The need to see POC regardless of “historical accuracy”


Anonymous Asked: I’ve been seeing a post lately that criticizes people who complain that there were no PoCs in Brave, implying that it would be unrealistic or ridiculous, because it was set in tenth century Scotland. What’s your response?
basically what I say about any of that type of criticsm since this comes up often (see: Tangled):

A) It obviously takes some historical liberties since I don’t think everyone in medeival scotland would actually be like “Oh, ok don’t get married, reject the suitors and go run into the wilderness. Chill, do your thing, gurl”

B) Go re-read history, as in, you’re making assumptions because of an overwhelming tendency to whitewash history and assume that the only possible narrative of POC in any place other than Africa, in past history, is in the role of “slave,” and POC have indeed continually been a part of Europe, past and present.

C) It’s laughable in a “ha-ha, you’re subconsciously racist” way that people wouldn’t object to the obvious “unrealistic and ridiculous” elements of having people turn into bears and all the other magic that happens in movies like this. Things like this are always seen as “okay” and are really strange contradictions of the critiquer’s hardcore “HISTORICAL ACCURACY ONLY” stance. Historical accuracy is only important to them when it involves including black people etc., basically. Everything else can slide.

D) Who even cares, honestly? Even if your history wasn’t incorrect, would it be doing anyone any real harm to have even just one POC character in your tenth century Scotland? Will kids suddenly lose all ability to understand history lessons because of that? Will their extensive knowledge (joking) about old Scotland be forever tainted because of a single appearance of a POC in an animated children’s movie? Really now. What’s the harm other than you being afraid of people re-writing history to not be white-washed in your favor?

Overall, yeah, it really does say something about your perspective on things when people aren’t bothered by giant historical inaccuracies, but assume that they themselves would be unhappy if movies were “unrealistic” and added in POC characters where they might not have been historically plentiful. 

My biggest problem is one that has been pointed out many, many times… It’s not that Brave (or Tangled, etc.) don’t feature PoC so much as it is a seemingly conscious decision by Disney et al to go to the WHITEST OF ALL WHITE settings for films. It’s like, “Well, we tried to throw them a bone with PATF, surely that should satiate them for another ten years or so…” 

Disney et al is stuck in this rut of Anglo-Centricity. Even when we do see PoC, the stuff we see is Anglocized and Westernized. I love Brave, but the critiques of regressing back into complete homogeneous whiteness are valid and founded on the way the media at large chooses to showcase stories centered around or featuring PoC.

2 years ago on 8 July 2012 @ 5:51pm 323 notes