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  #61  
Old 17 March 2013, 01:22 AM
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Furienna Furienna is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Aimee Evilpixie View Post
No, if you were a kept house slave with an owner who didn't beat you, your life probably didn't suck too much.

Except for, you know, the fact that you were treated as property instead of people and literally had no rights and could be sold away from your friends and family at any time.

Other than that I'm sure it was awesome.

Here's some watching for people who would like to know more about how slavery worked.
I never said slavery was awesome. Of course it wasn't. Yeesh! But still, all slaves can't have gone around feeling miserable all day long? Many of them probably were so used to the situation, as oppressed as they were, that they couldn't imagine it being any different. Does that sound sad? Oh yeah. But that must be what it was like.
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  #62  
Old 17 March 2013, 01:42 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Roll eyes

Sure, they couldn't imagine how every free person they saw was living. Do you think they were blind or couldn't communicate?

Honest, unsnarky question: Have you ever read a single book about slavery in the Americas, Furienna? If not, and you're interested, why don't you read some.
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  #63  
Old 17 March 2013, 02:21 AM
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I don't get the bad attitude. I have never said that slavery is a good thing. And yes, even though I'm not American, I know a lot about your history. And slavery isn't something, that only existed over in the Americas either. We had it here in Sweden too, until the 14th century. But you make it sound like it's impossible to have the least bit of joy in one's life, even when one is poor and oppressed, and I don't agree with that.
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  #64  
Old 17 March 2013, 03:05 AM
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I honestly, on the other hand, have never gotten why it's so hard to understand. Tens of millions of people were taken from the families and homes, stripped of every language, every religion, every article of clothing and person they had ever known, packed like sardines on ships, and sent to a world they never had known. Many millions (some estimate ten million) died on the way. Over a period of 400 years, many millions of people were never given their freedom. Not only were their offspring not given freedom, often they were separated from them at an early age. Over those centuries, they were treated as property, animals. No education. Forbidden to even learn to read. Often beaten until they bled or murdered. The vast majority living in the worst conditions imaginable - truly unimaginable for us. With no hope of things ever changing.

Now someone comes along and says "It can't have been all bad." And it makes me want to throw up. I mean a really get a feeling in my stomach when I think of those millions of people being treated like that and every time someone says something so ignorant it makes that feeling come back. Nauseous and angry. So I hope you'll understand the anger. It's not about you. Really, it has nothing to with you.

Just imagine someone saying "Concentration camps weren't all bad." Or, "It's kind of sad about those children who were slaughtered by a gunman. But at least they died quickly, so." So what? So they were able to find some tiny fraction of human existence in that hell? You call that "poor and oppressed" as if that even scratches the surface of the crimes we're talking about.

You also have to understand, if you read another current thread on this topic, that this exactly the kind of thing said by people who defend these centuries-long crimes against humanity. So, IMHO, before you wade into a history of spit you don't understand, you should listen and learn.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 17 March 2013 at 03:10 AM.
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  #65  
Old 17 March 2013, 07:42 AM
Hummelcat Hummelcat is offline
 
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Furienna, people manage to develop coping mechanisms when they are living in appalling conditions. Slavery was (and probably still is, in certain parts of the world) appalling for the people who were/are slaves. Just because those coping mechanisms appear (to those of us who are not slaves) to be "a slave, who was happy with his/her life" or "there were many slaves, who weren't miserable every day of their lives" or "to have the least bit of joy in one's life, even when one is poor and oppressed", does NOT make the actual inner reality for those slaves in actual fact a bit of a lark. These people were NOT "poor and oppressed". They were property. They had no options to become "less poor" -- they had no rights to own ANY property. They had no options to become "less oppressed" -- as in voting the oppressors out of office and improving their conditions. They had no rights whatsoever.

A coping mechanism in the face of such appalling conditions does not mean being happy. If it makes you feel better to think that, then go right ahead. But I can not make that assumption.
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  #66  
Old 17 March 2013, 07:52 AM
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Aimee Evilpixie Aimee Evilpixie is offline
 
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I don't even know why you brought up the idea of some slave, somewhere, being happy with their life anyway. Just because maybe that happened sometime doesn't excuse depictions of happy slaves as if that was a common thing.

