PC Culture

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Is Deemed ‘Racist’

Scene from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (ABC/via Twitter)
If we cry ‘Social injustice!’ where it doesn’t exist, we’re less likely to be heard when we call out instances of it that are real.

Last week social-justice warriors went to Twitter to express their outrage over the classic special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, claiming that the show is “racist.”

It all started with ABC News tweeting a promotion for the special:

Several people commented that the screenshot accompanying the tweet proved that the show was in fact racist — because Franklin, the “black kid,” is sitting on one side of the table by himself:

Sorry, but calling this “racist” is completely ridiculous. As Twitter user @Brookesalvation pointed out, there is a completely logical explanation for why the kids are seated the way that they are — and it has nothing to do with racism. Snoopy is Charlie Brown’s dog, so it makes sense that they would be seated at the same side of the table. Sally has a crush on Linus, so it makes sense that they would be seated near each other. Peppermint Patty has a crush on Charlie Brown, so it makes sense that she would want to sit next to him. Finally, Sally is Charlie’s sister, so it makes sense that they would be seated next to each other. Also, it’s not like Franklin is the only character who is sitting on one side of the table by himself. In fact, both Marcy and Linus (both of whom are white) are also sitting on sides of the table on their own. Are their sides of the table shorter than Franklin’s? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that this is racism — especially when there is another, completely racially irrelevant explanation for the seating arrangement.

What’s more, anyone who knows anything about the show’s creator, Charles M. Schulz, knows that he was not a racist. In fact, the whole reason he added Franklin’s character in 1968 (the year that Martin Luther King Jr. was shot) was to fight against people who were racist. Yes, Schulz added this character to show his support for civil rights, and the fact that people who apparently don’t know this are using a seating arrangement to smear him as a racist — without even bothering to do enough research to know what they’re talking about first — is absolutely sickening.

Now, it would be one thing if these sorts of SJW outrages were completely harmless to our culture, but they’re not. For one thing, they demonize things that don’t need to be demonized — such as the completely innocuous, totally wholesome Charlie Brown. For another thing, they do a lot to minimize instances of real racism. Think about it: If on a whim you start calling anything and everything under the sun “racist” (even when it’s not), then people are going to be a lot less likely to listen to you when you call something out. Given that real racism absolutely does exist, this is extremely dangerous. So, for the love of everything good and holy, let’s save our “racist” call-outs for the things that actually are — and let’s leave Charlie Brown alone.

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