italian version


Black Snow White


Giovanni De Sio Cesari

Disney announces its intention to produce a new film about Snow White, but with modern characters inspired by overcoming all racism: in this context, Snow White is no longer white but a black actress. The fact is presented as a contribution to overcoming and sweeping away from children's minds the residues of racism, which is now outdated but still remains hidden, so we must wake up (woke, as they say), and this also applies to many other residues that insidiously undermine modern values such as sexism, homophobia, and other similar distortions. But is it really so? Let's examine the problem. Why does a black Snow White then seem so strange? Let's set aside the name, which we could easily change. The fact is that Snow White cannot be represented as black because she is part of a cultural context of whites. In Africa, there are no castles, but huts; there are no princes, but tribal chiefs, and not even horses. But above all, in African cultures, there are no romantic loves like Snow White's, a couple who live happily ever after because they love each other. In Africa, the importance of a leader (prince) is measured by the number of wives he has. So, an African Snow White could at most aspire to be the favorite of an important man, at least for a while, and then be replaced by a younger one. The fairy tale represents her as white in a world of whites, in a nineteenth-century culture of whites: even the fact of being as white as snow derives from the fact that in that historical context, not being tanned was a sign of distinction: ladies did not expose themselves to the sun, protecting themselves also with the characteristic feminine parasols, while the women of the people, unfortunately, could not maintain too fair skin (nowadays, girls want a tan). A black Snow White in that context would be completely out of place, she would appear fake. Similarly, I don't see how Snow White could be represented in a bikini or, as I saw in a movie, leading a cavalry charge, even! She would have completely different characteristics from those of the fairy tale, which would then become contradictory. So, if we want a new fairy tale, let's represent a new fairy tale. Of course, every story can be and is indeed always reinterpreted. But there is also a limit not to be exceeded: it must not be distorted in its constitutive characteristics, otherwise, it becomes a forgery, not an interpretation. Snow White is a sweet girl according to the feminine canons of the 1800s: if we represent her in a bikini and at the head of a cavalry charge, then she is another character, why still refer to her? Of course, however, we are an inclusive society: a black girl who completely abandons her traditional culture to adopt ours (from the 1800s) could also experience a Snow White-like story. But does this seem to us a representation that overcomes racism? The moment a black girl becomes Snow White, then we tear her away from her original culture to insert her into ours, which certainly appears to us superior (indeed, let's say the true and only civilization) because our civilization adopts our principles, or rather the principles so praised by the woke fashion. But then, what is racism? Racism, in the strict sense, is not the undeniable observation that races have different somatic characteristics, but that such genetic data essentially determine their culture: therefore, a black person could never truly share the culture of us whites, and above all in the implicit assumption that we whites are genetically superior to them. In a broader sense, the obvious observation that men belong to very diverse cultures is not racism, but racism is the idea that other cultures are hierarchically arranged in the implicit premise that ours is still superior. In simple terms, genetic or cultural differences are considered hierarchies with the corollary of the superiority of ours and therefore discrimination. Not being racist therefore means: that the obvious consideration that races have different somatic characteristics does not necessarily mean that such differences determine a cultural hierarchy (racism in the strict sense). The consideration that men belong to very diverse cultures does not imply that there is a hierarchy among them (racism in the broader sense). Traditional racism has now waned (except for exceptions, but every rule has its exceptions), but the woke mentality is becoming a new racism. It believes that our culture (or rather a certain part of our culture) is the true and just one and all those who do not share it then become beings who live in error and evil, let's say sub-humans. If this is valid for the components of our civilization, then it must also apply to those of other cultures and other races: in them, it would no longer be a matter of meager residues but of very clear and profound convictions. The woke movement with cancel culture wants to represent the world by canceling out diversity and reducing the whole world to a dimension considered the only possible and right one. But this is false: the world is and has been different, good and evil depend on the criteria chosen. With the Woke fashion, it seems that every even vague dissonance from prevailing opinions becomes an unforgivable fault. Somatic traits and citizenship are certain and clear things: nationality instead is a rather vague concept. It would indicate the sharing of a certain culture; however, in our democratic and pluralistic countries, you always find everything and its opposite, for example, religious fanatics and atheist fanatics, with everything in between. Now if we want to define ourselves and be truly democratic, we cannot show intolerance towards those who have opinions different from the prevailing ones or who believe only to be prevailing. It is not that everyone wants to cancel every difference in roles between men and women, indeed, some consider it natural and necessary; in democracy, they must have the right to openly support it. The woke movement, however, by criminalizing minority thought (or believed to be a minority) and poses as antidemocratic: as for racism in disregarding undeniable and evident cultural differences becomes a new and true racism. It is paradoxical that certain progressives flare up at every even small difference in gender roles and then lash out against those who seem to discriminate against those cultures that make gender role differences the basis of their way of being.