I love BuzzFeed. People like to bag on BuzzFeed for their Disney obsession, but it’s cool with me because I love Disney. I’m sure I saw my first “Disney Princesses reimagined as other races” post through BuzzFeed.The fan art was simply gorgeous. The Disney princesses look great as other races. So when I saw a similar post by Clipd, I just had to look.
So I look at the reimaginings and am thoroughly impressed, but something was nagging at me. Something was purposely left out, and I’m wondering if I would ever see it in these fan art reimaginings. As it so happens, no one had commented on the post yet. I knew my comment would get replies, especially it being the first. I’ll admit it. I was hesitant to comment at all. Why open this can of worms? But others had made this sort of comment before, and it always ended up being an interesting conversation. I took the plunge. I didn’t expect that a week later I would end up with 389 likes and 70 replies.
Here’s what I originally said:
“So shouldn’t some non-white princesses (or characters to be accurate) be reimagined as white? Or would that be racist? I’m fine with “reimagining princess as non-white races” but you should label it that if you’re going to be exclusive.”
The general consensus was yes, it would be racist, I shouldn’t complain at all (although I still stipulate that I wasn’t complaining, just curious) and that of course the artist wouldn’t do that because the majority of Disney princesses are white, which I know. Hello? Major Disney fan over here! Of course I noticed. I was curious to see who liked my comment. It turned out to be mostly white people. Great.
But, thankfully, some people of color liked my comment. My point wasn’t that white people were being treated unfairly by not having been part of this fan art, it is just a Disney post after all. But to ask why in 2015, would one example of a non-white princess reimagined as a white person, be so outrageous?
A Social Justice Warrior, or SJW, is a derogative term you can find on Urban Dictionary. SJW is used for people who comment on the big social issues — for example, racism — to enhance their own personal reputation. I see this a lot on Buzzfeed, usually from white males: “If BuzzFeed made this post about women or black people it would be called sexist or racist.” BuzzFeed has this naughty habit of objectifying men and joking about white people, so many SJWs want BuzzFeed to even the score by objectifying women and having lists like “Things Black People Should Stop Doing.” No one likes double standards. But there are some things you don’t budge on. For as long as we live, black people will be able to use the “race card” because our oppressive history will always be a part of us. Feminism will always be a noble cause, because women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
I can’t speak for my entire race, or for any other race for that matter, but I hope that people understand that black people are not just lurking around on social media waiting to shout “racist!” at everything that relates to us. I don’t know if racism will end. I don’t know if women will one day be paid the same amount of money as men. I do think it’s good that people speak up when people do some truly messed up things on social media, like when Gerod Roth’s unauthorized selfie with his co-worker’s 3-year-old black son went viral on Facebook after Roth and his friends made racist comments like, “’But Massuh, I dindu nuffin’.”
People on the Internet like to generalize 2015 as the year people were offended by “everything.” In other words, we’re too “sensitive.” We should learn how to take a joke. Some things aren’t funny. Some things we should be offended by because they are offensive. People usually know the difference between right and wrong, some, unfortunately, haven’t figured it out yet. I care about social justice. I care when things aren’t fair. But, I’m also just a huge Disney fan who likes fan art.