For the Record: Peter Pan is still not salvageable

panindianI just read Debbie Reese’s review of the sequel series novel Peter Pan in Scarlet and had flashbacks to the time a relative insisted on sharing one of their favorite old Disney movies with our girls and on came Peter Pan.  Awkward relative Disney moment number 101.  

Does this story really need more sequels?  Can’t some relics of white supremacy please just fade into the ether.

After delineating the racist imagery of Native Americans embedded throughout yet another Peter Pan tale, as well as the inaccurate and slapdashery usage of all sorts of Native terminology Reese concludes:

Peter Pan in Scarlet got great reviews. Only one reviewer (to my knowledge) mentioned the stereotypical Indian content. Over on  Amazon, there are 45 customer reviews (I’m looking at the page on November 3, 2009). 30 readers give it four or five stars.  None of the reviews, good or bad, mention the Indian content.

I mean, hey, what can you do the kids love it ?!  And that racism you’re getting, we don’t see that. 

BTW – I refuse to read this book just so that I can review the incredibly overt sexism embedded in every single reference to Tinker Bell and Wendy.  Let alone the sexist glorification of Peter himself.  

Really – just because the kids will read it doesnt mean it’s a good idea. I recently noticed that the kids also like to eat candy until they vomit on Halloween.

But an intelligent teacher knows better than to give children anything just because they will consume it.    Unless of course they are giving it to them so that they can list and count the racist references througout the book.  Now that is a Peter Pan in Scarlet reading lesson I could get behind.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “For the Record: Peter Pan is still not salvageable

  1. “Can’t some relics of white supremacy please just fade into the ether.”

    I’ve wondered about that too, with reference to the endless takes on Little Black Sambo. I suspect it has to do with this terribly sentimental relationship that adults have with the books they loved as children. They’re right up there with mom and apple pie. Which is why those who disagree are immediately labeled “PC” and their opinions dismissed.

  2. jheffern

    I get to be the pc parent who makes everyone uncomfortable each time my kids school wants to do this play as well. When you combine the script with the costumes – well, you get my point.