I mean, seriously. Seriously. How is this even a discussion? Sweden had slavery until the 14th Century? American had it until only around one hundred and fifty years ago. It's possible that there are still some people alive today who are first-generation descendants from actual slaves.* There are almost certainly a lot of people still alive who are second-generation descendants from slaves. So, yeah. America's history with slavery is just a little more fraught and recent than Sweden's.

*Assuming someone who was perhaps two or three when slavery was ended and had a child at age 50 or 60 (not impossible for an older man) and that child lived to be 90-100 years old.
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  #67  
Old 17 March 2013, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee Evilpixie View Post
Assuming someone who was perhaps two or three when slavery was ended and had a child at age 50 or 60 (not impossible for an older man) and that child lived to be 90-100 years old.
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articl...or-2760654.php

That was in 2002, but if the younger man is still alive today, he's only 85. His father was sold across the country at age 9.

Last edited by lord_feldon; 17 March 2013 at 08:15 AM.
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  #68  
Old 17 March 2013, 12:44 PM
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Look... I was afraid people would misunderstand me at first. But really! Yet again, I'm not defending slavery. I know that slaves had no human rights. I know that they were someone else's property. I know terrible things could happen to them. And since around thirty million people in the US still are descendants of slaves, I understand that this is a touchy subject. But would showing a slave having a happy moment in a movie be that wrong? I mean, all slaves can't have suffered every minute of their entire lives. Even people without human rights must have their bad days and their good days.

But at this point, I guess it doesn't matter what I say. I'm just leaving the subject, because I have nothing more to add.
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  #69  
Old 17 March 2013, 01:53 PM
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Who ever implied it was wrong to show a slave having a happy moment? What's wrong is to do so without recognizing the truth of slavery. The happy slave is a lie that was made up by people who wanted to sweep that history under the rug. It doesn't mean there were never moments of happiness in slavery. Showing that in art without seeming to be insensitive, ignorant, intentionally misleading, etc is very difficult. Whether or not the Song of the South does so may be a matter of opinion. I think the people at Disney, in retrospect, decided (rightly, IMO) that this movie completely failed to do so. But if you think that the problem is that it shows moments of happiness slavery then you've completely missed the point.

Again, you could benefit by actually reading other literature, including contemporary and modern, about slavery or set in the time of slavery. I think you'll find examples that do, in fact, show those moments of humanity while at the same time telling the truth about slavery. Others may be in the middle somewhere. Then there are those that whitewash over the horror as if it never happened or wasn't all that bad, thus intentionally or unintentionally participating in and promoting a long and disgusting history of lies.
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  #70  
Old 17 March 2013, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
So you don't think there ever was a slave, who was happy with his/her life? That's really overgeneralizing it, isn't it? Before anyone gets the idea, that I support slavery or something, of course I don't. But I bet there were many slaves, who weren't miserable every day of their lives.
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
you make it sound like it's impossible to have the least bit of joy in one's life, even when one is poor and oppressed, and I don't agree with that.
Of course people who live all of their lives in terrible circumstances often manage to find moments of joy and pleasure in their lives.

But that's not the same thing as being "happy with his/her life". And I think the problem here is that you're conflating the two.

The further problem is that this conflation has indeed been used historically to defend slavery. Slaveowners and other defenders would point out slaves who appeared, at a particular moment, to be enjoying themselves; and claim that this proved that the slaves wouldn't be better off free.
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  #71  
Old 17 March 2013, 05:05 PM
Kermor Kermor is offline
 
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I saw this movie in 1975, in West Berlin, in the french armed forces theater. I recognized Brer Rabbit and his enemies by having read their adventures way back when in "Le Journal de Mickey" (a weekly periodical that reprints Disney comics, as well as strips like Flash Gordon, Mandrake or Tim Tyler). I didn't think of the political implications until much later.
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  #72  
Old 25 March 2013, 01:30 AM
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Throw Tomato Slaves did have fun!

