m honest about it. #SlaveryforLife,” read one, above the made-up account name @dontStopSlavery. Said another, using the handle @Confederate4life: “Why do we need to leave the country? We can stay and our slaves! #SLAVERYFOREVER.” It is important to remember this was an assignment to teach the thinking of a bygone era. There was nowhere in the story about the any after discussion, what was the lesson learned. Was it possible that afterward there was a discussion about how the view of race has changed over the years and what we need to know today, that would be education, not political correctness. Even a member of the local NAACP and former member of the Board of education said: “that the lack of context made it appear as if the students were espousing racist messages themselves rather than showing what they believed people might have written during the Civil War.”, but then continued “It should be deeply disturbing to anyone,”
We are losing connection with our past and attempting to rewrite history to the current narrative. To disconnect from our history, warts, and all, makes it impossible to move forward in an orderly fashion and leads to emotional and reactionary laws. We cannot govern this way and expect our society to progress. To forget the past or worse to rewrite it, is the sure and certain road to losing everything we hold dear as a nation.