The official @Snoopy account became the center of Twitter and Facebook controversy on February 21 2020, due to a since-deleted tweet involving Charlie Brown, his friend Franklin (a Black character), and usage of the phrase “you’re one of the good ones.”
Many of the people tweeting about it opined that the image and phrase together were deeply racist, as the figures were clearly depicted with Charlie Brown speaking to Franklin. But others disputed that characterization:
A version of the comic was evidently shared to Facebook as well, where some users decried its removal as “political correctness” run amok. That post began:
This cartoon was pulled from Facebook this morning. Why you ask? Because the people behind the “Snoopy” Facebook page were worried about political correctness. If this were a picture of Charlie Brown and LINUS, no one would have a problem. They would have read the cartoon as it was intended, Charlie Brown complementing his friend. PERIOD. But you throw in Franklin and it instantly becomes a racial issue because of the color of his skin. Franklin is a Peanut just as much as Charle Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, etc. The cartoon is the same cartoon no matter which Peanut is in it.
The phrase “You’re one of the good ones” is a backhanded compliment often proffered in racist or misogynist situations. RationalWiki describes it as particularly prominent in the history of racial relations:
This form is used to superficially compliment an individual from an oppressed group on being “different” or “superior” to what the speaker would expect from that group. This is unlikely to be appreciated, as it only serves to insult the demographic in question and entrench harmful stereotypes about it, suggesting that the demographic described is inferior by default. Such statements are sometimes made out of genuine ignorance, but this does not make them any less harmful.
This phenomenon is particularly prominent in the history of racial relations. Frank Chin, Asian American playwright, opined that “Colored minorities in white reality are stereotypes”, with the “bad” stereotype being defined as such because it cannot be controlled by whites, and the “good” stereotype being tractable. The antisemitic H. P. Lovecraft considered his Jewish wife “well assimilated”, a CIA document described Che Guevara as “fairly intellectual for a Latino”, and Hitler lauded certain Jews as Honorary Aryans. More recently, Ann Coulter, describing black Republicans, stated that “our blacks are so much better than their blacks”, and during his presidential campaign Donald Trump offered to exempt Sadiq Khan, first Muslim Lord Mayor of London, from his Muslim ban; this offer was unsurprisingly not appreciated.
As for whether the controversial @Snoopy/Peanuts post was real and accurately described, the verified account acknowledged its existence and deletion in an apology tweet:
Someone behind the account wrote:
Earlier today a tweet from this account, featuring an image of two friends, was misinterpreted. As this was not the intended message of the post, it has been deleted so as not to perpetuate an inaccurate interpretation. The post was meant as a celebration of friendship.
It looked like the @Snoopy “you’re one of the good ones” tweet was deleted so quickly, it would be easy to mistake for a fabrication. However, @Snoopy acknowledged and apologized for the impact of the image and its wording, as well as indicating it had been deleted, not falsified.