Racism has always been a part of American history, and people who say we live in a post-racial America are so full of shit that it's easy to disregard anything they say from then on out. Awful things continue to happen to people of color here and it's been that way since the first white dude said he discovered a new land.
Researching Disney's history is like that feeling you get when your mom says she's going to start looking into your family history. Like, "Oooh, please don't find out our ancestors were slave owners. Please don't find out grandpa was a Nazi." Except everything Disney has done is well documented in their cartoons.
Maybe you think Disney is getting better because we finally do have a black princess. Maybe you think it's just appeasing us because of how whitewashed Frozen turned out to be. Whatever you believe now, we can all agree on one thing: early Disney cartoons were racist as hell. They employed caricatures that helped educate children on how they expected other races to look and act. They slipped racists jokes easily into their scripts even into the '90s.
You can say we're reading too much into it but we're sure you'll agree:
Hope Schreiber is a freelance writer and moonlights in the removal of asbestos and certain molds. She tweets here.