From the Left



'Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs' or How We Lost Our Freedom

Marc Munroe Dion on

Ever see a movie called "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs"?

I didn't think so. Made in 1943, it's never shown on television and was never released on video.

It's a wildly racist cartoon, a clumsy spoof on Snow White. There's a fat "mammy" in it. All the characters are Black, and their huge lips speak solely in the exaggerated "darky" dialect so beloved by Americans who were fighting fascism.

This little gem of bigot cinema was "canceled" because it's racist trash, and was intended to perpetuate the image of Black people as funny-talking dimwits suitable for picking cotton.

Ah, but we forget, and, when Pepe Le Pew, that adorable rape-y skunk, was "canceled," cranky patriots all over the nation reminded us that it starts with cartoon skunks and ends with jack-booted transexual storm troopers taking away our guns and our Bibles. Even Speedy Gonzales never jumped to a conclusion so fast.

In the interest of full disclosure, my last name is resoundingly French; I can speak the language, and I had relatives who made Pepe Le Pew sound like the King of England.

The plot of every Pepe Le Pew cartoon is the same. A black cat (who has no dialogue) is somehow marked with a white stripe down her back. Sometimes, she walks under a ladder and tips over a bucket of white paint. Sometimes it's something else. But she ends up with a white stripe down her back. With the stripe, she appears to be a female skunk, and is immediately pursued by the smelly (and horny) Pepe Le Pew, a skunk with a French accent as thick as bouillabaisse.

Pepe tries to kiss her. She turns her head away. Pepe grabs her, but she slips his grip. He chases her and she runs, emitting a frightened "mew." Throw in a pint of Southern Comfort and an 8-year-old pickup truck, and it's most of the dates I had in high school.


Ah, the girls of my high school, who literally, physically struggled to escape our superior strength and brightly burning single desire. Some of us used more muscle than others, but the girls, like the cat, said nothing, particularly if they lost.

I've been a terribly focused teenage boy, and I didn't need one more voice telling me to pursue, to grab, to take. I didn't need Pepe Le Pew or the cartoons in Playboy magazine that showed the boss chasing a secretary around her desk until she ended up giggling and giving in to him.

If it hadn't been for my father's soft reasoning and hard hands, I might have been one of the boys who used too much muscle to get what he wanted.

If there is one woman in your life who trusts you, and even your wife may not be that woman, ask her if she was ever date raped, or if she ever came close to being date raped. You won't like what she tells you. She didn't like it, either. There may not be one woman in your life who trusts you completely, which ought to tell you something about men and women.

On the other hand, if a pretty cat ends up marked with white paint, it probably wasn't an accident. She's "asking for it," if you know what I mean. And skunks will be skunks.


To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion's latest book, "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America," is a collection of his best columns. It is available on, and for Nook, Kindle and iBooks.




Lee Judge Jeff Danziger Bill Bramhall Jimmy Margulies David Fitzsimmons David Horsey