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  #73  
Old 25 March 2013, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
I don't get the bad attitude.
I don't get why you consider suggestions that you educate yourself on the subject to be evident of a bad attitude.
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  #74  
Old 25 March 2013, 02:14 AM
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To quote the article "Disney was playing with a loaded gun" when he made the movie. It wasn't even PC back then when the film was made in the 1940's. Folks found it offensive with it's Uncle Tomism and and other less than complimentary depictions of blacks.
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  #75  
Old 17 August 2015, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mags View Post
I'm nearly certain we watched this at least once as a filmstrip when I was in elementary school. Not as historical commentary but as entertainment. I was born in 1976.

It's possible I just picked up pieces of it over the years from The Wonderful World of Color on TV, but I feel like I saw the whole thing once. I know very well my mom wouldn't have taken me to see it in the theaters though. Even though I was oblivious to the racist paternalism, she wouldn't have been.
I think I can top that - I've never seen "song of the south" but I remember being shown in 5th grade the Disney treasure "the story of menstruation" (and I was born LONG after it was made - they must have been showing it for years). I see someone even put that gem up on youtube;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLhld_PI2zg
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  #76  
Old 03 October 2015, 10:08 AM
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I don't get why you consider suggestions that you educate yourself on the subject to be evident of a bad attitude.
Maybe because it implies that I'm "uneducated"? Okay, I know that this movie is deeply controversial. But I want to give it a chance.
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  #77  
Old 03 October 2015, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Of course people who live all of their lives in terrible circumstances often manage to find moments of joy and pleasure in their lives.

But that's not the same thing as being "happy with his/her life". And I think the problem here is that you're conflating the two.

The further problem is that this conflation has indeed been used historically to defend slavery. Slaveowners and other defenders would point out slaves who appeared, at a particular moment, to be enjoying themselves; and claim that this proved that the slaves wouldn't be better off free.
Okay, now it makes more sense to me. But I have already stated many times, that I don't defend slavery. I don't see though how showing an ex-slave being satisfied with his life is so offensive, that people would complain already when the movie was made back in the 1940s. I guess that many people don't understand that it took place after slavery was abolished, so that Uncle Remus was a free man. But still...
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  #78  
Old 03 October 2015, 11:33 AM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Maybe because it implies that I'm "uneducated"? Okay, I know that this movie is deeply controversial. But I want to give it a chance.
Did you watch the movie? It was linked here 2 years ago.

I'm not sure what kind of chance you want to give it. You used scare quotes around "racism" and "stereotypes" in your first two posts in this thread, which leads me to believe that you are skeptical or disagree that either are much of an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
I don't see though how showing an ex-slave being satisfied with his life is so offensive, that people would complain already when the movie was made back in the 1940s. I guess that many people don't understand that it took place after slavery was abolished, so that Uncle Remus was a free man. But still...
I don't understand how you think it's an issue with people being confused about the time frame, rather than it actually being a racist film. If you want to know specifics about the hows and whys that it's racist, there is a lot of information available. There are endless articles, videos, and discussions on this that you can find. You could buy the book in the OP and read about it in detail.

The cultural context of all of it may be harder to comprehend though. I don't mean that to be snarky at all. Cultural differences are really hard to translate sometimes. I'm married to a Brit, but one who has lived here for 15 years, and we still butt heads when our cultural upbringing clashes. The way we see the world is incredibly different in some ways.
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  #79  
Old 03 October 2015, 02:59 PM
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Maybe because it implies that I'm "uneducated"?
Do you consider yourself an authority on every possible subject of discussion, or are there some subject that you don't know much about? If you don't know much about a subject, how do you change that?
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  #80  
Old 03 October 2015, 03:45 PM
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Maybe because it implies that I'm "uneducated"? Okay,
No one is educated about every topic. Your posts suggest to me that you are uneducated about this particular topic. I have made no judgment about your general education level. You write fluently in English, which IIRC is not your native language -- that's more than I can say of myself.
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