A Florida Congressman is calling for concerned Americans to cancel President Joe Biden and not the Splash Mountain attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Disney Parks’ Splash Mountain attraction has taken center stage in debates for several years. Like every experience and ride at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, the log flume ride was inspired by a Disney film. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. That’s because the film that inspired Splash Mountain is Disney’s Song of the South, a film from 1946 that some say is problematic because it perseverates harmful racial stereotypes.
Screencrush describes the film for what it is–a Disney film (set in Georgia after the Civil War) in which children are taught life lessons from a man known as Uncle Remus, who relays stories to them about the fictional characters Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear:
Based on the collected Uncle Remus stories of author Joel Chandler Harris, the film follows an innocent young boy from Atlanta named Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) who moves with his mother to his grandmother’s plantation. (His father remains in Atlanta to work as a newspaper editor.) On the plantation, Johnny learns a series of life lessons from Uncle Remus (James Baskett) in the form of stories about the animated Br’er Rabbit (voiced by Johnny Lee) and his quest to evade Br’er Fox (Baskett) and Br’er Bear (Nick Stewart). Included amongst these cartoon interludes is “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” which won the Oscar for Best Original Song and is one of the most famous and beloved tunes in the Disney library.
The Splash Mountain attraction features all three animal characters: Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, but there is no depiction whatsoever of Uncle Remus (and even if there were a likeness of him in the attraction, would it absolutely make the ride racist?).
Some media outlets would have readers and viewers believe that the destruction of Disney’s Splash Mountain attraction has been called for by the masses, and a few of them would have you believe that most African-Americans want the ride reimagined. But in June 2020, when Disney Parks announced official plans to bathe the wettest ride at Magic Kingdom in a complete overhaul that included inspiration from a beloved Disney Princess film–one about the only African-American Disney Princess–many voiced their aversion to such a decision, saying it simply wasn’t necessary to axe the attraction.
In a televised interview during Wake Up America on Newsmax, Republican Congressman Byron Donalds says he’s ridden Splash Mountain several times, and he just doesn’t see where there’s a problem. And it’s worth mentioning that Congressman Donalds is an African-American gentleman. When asked by the news anchor, “How the heck is Splash Mountain racist,” the Congressman exuded boldness in his answer.
“I don’t know, man,” Congressman Donalds said. “I’ve been to Splash Mountain so many times I can’t even count. But myself [and] my three sons never even thought about it. They didn’t even think it was an issue.”
He continued by saying that those who see the attraction as problematic “want to be victims.”
“Here’s the problem that we have,” he explained. “You have these people who choose to want to be victims. Being a victim apparently today in America is the only way you can actually create your identity, so they go from place to place [trying to find] reasons to change something so they feel better about themselves.”
Donalds further said that the Splash Mountain attraction “didn’t both anybody,” and he pointed out that it’s a ride, something people experience and enjoy and have fun doing.
“I don’t even get it, but again, it’s Disney at this point,” Donalds continued. “They’ve lost their minds when it comes to program and stuff like this, and it’s really sad to see them not just stand up and be like, ‘no, this isn’t racist; it’s just a part of our park, and kids enjoy it.'”
Let me get this straight.
Splash Mountain is racist, but Joe Biden saying you're not Black if you don't vote for him isn't??…
Cancel Joe, not Splash Mountain! https://t.co/ARkqd6gYWr
— Congressman Byron Donalds (@RepDonaldsPress) December 12, 2022
It isn’t the first time Mr. Biden made comments with racist undertones. In the summer of 2020, he apologized after speaking warmly as he reminisced about his working relationships with segregationist senators.
You can see Congressman Donalds’s interview and hear his comments about Splash Mountain here: