Posted by my friends at Power Line Blog:
From my friends at Power Line Blog:
Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about a recent controversy about “A Charles Brown Thanksgiving.” Some people who do not know the history of the Peanuts cartoon were upset about a scene in the program where Franklin, a character who is black, is sitting on one side of the table by himself in a lawn chair while the other characters sit around the table on regular chairs. The television special was declared racist on Twitter because of that scene. That declaration of racism does not hold water when the entire history of the cartoon and television specials is viewed.
The article puts the scene in context:
Of course, all of them have no idea what on earth they are talking about. Fortunately, black journalist Jeremy Helligar cleared up some of the controversy on Friday when he noted that the character Franklin had prime seating in other episodes of the “Peanuts.”
“A relevant aside: During the farewell dinner about one hour and five minutes into 1972’s ‘Snoopy Come Home,’ Franklin was seated on the same side of the table as Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Frieda — in a regular chair,” Helligar said on Medium.
The historical significance of the character Franklin cannot be understated; his creation was reportedly demanded by Charles Schulz following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. when a teacher named Harriet Glickman sent him a letter.
“When asked by the head of the cartoon’s publisher, United Feature Syndicate, if he was sure he wanted to add a black character, Glickman says Schulz replied, ‘Either you run it the way I drew it, or I quit,'” reports The Hill.
The Schulz Museum also celebrated Franklin’s 50th anniversary in July. He has never been treated like a token black character added for cheap lip-service to diversity and has always been a valued member of the “Peanuts” gang.
Watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” has been a tradition for family viewing during the Thanksgiving season. Hopefully common sense will rule in this situation, and the tradition will continue.
From my friends at Power Line Blog:
I have been a fan of Peanuts cartoons ever since I was old enough to read them. I have visited the Charles M. Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. I have eaten at the Warm Puppy Cafe and watched the skaters skate. I have Tivo‘d the Charlie Brown Christmas special. I watched it this morning. Then I read something that made me realize I had missed a major truth in the cartoon.
Yesterday The Federalist Papers posted an article about the Charlie Brown Christmas special. I love the special–it deals with the feeling some of us get when we are up to our necks in shopping and responsibilities and we are in danger of losing the meaning of Christmas. Obviously, the most important scene in the cartoon is the scene where Linus schools Charlie Brown in the true meaning of Christmas, but there is a hidden message in that scene which I had missed.
Here is the scene as posted on YouTube:
Notice that as Linus begins quoting the Biblical story of Christmas he is still holding on to his security blanket. That is not unusual, Linus is rarely seen not holding on to his security blanket. However, notice that just as Linus quotes the angel saying, “Fear not,” he drops his blanket. The message here is that Linus understands that his security is not in that blanket–it has a bigger source. Previously I had not noticed that.
Merry Christmas to everyone, and may you follow the example of Linus and ‘fear not.’