Apparently, nothing is sacred to liberals. For generations, kids and adults alike have enjoyed watching the magical escapades of a nanny and her charges in the insanely popular movie “Mary Poppins.” Unfortunately, one left-wing professor is trying to spoil the fun for future viewers of the endearing movie. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a U.S. gender studies professor at Linfield College, has labeled it racist.
Unsurprisingly, Pollack-Pelzner made his ridiculous claim in a recent op-ed in the left-leaning New York Times. According to TheBlaze, the professor took issue with a scene in the 1964 movie where title character Marry Poppins’s face is covered in black soot from a chimney. In the op-ed published January 28, 2019, Pollack-Pelzner said, “When the magical nanny (played by Julie Andrews) accompanies her young charges, Michael and Jane Banks, up their chimney, her face gets covered in soot, but instead of wiping it off, she gamely powders her nose and cheeks even blacker.”
The professor goes on to accuse the author of the series of children’s books, the late P.L. Travers, of being a racist. He explained, “This might seem like an innocuous comic scene if Travers’s novels didn’t associate chimney sweeps’ blackened faces with racial caricature. ‘Don’t touch me, you black heathen,’ a housemaid screams in ‘Mary Poppins Opens the Door’ (1943), as a sweep reaches out his darkened hand.”
Continuing to reference the book, Pollack-Pelzner went on to say, “When he tries to approach the cook, she threatens to quit: ‘If that Hottentot goes into the chimney, I shall go out the door,’ she says, using an archaic slur for black South Africans that recurs on page and screen.”
Pollack-Pelzner maintained the 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke replayed “this racial panic in a farcical key.” The liberal professor wrote, “When the dark figures of the chimney sweeps step in time on a roof, a naval buffoon, Admiral Boom, shouts, ‘We’re being attacked by Hottentots!’ and orders his cannon to be fired at the ‘cheeky devils.’ We’re in on the joke, such as it is: These aren’t really black Africans; they’re grinning white dancers in blackface.” He referred to the scene many people find particularly funny as “a parody of black menace.” The professor argued, “it’s even posted on a white nationalist website as evidence of the film’s racial hierarchy.”
A new movie in the beloved franchise, “Mary Poppins Returns” was released in December of last year. The new film is set in the 1930s. Pollack-Pelzner noted that it appeared to offer a more racially diverse London. However, he did take offense at a pivotal sequence in the movie. He said that it played “into a much more fraught history from a suppressed part of Mary Poppins’s past.” Pollack-Pelzner wrote, “I was surprised to see that hyacinth macaw pop up in ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’ In the middle of a fantasy sequence, Emily Blunt’s nanny bounds onstage at a music hall to join Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lamplighter for a saucy Cockney number, ‘A Cover Is Not the Book.’” The left-leaning professor revealed “A Cover Is Not the Book” rehashes “stories from Travers’ novels. One of these verses refers to a wealthy widow called Hyacinth Macaw, and the kicker is that she’s naked.”
In the first “Mary Poppins” book published in 1934, Pollack-Pelzner maintained that the title character and the kids she was responsible for “meet a scantily clad ‘negro lady,’ handling ‘a tiny black pickaninny with nothing on at all.’” The professor said, “’Pickaninny’ has long been seen as an offensive term for a black child.”
As if Mary Poppins wasn’t enough, Pollack-Pelzner went on to attack one of Disney’s most beloved characters, Mickey Mouse. He stated, “In an early Mickey Mouse short, a 1933 parody of the antislavery novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ called ‘Mickey’s Mellerdrammer,’ Mickey blacks his face with dynamite to play Topsy, a crazy-haired, raggedy-dressed, comically unruly black child from the book whose name had become synonymous with the pickaninny stereotype.”
Last fall, former NBC host Megyn Kelly created a firestorm on her show “Megyn Kelly Today” when she commented that she didn’t see anything wrong with someone donning blackface if it was a part of a Halloween costume. Her musings got her fired.
Mere days ago, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, got into hot water when he admitted appearing in a yearbook photo as either someone wearing blackface or a Ku Klux Klan hood. The embattled politician later denied he was in the picture, then recanted by saying he was one of the two in the photo, but couldn’t remember which one.
Now, suddenly blackface is the new trendy thing to topple someone for. Undoubtedly, liberals across the country are feverishly searching for evidence someone or something has sported blackface in the past. But, as with Mary Poppins, they oftentimes embarrass themselves by going too far to illustrate a talking point.