The Cartoon Network is helping kiddos learn about racism by white people against everyone else via a new animated PSA.
Tykes will get a taste of how America’s education system’s of the white supremacy variety, courtesy of an angry alien.
In fact, she may be the most uncomfortably angry cartoon I’ve ever seen.
As reported by The Daily Wire, The Crystal Gems Say: Did You Know? Black History was posted to social media earlier this month.
The star of the show: Steven Universe character Pearl.
Here’s Wikipedia with Pearl’s profile:
Pearl is a fictional character from the animated television series Steven Universe… She is a “Gem”, a fictional alien being that exists as a magical gemstone projecting a holographic body.
She is portrayed as a loving, gentle and delicate motherly figure for Steven, the protagonist of the series, and can be a fierce fighter. However, she also tends to be overprotective, has low self-esteem, and is deeply overwhelmed with grief caused by the loss of Steven’s mother Rose Quartz, whom she loved.
She is frequently praised for being a positive depiction of a queer character, though her strong obsession with Rose has been described as “unhealthy.”
In the CN video, Pearl’s reading a script as a film crew records. Due to the racist writing, she decides to make it her own.
“The lightbulb could more rightfully be attributed to Lewis Latimer, the Black inventor behind the filament inside the bulb, she instructs.
Then the lady gets angry, and I don’t mean the funny Yosemite Sam kind:
“Hold on — we’re not going to mention why he invented the filament? To create a better standard of living for people who had only just been freed from slavery?”
She schools everybody in the room:
“Are we going to ask why kids are apparently learning about Thomas Edison and not learning about Lewis Latimer? These textbooks are incomplete. There were black Roman warriors, black medieval knights, black classical musicians, black cowboys, black fighter pilots. Where are they?”
Black inventors, heroes, and leaders are often left out of history. Ask yourself as you're learning…who is the focus? Why? Question the story ✊🏿✊🏼✊🏾✊✊🏻✊🏽💖
— Cartoon Network (@cartoonnetwork) December 3, 2020
Call it aliensplaining:
“I wonder about you humans, because you only live, what, about a hundred years? You rely on these stories to know your own history.”
Then the network tells its viewers — there is indeed systemic racism, against everyone who is not white.
Pearl lays it out:
“Thanks to systemic racism, most of your storytellers prioritized white accomplishments, which leaves you with an incomplete picture.”
The race of the storyteller matters:
“Ask yourself as you’re learning history: Who is telling the story? Was this modified to make white readers comfortable?”
Your race = your point of view:
“Are major details being left out that would credit people of color and center their point of view?”
The video closes with the production crew apologizing to still-angry Pearl, followed by advice for youngsters:
“Tell the whole story. Be anti-racist.”
What’s anti-racism? Per CNN, it’s this:
Being anti-racist means more than ridding yourself of racist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. It means you’re also actively fighting that reprehensible trinity as it manifests in your life on a daily basis.
Donating to activist organizations and protesting injustices are definitely good starts to becoming an ally. But that’s not enough. Actively rebutting prejudices in your own circles is key to lasting change, as those ideas and beliefs — unless challenged — are what our children absorb and are woven into the fabric of our culture.
Some white people know that to become anti-racist, they must start to listen and brush up on the history of racism in their countries.
The outlet lists three examples of microaggressions — “brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities” –of which one must rid oneself:
- “Don’t blame me. I never owned slaves.”
- “All lives matter.”
- “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.”
Microaggressions can be intentional, unintentional or even well-meaning, but they communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial assumptions to the receiver. And they have an insidious effect on a black person’s psyche and continuing racist assumptions.
Cartoon Network, it appears, wants to make sure America’s future leaders never make those mistakes.
Will it work?
One thing’s for sure: Social and political issues aren’t just for grown-ups anymore.
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