Remove Minstrel Tunes from Disneyland's Area Music

Remove Minstrel Tunes from Disneyland's Area Music

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Anonymous . started this petition to The Walt Disney Company

Disney claims to care about people of all walks of life, regardless of the color of their skin, but they continue to allow racist minstrel music to play in areas of their theme parks. 

Area music plays a crucial role in immersing Disneyland guests in the theming, time period, and mood of their surroundings. Which is why it is vital that Disneyland recognize the undertones of the music that's being played and remove racist tunes from those background tracks.

Minstrel Shows were an American form of entertainment in which white people used Blackface makeup and performed racist songs and skits in order to profit from denigrating African-Americans. Many of those songs, though rewritten to exclude racial slurs, still exist and are heard today. Ever heard of the Ice Cream van song? That song was originally written by Harry C. Browne, and was titled "N***** Love A Watermelon" (source: NPR). You can hear it playing in none other than Mickey Mouse's own house in Toontown. Or perhaps the catchy "Oh! Susanna", another minstrel song written by Stephen Foster, which can be heard in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The list of tunes that we can find in park, unfortunately, is long.

I am calling on Bob Iger, Bob Chapek, and the Imagineering team at the Walt Disney Company to remove these atrocious minstrel songs from their area music that have been allowed to remain in the parks for too long.

How can Disneyland claim to be an inclusive place where everyone's dreams can come true if the music they play is fundamentally hateful towards Black people? Would it be so difficult to replace these themes? No. Disney has showed in the past that it is willing to change unsavory themes and as such, this change should be no different. It is extremely disrespectful to Black folx everywhere that these tunes are still being celebrated and played in public.

There is no reason for these songs to play when they can easily be replaced by others. There is no reason that the Imagineering team should not be spending time and effort into researching the history of the music that is being played. As Walt Disney once said, "Disneyland will never be complete." Disney has more than enough monetary resources to fix this problem, so please sign this petition in the hopes of making these necessary changes a reality. 

 

Sources: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/05/11/310708342/recall-that-ice-cream-truck-song-we-have-unpleasant-news-for-you

https://www.americanheritage.com/blackface-sad-history-minstrel-shows

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