Sleepy Time Thought: Watermelon, Black People And White Privilege 5/1/2012
So the whole black Disney Princess hawking watermelon flavored candy thing seems to have set off a bit of a fault line among you filthy liberals. There were several comments about how it wasn’t racist because black people do, indeed, eat watermelon down South or that I was being overly sensitive. This was, of course, greeted with some serious hostility from others who did perceive it to be offensive.
However, I do feel the need to point out that there is a very long and negative history of associating blacks and watermelon (and fried chicken and even later, grape soda). There is nothing inherently racist about a black person eating a watermelon but then again, there’s nothing inherently racist about depicting a black person hanging from a tree. Do you see it now? It’s the history and context that gives it a racist connotation.
On the other hand, not recognizing this for what it is does not necessarily make you a racist yourself. You may be suffering from white privilege (even if you are not white) in which you can only see it from the white perspective. Well of course it’s not racist! Black people eat watermelon just like white people do so what’s the harm? Again, it’s the history and context. If this was Japan, no one would care. But it’s not. This is America and our history is our history whether we like it or not.
There’s a reason pictures like these exist and it’s not because black people enjoy watermelon just like white people do.
Sleep tight you filthy liberal scum!