You weren’t thinking you and your white privilege were going to get all the way through the Christmas holidays without feeling some shame for being white and privileged and Christian and American, were you? Well, maybe you’re not any of those things and maybe you’re all of them, but either way, you’re going to have to sit through another holiday season filled with the racial idiocies that this nation’s divisive, opportunistic morons love to throw around. Because, after all, nothing says Christmas like reminding everyone that America sucks and so do white people.
According to a “theater history professor” at Boston University named Kyna Hamill, nothing will be spared the wrath of racial grievance, not even our beloved Christmas carols. According to her interview with the Boston Globe, “Jingle Bells” is rooted in a racist history and should probably be stricken from the holiday playlist.
“It was first performed in this blackface minstrel hall in Boston in 1857,” Hamill said.
From the Boston Globe:
Hamill found that such onstage minstrel shows were part of a larger genre of satire at the time that “lampooned” black participation in wintry activities such as sleigh riding. The field often depicted black people “behaving foolishly, grotesquely, and incompetently.” Performances of “Jingle Bells” included stereotyped “dandy” characters that mockingly portrayed black people within Northern culture.
The song, however, has since “eluded its racialized past” and is “a prime example” of how some popular 19th century music’s “blackface and racist origins have been subtly and systematically removed from its history,” according to Hamill. It wasn’t until decades later that it became a Christmas song, much less the popular holiday anthem it is today. Upon the festive recitations of the song each season, there’s likely not much reflection upon its origins profiting off the racist caricatures of black people.
To be fair to Hamill, her point is less about getting rid of “Jingle Bells” and more about examining the dueling ownership claims the town of Medford, MA and Savannah, GA place on it, but we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before some black activism blog takes up the cause. After all, we’ve seen them go after such perennial ditties as “Eenie Meenie Miney Mo” and the National Anthem, so it should not be much of a stretch for them to start chopping away at our collective Christmas catalog. Rule of thumb: If it manages to make white people upset, that’s a good thing.
Because, yeah, that’s really working out well for them so far…