Political correctness is the gift of poison that just keeps on giving. Its proponents seem to be competing with each other to see who can come up with the most ridiculous claims, and they’ve been doing this for so many years that they’re getting pretty wild by now.
The latest fake controversy, maybe spurred by the new sequel to the classic movie Mary Poppins, is an allegation that the 1964 original promotes racist “blackface” trope. Because when someone has soot on their face — in a scene that revolves around chimney sweeps — racism is the only possible explanation, right?
Walt Disney’s family favorite Mary Poppins, telling the adventures of the titular nanny and her charges, is one of the most loved movies of all time. Now, however, a Leftist professor is claiming it’s actually racist.
- Literature professor, Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, writing in the New York Times, claimed that Mary Poppins “blacks up” during one of the movie’s most popular scenes.
- “Blackface” makeup is now seen as racist because it involves a (usually) white actor or actress using black makeup to portray, and often caricature, a black person. The politically correct argue that this is disrespectful and offensive, and also marginalizes black people by allowing whites to play them — meaning black actors aren’t required.
- According to Pollack-Pelzer, who teaches at Linfield College in ultra-liberal Oregon, Poppins was invoking racist stereotypes when her face was dirtied with soot during a meeting with a chimney sweep. She then reinforces this racist message by smearing more soot on her own and the children’s faces.
- In fact, it’s very clear to anyone who’s watched the movie that Poppins smears soot on herself and the children to help them identify with the sweep before they dance off across the rooftops with him.
- Chimney sweeps were well known for their blackened, sooty faces. However, they didn’t blacken their faces to be racially offensive; it was just an inevitable result of cleaning out sooty chimneys with a hand-operated brush several times a day. Sweeping chimneys was, and is, a dirty job.
- The rich and well-bred were reluctant to get to close to sweeps, but that wasn’t because black faces activated their subconscious racism; it was because they didn’t want to get covered in soot. This is so simple that it should be obvious to anyone — except a certain liberal arts professor, of course.