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They’re just trolling us now…

Despite everything going on in the world today, the second most read article at the BBC News website when I checked the news this morning was this one: Tom and Jerry cartoons carry racism warning. It’s from Amazon’s streaming service (formerly LoveFilm) and the warning on Volume 2 is:

“Tom and Jerry shorts may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today.”

Emphasis mine, because of the staggering presumption of “wrong then.”

The problem, not surprising, is the character the Wikipedia article refers to as “Mammy two shoes” — presumably because she looks like the classic 19th C mammy character, and all you usually ever see are her legs.

I’m going to cry foul on anyone who calls her “the maid character” though. I’m sure I’ve seen every Tom and Jerry ever, and I recall *no* evidence she was not in her own home and mistress thereof. Thomas is clearly her cat, she’s dressed in the sort slobbing-around-the-house clothes I seriously doubt she’d wear to work. I think she makes herself a sandwich in one episode.

So this is racist because…she’s fat like Mammy? Because she talks like an American black person? Because she’s wearing slobbing-around-the-house clothes? Really, I think we have a right to insist class warriors tell us specifically what parts of this character are offensive. Because I think the answer would be far more racist than the question.

Oh, insult to injury — and I honestly don’t know if they’re flat-out trolling — this from the Telegraph today.

How the hell did we get to the point that a cartoon Siamese cat with chopsticks is some kind of deadly racist stereotype?


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: October 1, 2014, 7:26 pm

I think the habit of seeing OMGRACISM everywhere is a side-effect of being fundamentally racialist.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: October 1, 2014, 7:50 pm

I always point people who bring up this stupidity to Elmer Fudd. You figure that’s a flattering portrayal of white people, do you? Hey, guess what, its a cartoon: EVERYONE is an idiotic stereotype and acts like a buffoon. That’s the point, its exaggerated and silly and the characters are cartoonish. BECAUSE ITS A CARTOON DAMMIT.

Comment from Bikeboy
Time: October 1, 2014, 9:36 pm

Thank GOODNESS there are people whose mission in life is to be offended by as many things as possible! Because I just don’t have time for most of that stuff.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 1, 2014, 10:16 pm

It would have been far better to say “The cartoons presented here represent cultural views of a past time, and may be offensive to some modern viewers. However, in the interests of historical accuracy, they are presented complete and unedited. Viewer discretion is advised.” More accurate, and less Whambulance material…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 1, 2014, 10:52 pm

It’s a shame about the Daily Telegraph.

It’s being destroyed day by day, like a fine old building having one brick stolen by vandals every morning.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 1, 2014, 11:07 pm

Could be worse, UB. TheMailOnline just hired Piers Morgan as their chief US editor…

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 1, 2014, 11:33 pm

People who spend all day looking for these kinds of grievances to bitch about don’t have enough to do…they should be taught how to work in the mines…at least that way they can contribute something…if nothing else, they can be the canary :>

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: October 2, 2014, 12:02 am

I have a first generation CD of Song of the South. Try to find that on Amazon.

Don’t even think about Amos ‘n Andy. I’m bitter about A&A actually. Those were brilliant black comedians doing brilliant comedy.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 2, 2014, 12:08 am

And don’t ever use the words Tar Baby in public, even if you know precisely who the Tar Baby was, and the context supports the usage. It won’t matter.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: October 2, 2014, 12:41 am

My six Siamese and Oriental cats agree unanimously that Si and Am are not racist. They do, however, consider it racist to automatically assume that a black woman in an apron is necessarily a maid, and they furthermore suggest that the knee-jerk insistence on seeing everything through a racist prism is a psychological confession that the tribalist lefty troglodytes at Amazon would be well advised to keep to themselves, as it says more about the left than about cartoonists, none of it flattering. But then, they’re cats, so that’s just the kind of thing you’d expect them to say.

Comment from Frit
Time: October 2, 2014, 2:07 am

QuasiModo, I like how you think! 😉

Paula Douglas, your cats have more sense than many humans. 🙂

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 2, 2014, 4:11 am

Cheers, Frit! :+)

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 2, 2014, 9:00 am

LOL.. I think someone at Fox News is paying attention to your blog there, Stoatie. Fox and Friends First just announced the story in their lineup this morning….

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 2, 2014, 2:11 pm

I had written a long rant but decided to delete it…. It’s as pointless as complaining about the weather.

To a hammer everything looks like a nail. To an activist, everything looks like racism. They are loving the attention this charge gets them, and are -at this very instant-.looking for something else to complain about.

As for Amos and Andy; I sometimes wonder what the reaction would be if Gomer and Barney in the “Andy of Mayberry” TV series were Black, and given exactly the same lines to speak.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 2, 2014, 3:06 pm

Here is an interesting story –


Here is the most interesting part:

Cramblett said she and Zinkon love their 2-year-old daughter, Payton, very much and wouldn’t change anything about her. But they are concerned about raising her in the predominantly white community where they live.

The lawsuit said they had moved from Akron to Uniontown for better schools and to be closer to Cramblett’s family. She said that as a lesbian she has felt the sting of prejudice but doesn’t know what it’s like to be mistreated because of her skin color.

The lawsuit says Cramblett also is worried about how Payton will be treated in her “all-white, and often unconsciously insensitive family.”

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 2, 2014, 3:17 pm

I am frequently dressed like the character in the image above, and I am so white I reflect light.

Comment from Clifford Skridlow
Time: October 2, 2014, 3:41 pm

I am reminded of an occasion when an elderly oriental man came into my liquor store and asked for “Oak Low”. After a number of inquiries on my part as to exactly what “Oak Low” might be, he became visibly frustrated and said “Oak Low! Oak Low!, Like brack birds that sing and dance in Dumbo!”.

For a really fine excuse to rant and cry racism, try this:
Some of Bob Clampitt’s best work.

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: October 4, 2014, 8:44 pm

IIRC, at one point in re-broadcasts they altered the “mammy” character to a heavily stereotyped Irish housekeeper. You know, because Irish immigrants in the US had no ethnically based prejudices to overcome…

But hey, she wasn’t black anymore, so it was all good.

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