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  #1  
Old 28 October 2007, 08:07 PM
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Icon108 Mr. Rogers, racist

Comment: One of my High school sociology students mentioned that Mr.
Rogers was a racist, and was forced against his desire to have a black
actor play the mailman.
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  #2  
Old 28 October 2007, 08:13 PM
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Mr. McFeely was white.
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  #3  
Old 28 October 2007, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: One of my High school sociology students mentioned that Mr.
Rogers was a racist, and was forced against his desire to have a black
actor play the mailman.
Perhaps you should ask your student to support his allegation with information from a reputable source. It would be a good learning experience for him.
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  #4  
Old 28 October 2007, 11:46 PM
TB Tabby TB Tabby is offline
 
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Not ANOTHER one! Sniper in 'Nam, convicted child abuser, flipping off everyone, and now a racist. Can't anyone consider that maybe he was as nice as he appeared?
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  #5  
Old 28 October 2007, 11:59 PM
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Even if it was true the interpretation could be wrong. Perhaps he didn't want a black person because he didn't want to enforce the racial stereotype of black people doing menial work.
OK stretching things I know but I always find it useful to have a plainly ridiculous reply for a plainly ridiculous statement. It's the only language they understand.
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  #6  
Old 29 October 2007, 12:00 AM
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But Tabby, how can someone who had to wear long sleeved sweaters to cover up all his tat's be nice? And hello, the man lived in a world of Make Believe!

In all seriousness though, I do think that he was just a very nice person and not so nice people don't like that. So since they couldn't find any real dirt on the man they had to make it up. So really it's Mr. Rodgers fault, if he had had real dirt then the wouldn't have been "forced" to make it up.
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  #7  
Old 29 October 2007, 12:06 AM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
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The man played with hand puppets and a toy trolley. Isn't that strange enough for them?
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  #8  
Old 29 October 2007, 12:10 AM
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Does anyone else think "Speedy McFeely" is a creepy name for a guy on a kids' show?
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  #9  
Old 29 October 2007, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Does anyone else think "Speedy McFeely" is a creepy name for a guy on a kids' show?
Nitpick: His name was just Mr McFeely. His "slogan" was "speedy delivery!" (And I think he worked for the Speedy Delivery company...)

He was named after Mr Roger's grandfather, Fred McFeely. Mr Roger's name was Fred McFeely Rogers.
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  #10  
Old 29 October 2007, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Mr. McFeely was white.
He did a good job of passing for it, at least.

- snopes
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  #11  
Old 29 October 2007, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerus the duck View Post
Even if it was true the interpretation could be wrong. Perhaps he didn't want a black person because he didn't want to enforce the racial stereotype of black people doing menial work.
"Menial work"? There is no menial work in The Neighborhood. It's all interesting and important.
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  #12  
Old 29 October 2007, 02:05 AM
Trixie Tang
 
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The man who played M. McFeely wasn't really an actor cast to play the mailman. He was the show's producer.
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  #13  
Old 30 October 2007, 12:53 PM
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If you want to get picky, Mr. McFeely's first name is David, according to Mrs. McFeely.
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  #14  
Old 30 October 2007, 01:32 PM
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I do not recall ever seeing anything on the show that would make me think that he was racist, and I vaguely recall that he did have a number of frequent guests who were black.

Having said that, Fred Rogers grew up in a time where racism was commonplace and accepted. Based on the number of people my parent's age and older who tell me of those times and how they have had to consciously overcome those bad mentalities, I would not be surprised to learn that he was about as racist as any other white American of his generation.
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  #15  
Old 30 October 2007, 01:39 PM
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This man would probably disagree with the OP.

Quote:
The thing that saved me was Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I had met Fred Rogers in 1968 in Pittsburgh where I was the tenor soloist at his church. He came up to me, he expressed his admiration for what I was doing and his pleasure at my singing and he invited me onto his television program. I came onto that program, and I thought it would be a one-time shot. I never imagined the impact that it was going to have on my career. So Fred Rogers was kind of on the cutting edge, and there I was. The only thing that I can tell you that it was an accident. The universe did it for me.
(Francois Clemmons is now regarded as one of the world's great authorities on African-American spirituals.)
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  #16  
Old 30 October 2007, 05:08 PM
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I personally worked with all of the MRN people for nearly 4 years. Fred was the nicest man in the world, completely undiscriminating, and it makes me sick to think that anyone would say otherwise about him.

And yes, David Newell (Mr. McFeely) is white. He now gets my vote for nicest man in the world since Fred is no longer with us.
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  #17  
Old 30 October 2007, 05:12 PM
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I remember watching the show when Francois Clemmons was on. It didn't dawn on me until reading this thread that his being black was unusual. In the context of TV at the time, that is.

Was David Newell made up to look older than he was at the time? Why?
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  #18  
Old 30 October 2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
This man would probably disagree with the OP.



(Francois Clemmons is now regarded as one of the world's great authorities on African-American spirituals.)
Excellent catch. Were you aware of Mr. Clemmons connection with the Mr. Rogers' show already, or were you just searching for counter-examples?

It seems a sad thing that people seem to have a need to tear down others with an excellent reputation. Everything I had ever heard from people who knew Fred Rogers confirmed, as nancyfancypants has, that he was every bit as nice a man in 'real life' as on camera.
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  #19  
Old 30 October 2007, 05:57 PM
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Fred Rogers meant a lot to me; still does. I never really met him but I don't know where I'd be without him. I miss him a great deal. I cried when he died and I don't usually cry. I wish his program was on DVD; I would buy them all.

Fred Rogers was just what he appeared. Everyone who has ever met him seems to say that: he was who he was on TV all the time. He had a lot of people of a lot of races on his show. I can't imagine him having the slightest inclination to discriminate.

Avril
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  #20  
Old 31 October 2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Excellent catch. Were you aware of Mr. Clemmons connection with the Mr. Rogers' show already, or were you just searching for counter-examples?
I distinctly remembered a black classically trained singer as a featured player on later seasons of the show, but couldn't think of his name. I did an IMDB check on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" and checked out the cast list. Even without pictures, seeing the name "Francois" immediately clicked for me and a little judicious Googling took care of the rest.

Oddly (or maybe not, given my chosen profession), I didn't remember that Francois Clemmons played the cop in the Land of Make Believe - I only remembered him as the singer in the real world in "the neighborhood."
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