Disney does not have a history of being racially sensitive. From its historically inaccurate portrayal of Pocahontas, to the “enhanced” lips of the crab Sebastian in the Little Mermaid, people of color have been portrayed in racist caricatures. In fact the founder of the company was a known racist, and so it comes as no surprise that the tradition of minimizing bodies of color continues on.
To promote the movie Dead Mans Chest, Disney is selling matching 14k gold plated noose earrings and necklaces. That’s right, for a mere 32.95$ you can wear a symbol that represents the murder of innocent black people. In light of the racist portrayal of Michelle Obama, plus the outbreak of noose placings throughout the US, this could not be considered as anything other than inflammatory. Clearly they care nothing for their African American consumers, or they would never create such merchandise in the first place, much less offer it for sale. What self-respecting black person would willingly wear a noose as jewelry? Funny I don’t remember swastika rings being made to promote Shindlers List, so why is a universal symbol of hate to blacks used to market Dead Mans Chest? Oh I get it….because it only offends blacks, and who cares about them anyway, right?
We invest meaning and emotion to symbols. They represent the best and worst aspects of our culture. To the black community, who have witnessed generations of our young men hanging from nooses it is no ordinary ornament. It represents hatred, fear, intolerance and death. Once again Disney chose profit over respecting bodies of color. Whatever less than brilliant PR person came up with this, needs a crash course in US history and racism; that is if anyone working there is interested in owning their white privilege.