#98 - Rabbits

Gerstein, David DK - ECN DGE at ECN.egmont.com
Thu Mar 2 16:33:25 CET 2000

	Hey, everyone!

>BTW, it's extremely funny that those Rabbit story woiuld be banned
>because one doesn't want to offend the black people. It was the black
>slaves in the South who told those stories. Rabbit was then supposed to
>be a smart black human and the bear and fox were the stupid white

	Let me try to be as clear as possible...
	In the USA, Brer Rabbit is *not* banned as a *character*.
	The original Brer Rabbit folktales are still beloved, including
among our black citizens, who know exactly what they mean (rabbit = slave,
fox = master).
	Disney's Brer Rabbit can still be found in story books, on
Sing-A-Long Songs video tapes, and at the Disneyland ride "Splash Mountain".
	Brer Rabbit the character is *not* politically incorrect.
	Here's what *is* considered politically incorrect:
	The stories' exaggerated dialect.
	That's it!
	People who find the Brer Rabbit folktales offensive object not to
the tales themselves (or to the character of Brer Rabbit), but specifically
to the 1880s Joel Chandler Harris Uncle Remus versions of the tales. These
are the versions that are written in extreme dialect. Modern, new editions
of the stories, rewritten by modern-day authors, tend either to have less
dialect, or none at all.
	Disney doesn't object to Brer Rabbit appearing in comic book form
(or to the character of Brer Rabbit). What they object to is the use of,
once again, extreme dialect, in this case in the earlier comic book stories.
	(Disney in the USA objects also to their old movie "Song of the
South", but again, *not* because of Brer Rabbit himself - instead, because
of the stereotypical black character played by actress Hattie McDaniel in
the live-action parts of the movie.)

	David Gerstein
	<dge at ecn.egmont.com>
	"Brer Rabbit is *my friend*! Ain't nobody gonna eat him - except
	(Brer Fox in 1946, going to rescue Brer Rabbit upon believing that
he's been captured by a ghost)

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