A popular Christian cartoon about singing vegetables has been deemed “racist” and “dangerous” last week by a group of a Cal State San Marco students during their “Annual Whiteness Forum,” according to a report from The College Fix published Monday.
“VeggieTales” was created in 1993 for evangelical children and depicts anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables re-enacting Bible stories and singing silly songs. Its main characters are Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato, and they are supported by a cast of other produce.
But there is nothing silly about the allegations leveled against the cartoon by the collegiate forum, which claims the show perpetuates dangerous stereotypes because the villains are seemingly vegetables of color.
As reported by The College Fix, the two-hour event was a part of a Communications 454 class entitled “Communication of Whiteness.” According to her academic webpage at the California State Univeristy San Marcos, the professor, Dr. Dreama G. Moon, conducts her research “within a critical intercultural/human rights framework,” and focuses “on the varied communicative processes by which relations of domination are constructed, negotiated, reproduced, and resisted with special attention to race and white supremacy.”
Dr. Moon has published books and articles with titles like “Interrogating the Communicative Power of Whiteness,” and “Racist Violations and Racializing Apologia in a Post-Racism Era.”
The Annual Whiteness Forum was reportedly the culmination of the course, where students present projects on “their whiteness studies” from that semester. The student whose project focused on VeggieTales reportedly claimed that the villains of the show “tend to sound ethnic, such as Latino, while the good characters sound white.”
“Racial minorities were usually depicted as villains,” the student’s project said in part, according to a photo taken by The College Fix.
They humanize vegetables using stereotypes shown in accents and racial indicators to identify people of color in the show. In fact, it was even found in the same study that many of the villains characterized by race were found to be irredeemable … “Veggie Tales” and other like-minded works have made the good messages in the Bible dangerous.
Bestselling Christian author and biographer Eric Metaxas, who once wrote for the series, called such things “insane” and “utterly unhelpful to everyone on Planet Earth,” in a Thursday tweet.
If we don’t mock the superlative idiocy of things like this, we only have ourselves to blame for the destruction of all that is good, beautiful, and true. These things must be called what they are: insane and utterly unhelpful to everyone on Planet Earth. https://t.co/1FHurgfh3u
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) December 5, 2018