Subtweeting Diversity of Disney Princess.

I couln’t not say anything…

This post is being written in an effort not to subtweet someone.

I hate the concept of subtweeting. I think its really ridiculous and often starts more drama than if the person was confronted directly.

However, sometimes you have to choose your battles. I could have went in on level 10 but it was 8-something in the morning and I really didn’t have the energy to summarize all my refuting points into 140 characters.

This tweet addresses the issue of majority groups speaking for minority groups.

Sometimes it’s out of hatred and sometimes it’s out of what is attempting to be love – but at the end of the day it’s all ignorant as hell.

If you’d rather not read another one of my rants I can summarize this whole post in one line:



“If you are in the majority group – 
you cannot speak for the minority group.”

You can speak to us – you can speak with us – but you can’t speak FOR us.

Why?

Because as understanding and sympathetic as you may be to the situation said minority group is in – you still have no idea.

Like none.

Because at the end of the day you get to walk down the street and be you. I know it’s not your fault! This is something that is completely out of your hands! It has been institutionally and systematically ordered in your favor and in our distress for centuries. While you didn’t bring us here, we nevertheless are here.

So no matter how well you think you understand what minorities go through – regardless of that [insert race/culture/sexuality] friend-classmate-coworker-neighbor-teacher-boyfriend-girlfriend you had/have – you do not fully get it.

I know I said this post is supposed to keep me from subtweeting, and it is, but I guess I’ll be subblogging.

Disney has been “gracious” enough to create Disney Princesses for more than one ethnicity.

Thank you Disney for giving us:

Pocahontas (Native American) – not “Indian” because we now know this country never was India and therefore the term “Indian” used in the context of the people native to this land can only be used by the people native to this land. Look up “reappropriation“.

Mulan (Chinese) –  not just “Asian” because Asia is a continent – a very big continent – with many different races, ethnicities, religions, cultures, etc.

Jasmine (Arab) – you forgot her in your tweet but I understand you’re only given 140 characters so you decided to just go with “Asian” instead to encompass more people, right?

Tiana (African-American) –  this does not excuse Disney from making an African princess. Tiana is from New Orleans and while her roots are African – her actual roots grew out of her head in America, making her black, the race/culture born out of slavery. Remember? Because European settlers beat the Africa out of us?

That makes four Disney Princesses of color. Now count your white princesses.

My point is not that there are more white princesses – that fact is not surprising in the least. What else do you expect from a company with white executives making decisions for white America in order to make white American money?

My point is that Disney Princess does not “have it covered”. They are far from having all groups covered.

I recognize that for many white people (many – not all) if 20 people are in one room and only 3 of them are of color it’s – IT’S DIVERSITY QUICK-TAKE-A-PICTURE-SO-WE-CAN-PUT-THIS-ON THE-COVER-OF-A-BROCHURE CENTRAL!

But in the eyes of the 3 people of color it’s – oh look 3 of us again…we’ll at least I’m not alone.

This is the issue. This is why you can look at the history of Disney Princess and say “Diversity? They’ve got it covered!” and why I look at it and say “Diversity? They’re trying.”

…so I attempted this.

Disney Princesses still not in production: African (multiple areas to choose from), Latina (multiple areas to choose from), Asian (many more areas to choose from), and others still.

I don’t take the Disney Princesses of color for granted. What hurts me is that I have to be told not to take them for granted. As if by the mere act of attempting to become diverse should tuck me in at night and give me sweet dreams.

Things still aren’t even and they’re far from fair.

There are many issues in this world that need to be addressed first so I’m not losing any sleep over Disney. I’m really not upset because of the Disney Princess portion of the tweet. It’s the mindset behind it that makes me sad because I know you both are good people. You are both brilliant, sweet, and thoughtful. I doubt anyone has had this conversation with you so I hope this post makes some sense. You can help break the cycle of ignorance and misunderstanding. Although these two things don’t always mean to be offensive, they both nonetheless encourage offensive behavior.

Don’t speak for us. Speak with us.

This is,
MAB
P.S. This is a setup for a dialogue, not a fight. I encourage anyone to respond. Comment below or tweet me. Let’s talk. Let’s learn.
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