In the 1941 classic Disney animated feature, Dumbo the flying elephant runs into a band of jive-talking black crows who sing, “I’d be done see’n about everything/when I see an elephant fly!” These crows, everyone now agrees, are racist black stereotypes exhibiting characteristics and qualities that should never be associated with black people.
A passing Disney executive explains “the crows are very specifically depicted as poor and uneducated. They’re constantly smoking; and they appear to be wearing pimp hats. These are characteristics that have nothing to do with black people.”
“It is important that our representations of black people, even as crows, move with the times,” the executive adds, “it is 2016, and the Disney corporation feels it is the right time for the crows to accurately reflect the lives and concerns of black people. While still being crows who can teach Dumbo how to fly.”
The crows will use their genius-level talents in maths, physics and aeuronatical engineering to accomplish the apparently impossible: to have an elephant fly.
The new live action version of Dumbo will feature crows who are scientists, mathematicians, pioneering surgeons, engineers and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, “just like real groups of black people you might encounter,” says the Disney executive.