I'm not familiar with the purported Steyn comment that you characterize rather than quoting, but if said at all, I would be surprised if it were said in anything but jest; that Steyn is not a fan of Sotomayor's jurisprudence I would stipulate. There's no connection with what I quoted and anything about Sotomayor, but I take your point to be argument ad hominem--this guy is such a racially insensitive right winger that there's no point in taking him seriously.
|Posted: 13 January 2019 at 11:18pm | IP Logged | 3
"If Disney was sincerely concerned about being accused of 'Uncle Tomism', whatever that means, why did he hire a Jewish communist to work on the script, opposed to say an African American one? " A couple of comments. First, it's not quite clear what function "say" is performing in that sentence. Surely you don't mean it as a qualifier, as in, "say, an African American, a Swede, or an Italian"? Your point, I take it, is that if Disney were concerned about accusations of racial insensitivity, an African American screenwriter would provide more protection than a Jewish one--no other would quite fit the bill.
Second, I dunno why Disney hired a Jewish communist to work on the script, though I could hazard several possible guesses, some informed, others far more speculative. You'd have to ask Disney, and that ship has long since sailed. And wouldn't it be Disney, not Steyn, who "thoughtlessly assumes racial equity shares identical values to radical leftist politics [Steyn] despises," though I applaud your recognition that for the most part, there's no necessary correlation between racial views and political ones?
That Disney recruited Rapf for precisely the purpose Steyn specified is supported by at least one of Disney's biographers, Neal Gabler: "Rapf was a minority, a Jew, and an outspoken left-winger, and he himself feared that the film would inevitably be Uncle Tomish. 'That's exactly why I want you to work on it,' Walt told him, 'because I know that you don't think I should make the movie. You're against Uncle Tomism, and you're a radical.'"
"And what exactly is so special about Joel Chandler Harris's rendering of 'Negro' dialect that it merits preservation above other dialect renderings by whites?" I have no idea. Who said it was?
I don't think you'd have to search far to find a column where Steyn used the term Afro-American. "Negro dialect" is a term of art that I think you'll find has been commonly used to describe particular language of a particular period, and I suspect that's why Steyn employs it here. I note that he does not describe James Baskett as a "negro actor," though that's likely how Baskett would have been described in 1946.