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Why Boycotting “Phineas and Ferb” Is the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

A brave protester sticking up for what is right.

In 2015, the activist Bree Newsome scaled a 30-foot pole to remove the Confederate battle flag outside of the South Carolina State House. Newsome was charged with defacing monuments on capitol grounds, a punishment with a maximum jail sentence of three years. 

Meanwhile on television, white fuckers named Phineas and Ferb destroyed a national monument by etching their sister’s face onto Mount Rushmore. They received NO punishment. 

To some, Phineas and Ferb is a beloved children’s television show that illustrates the boundlessness of childhood imagination. To the enlightened others, it is the next civil rights battleground. Phineas and Ferb is an unapologetic promoter of a prison-industrial complex that polices black and brown bodies while willfully overlooking the transgressions of white America. It represents the triple evils of racism, sexism, and classism, and its messaging is clear: White boys can do literally anything. 

White boys, for example, can repeatedly gaslight their sister without any consequence from authority. Candace Flynn, a feminist icon, is every woman—made to feel like we’re crazy tattletales who ruin the fun for calling men out for their bad behavior. The show is a prototypical case study of victim blaming. Candace’s mother—practically Phyllis Schlafly in the flesh—dismisses Candace’s repeated attempts to serve justice, causing her to become anxious and paranoid. If feminists want to be taken seriously, they need to stop hounding Lena Dunham and focus on the real enemy: Linda Flynn-Fletcher. 

White boys can also claim that the “annual problem of our generation" is finding a fulfilling way to spend the summer. This toxic, classist rhetoric excludes the millions of Americans who must work minimum wage jobs to support their families during breaks. What about the youths who cannot afford the leisure to “build a rocket, fight a mummy, or climb of the Eiffel Tower”? Or the students whose impoverished schools did not teach them how to build nanobots? Phineas and Ferb are the gap-year bros who won’t even pause to take a breath before mentioning their edifying experience backpacking in Kathmandu. And what kind of old money name is Phineas, anyway? 

Finally, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: colonialism. The cutesy, playful relationship between Buford (the imperial powers of Western Europe) and Baljeet (the third-world countries ravaged by centuries of exploitation) minimizes the unconscionable destruction committed by the world’s economic power players in the 20th century. Phineas and Ferb’s apologist history is a violent act of erasure, equivalent to Holocaust denial or Civil War revisionism. 

Someone tell us: When Phineas and Ferb “discover something that doesn’t exist,” is it reverse racism? Why can’t they use their privilege to build something useful, like a functioning healthcare system? And when will Perry the Platypus take a stand against the real evil—rape culture? 

Forget affordable housing. Forget education. Forget climate change. Boycotting Phineas and Ferb is the civil rights issue of our time.

© 2018