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Thread: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    Leopold was just misunderstood
    You can't make up apologist schizophrenia.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Go grab your copy of Mein Kampf and see.
    Lol, you're familiar with Nazi books. You know who else is familiar with those books? Nazis.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Call it a day Fiddy. This guy is an apologist. He hides behind "in their context" and then ignores the colonial context not to mention completely dismisses barbaric history of the Belgian Congo (see Leopold) - which is a large part of the story's extensive context. Only on DP folks.
    Dude doesn't get context or nuance.
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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    In the context of the Belgium congo, there wasn't much to redeem it. It's probably the worst example of western colonialism one can cite, with leopold basically treatinG everyone and everything within it as his personal property, to do as he willed. It's little coincidence it served as the setting for Conrad's "heart of Darkness"
    When colonial France and colonial Britain are telling you to chill the **** out, you can tell something ain't going right.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    In the context of the Belgium congo, there wasn't much to redeem it. It's probably the worst example of western colonialism one can cite, with leopold basically treatinG everyone and everything within it as his personal property, to do as he willed. It's little coincidence it served as the setting for Conrad's "heart of Darkness"
    No, I absolutely agree. Humanitarian conditions in the Congo were appalling and completely inexcusable.

    However, you can't really blame a silly children's book for that.

    As I said, it was a product of its time.

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Gathomas88 View Post
    No, I absolutely agree. Humanitarian conditions in the Congo were appalling and completely inexcusable.

    However, you can't really blame a silly children's book for that.
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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    They were primarily objecting to the attitudes and cultural ideas presented in the work, not the connection to the Belgian Congo. That was tossed in as an afterthought.

    Frankly, they weren't even complaining about overt expressions of these ideas either, but the fact that they existed as underlying themes in the book's plot.

    I'm sorry, but I simply don't find the idea of a book being written from a perspective that I happen to disagree with as being all that offensive; especially not when the book in question happens to be almost a century old. It was a product of its time. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    Hell, many of the ideas they are objecting to here continue to persist even in modern media. The idea of an "invincible almighty white man teaching helpless natives and becoming their leader" remains a popular theme to this very day.

    Ever seen Avatar, for instance?

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Gathomas88 View Post
    They were primarily objecting to the attitudes and cultural ideas presented in the work, not the connection to the Belgian Congo. That was tossed in as an afterthought.
    Is that why you tried to refute the idea that the colonialization of the Congo was caused by a children's book, even though no one argued that?


    Frankly, they weren't even complaining about overt expressions of these ideas either, but the fact that they existed as underlying themes in the book's plot.
    Because there's nothing overt about a white teacher telling Congolese students that Belgium is "your country"


    I'm sorry, but I simply don't find the idea of a book being written from a perspective that I happen to disagree with as being all that offensive; especially not when the book in question happens to be almost a century old. It was a product of its time. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    Hell, many of the ideas they are objecting to here continue to persist even in modern media. The idea of an "invincible almighty white man teaching helpless natives and becoming their leader" remains a popular theme to this very day.

    Ever seen Avatar, for instance?
    Dude, did you see the same movie as I did? The "invicible almighty white man" was portrayed as an evil (would be) conqueror
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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Is that why you tried to refute the idea that the colonialization of the Congo was caused by a children's book, even though no one argued that?
    The average child won't have even heard of the Belgian Congo, let alone connect it to the harmless activities Hat was complaining about.

    Because there's nothing overt about a white teacher telling Congolese students that Belgium is "your country"
    Not any more than watching Roman Legionnaires slaughter Frenchmen and Germans en masse like you see in any number of "sand and sandals" flicks. You'll notice that no one seems to have a problem with that.

    You can think whatever you want, but the level of outrage here still strikes me as being overtly silly.

    There are worse things in that book to get worked up about than the fact that a white man is shown in front of chalk board talking to natives.

    Dude, did you see the same movie as I did? The "invicible almighty white man" was portrayed as an evil (would be) conqueror
    I was referring to the main character, obviously.

    Sure, he might be a personification of "white guilt" coming to save some goofy "noble savage" archetype from Imperialist oppression. However, it doesn't change the fact that the natives ultimately required a white man to come and rescue them from their oppressors in the first place.

    That is ultimately just as bad as anything else that has been presented here. It simply happens to be the case that, rather than being a "great white hunter," he's a "great white martyr" instead.
    Last edited by Gathomas88; 12-03-13 at 11:53 PM.

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    Re: Pippi Longstocking and 6 other supposedly racist children's characters

    The idea that we have "sins" which need to be "atoned" for in the first place is a big part of the problem here.

    It was a different time, with a different culture, and different values. There's no real need to take things much further than that within the context of "acceptable" literature.
    Perhaps, but I think you would be running into the relativist extreme of a valid historical orientation toward historicism. I mean, we certainly instruct young people differently about popular culture regarding slavery, and I do not think outside of Gone with the Wind we tolerate happy portrayals of the so-called "peculiar institution."

    I agree that simple analysis isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but the kind of value judgments you're throwing into this simply are not necessary. Wringing our hands over past injustices that people living today had no role in committing isn't going to help anyone.
    I'm not entirely making value judgments so much as showing how in the 1940s, certain value judgments were placed from the Belgians onto the Congo colony and its peoples. The fact that post-colonialists frequently have an agenda themselves is something you should certainly keep in mind, but it is frequently not my concern.

    Trying to actively cover up evidence of them is even more troublesome, as it gives people living today an inaccurate view of who our ancestors actually were.
    I certainly do not advocate that we eradicate the existence of historical documents (in fact I'm still weeping over just that over my own research topic), however, what you and I tried to bring up needs further examination.

    If we can accept the concept that acculturation of Belgians, Europeans, and North Americans to accept various precepts of colonialism existed everywhere from popular culture to the schools, then let's not toss aside the virtues of indoctrination so quickly. Afterall, you're more or less defending the existence of these materials in public view, partially in deference to it being historical, and partly because to toss them aside induces cultural self-loathing. Doesn't this indicate that you are in favor, to some extent, in indoctrination as the post-colonialists are?

    My own perspective is perhaps to some extent opposite of what the post-colonialists want, but I still use their insights to argue in favor of what I may accept as perhaps "benign" nationalism. As Orwellian as that may sound, I learned from the post-structuralists and the post-modernists that indoctrination is everywhere anyhow.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 12-03-13 at 11:58 PM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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