Rants & Epiphanies
“Wisdom that will bless I, who live in the spiral joy born at the utter end of a black prayer.” • — Keiji Haino
“The subject of human creativity is not an ethnic-centric, but a composite subject.” • — Anthony Braxton
“… It is not my mode of thought that has caused my misfortunes, but the mode of thought of others.” • — The Marquis de Sade

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Racial Profiling || When The Stupid Claim Superiority

As long there are stupid people around …
Tell lies, insult a dark skinned, you get a rise.
Some things never change.

Racists are insecure.

Do you think Mickey Mouse was based off of blackface?


Short answer: Yes

Long media studies answer: Yes, and it’s not really a matter of opinion so much as fact, lol.
As many cultural historians have pointed out, the classic American animated cartoons emerged from the same milieu that produced blackface performances (like the Amos and Andy show) and minstrel music. Many of the great early animated characters — Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, Bosko — had more than a touch of blackface and the minstrel show to them.
Source <- (a good 101 read on the subject)
To some degree, most introductory cartoons from the 1920s/30s drew from vaudeville -Blackface and minstrel aesthetic included- when it came to both character design and content. And by most, I mean Disney, Warner Brothers (Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes), MGM, and R.K.O.
The influence lasted well into the 1950’s for most, too.

Although Disney was still hitting us with that Jungle Book/King Louie/I wanna be like you racism well into the 1960’s, but I digress.
((If you’re looking for a 1920s cartoon character/mascot that was most definitely hella omgwtf based on Vaudvillian blackface acts, check out the original design for Warner Brothers’ character Bosko.
Not the cute retcon’d Tiny Toons version; the original—

The image doesn’t do Bosko and Honey justice though. You can watch The Talk Ink Kid for animated confirmation. There’s even a really racist Asian-stereotype moment! Wowzers.))
Longer media studies answer with bonus content: 
So that’s in terms of design.
 In terms of content, the studios of that time did some hella racist stuff—shoutout bugs bunny—and Disney/Mickey Mouse was no exception.
Our dear mouse-pal has straight up appeared in blackface—
Source: Mickey’s Mellerdrammer
Depicted extremely shitty caricatures of Africans—

Source: Trader Mickey
(note the cab calloway sounding music around that 4:40 mark~).
And the Disney comic books are much of the same—

"Voodoo Hoodoo" - 1949

"Voodoo Hoodoo" - 1949

"Lost In the Andes" - 1949(Images from Comic Book Resources

"Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Annual: A Black Outlook" -1932

"Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Annual: A Black Outlook" -1932
(Original images from Moments In Time).

So it was the whole shebang, really.
Of course, over time the studios have delivered some major character design overhauls and mostly stepped away from those origins.
More reading on the subject:
- jt
» Asked by Anonymous

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