We really have reached Peak Stupid

Some of you will remember the classic children’s movie Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke. For years, it was shown on TV at Christmas, and was a family favourite for a couple of decades. I haven’t seen it for a while, but if asked, I would probably have said that is because it has become a bit dated. But no. That is not the reason we no longer see it. Apparently, the movie is racist.

Yes. That’s right. quote.

It’s one of the iconic scenes in the popular Disney classic, but now a US academic has branded Mary Poppins as racist for blackening up her face.

The scene, which features Julie Andrews as Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert, is set on the rooftops of London and includes the song ‘Step in Time‘.

Poppins, with her face covered in soot, innocently dances with Bert and his fellow chimney sweeps in what is one of the better loved scenes from the 1964 hit film.

However Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, an English and gender studies professor at Oregon’s Linfield College, has argued the scene is racist. end quote.

An English and gender studies professor… that probably tells you all you need to know. Anyone who is a professor in gender studies is always some kind of activist. Professors in real subjects do things like research. quote.

In an article called ‘Mary Poppins, and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface,’ he says Poppins’ face gets covered in soot as she goes up the chimney, but instead of wiping it clean she adds more and “blackens up.”

He also refers to passages in P.L. Travers’ original books that were racist, including a line where a housemaid says “Don’t touch me, you black heathen,” to a chimney sweep. end quote.

She said that because he was covered in soot, not because he was a person of colour. And the chimney sweep scene was about… chimney sweeps, who were always covered in soot. It is nothing to do with race. quote.

“The 1964 film replays this racial panic in a farcical key,” he writes. “When the dark figures of the chimney sweeps Step in Time on a roof and a naval buffoon, Admiral Boom shouts, we’re in on the joke, such as it is: These aren’t really black Africans; they’re grinning white dancers in blackface. It’s a parody of black menace; it’s even posted on a white nationalist website as evidence of the film’s racial hierarchy.” end quote.

Is nothing sacred any more? The film was about nothing to do with race at all. quote.

Professor Pollack-Pelzner defended his article, telling the Mail on Sunday: “I just hope some of that energy can go to Disney as well and ask them to think a little bit more about how their new movies connect with the past.”

  Newshub end quote.

Disney’s new movies are so ultra politically correct that they are totally boring these days. Instead of looking briefly into a magical world, most of them are out and out lectures. No wonder all the film companies are losing revenue.

This movie was made in 1964. It was at the time of the civil rights movement in the US. The word ‘nigger’ was in regular use, but this was a British movie, based on a children’s book. There was never anything racist about it, nor was it ever intended to be about race. I despair when people try to rewrite history, when they take something innocent and enchanting and turn it into something sinister and evil.

No one is ever going to fix the problems in the world by turning everything into a race issue. That approach divides rather than unites us all. Leave Mary Poppins alone. Nothing, it seems, is sacred any more.