I want all of my white readers to repeat this phrase out loud:
No matter what my intention is, it is never okay to dress in blackface.
Never. Never ever. There is no circumstance in which it is okay for you to dress up in blackface.
There, that should solve the problem…
Republican state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver is facing criticism after posting a picture on the Internet that some are calling racially offensive. Weaver said that a picture that she took with her pastor in blackface dressed as Aunt Jemima was just Halloween fun and doesn’t understand why the photo is offensive.
Hey, can we get a totally clueless quote to go along with the picture?
Weaver said she feels some Democrats are making something out of nothing and said, “I’m the least racist of anyone. Some of my greatest friends are black.”
I’m not making this stuff up, folks. She actually used the “I’m not racist, my __________ is a black guy” excuse.
Well that’s Tennessee. We kind of expect that stupidity down there, right?
Mark Andrade sat down at the Campbellford Royal Canadian Legion hall on Saturday night looking forward to a Halloween beer. Instead, he was treated to the sight of one man parading around in a Ku Klux Klan costume with a Confederate flag. The partygoer was leading another man in blackface around the room by a noose. Andrade left his beer on the bar and walked out. Friends told him later that the two men had won first prize at the Legion’s Halloween costume competition.
I will be hosting periodic screenings of Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled at my apartment. If anyone thinks it’s okay for anyone to dress in blackface, please come over and watch the movie. It will change your mind.
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Don’t forget about that time Ted Danson dressed in blackface when he was dating Whoopi Goldberg.
Well obviously he isn’t racist – he’s dating a black woman!
Yes as a matter of fact many black people don’t understand blackface either. Same with the word nigger. Doesn’t mean that because a black person says “it’s okay” that it is.
Thanks for the link – hadn’t heard about that one.
Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off of my desk. I really shouldn’t be surprised, considering that this is the second year running that I have seen men walking Richmond Row in London, Ontario sporting blackface Hallowe’en costumes. One tried to justify his blunder by arguing that he was dressed up as the character that Robert Downey Jr. played in Tropical Thunder. Regardless, walking that fine line between satire and ignorance is not the best bet one a night that is generally dedicated to people getting drunk out of their minds.
I’m unclear as to what that costume is supposed to satirize. It would certainly have to be a very ‘meta’ kind of costume – “I’m dressed as centuries of white oppression masquerading as cheap and uninteresting satire.”
Every Hallowe’en… I should start broadcasting commercials or something starting around the 15th, just letting people know that it’s still not okay.
Actually, I was just going to ask if you’d seen Bamboozled. I’d really like to see it again, especially in the company of someone that I can discuss it with.
I saw it years ago, possibly when I was 16, and I really just ended up perplexed. I don’t recall any precise reason for my perplexion, just that I was generally confused by the movie. Definitely something I’d like to revisit.
If you feel like making the trip down to my part of town either tomorrow or Sunday during the day, you’re welcome to come by.
If I remember correctly, the guy who dressed as the klansman at the Legion party also used the “I’m not racist, my best friend is black” defense. I think he actually used those exact words in an interview with The Star.
Northwestern University actually sent out a campus-wide email this year to remind everyone that it’s not cool to dress in blackface, even for halloween. Seriously, when did this become a thing? Kind of ridiculous.
If his best friend is actually a black guy, he’s either bad at being black or bad at being a friend. Friends don’t let friends become a national scandal.
Two additional thoughts:
A) Shouldn’t your opening line read “I want all of my readers to repeat this phrase out loud” ?
B) I have this awesome idea for a costume for a Christmas party… 😉
A – I guess. It’s a particular concern for white people, given the history of blackface. Fine, all of my non-white readers (if I have any non-white readers) – you don’t get to dress in blackface either. No blackface for anyone.
B – As long as I can dress as a drunk wife-beating leprechaun.
You’re a proficient black man, Ian, *and* a good friend. :p
I think it’s perfectly fine for any Republican to the right of Genghis Khan to dress in blackface. In public. And to go canvassing door-to-door in the projects.
Before we kill all the Morris dancers I shall explain that the tradition of them ‘blacking’ their faces with burnt cork or make-up is for disguise and dates back 500 years.
Antiquity doesn’t grant license – lots of things that are “traditional” are bad. Most of the pictures I see on the wikis linked to the page don’t have blackened faces. If the history of ‘morris’ dancing is indeed ‘Moorish’ (as the wiki suggests), then this may be an homage to the originators of the tradition, and would thus be divorced from the history of American blackface. However, the site makes no mention of that. It’s decidedly curious.