Blackface is not OK for Halloween, it is not OK for your themed parties and definitely not for dressing up as a murdered black teenager! I can’t believe we still have to educate some white people on why black face is never OK.
It is surprising that even some supposedly progressive white friends on social media think their black friends are being oversensitive about Blackface. Any friend of mine who hits me with the bullshit “Don’t be too sensitive about racism” will get not just a mouthful of sensitive words but also get lectured, if not immediately booted out. If knowing the history of Blackface, you still choose to find and justify some ‘good’ intent behind it, you really need to check your privilege.
For those who still do not know the origin of Blackface or who want to live in denial, please do your research on the history of Blackface before you don your racist Halloween costume or defend those who think Halloween is not complete without Blackface.
For this Halloween, A Trayvon Martins/ George Zimmerman Halloween costume surfaced, how much more insensitive can this get?
I still cannot believe that some ignorant assholes chose to dress as a murdered Trayvon Martin, complete with the blood stained hoodie, a soda and skittles. And as if that was not plain evil enough, he did the Blackface too. This makes me sad and sick to my stomach. I guess some people will always be assholes.
These cretins also dressed up as your ‘friendly’ neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, pointing gun fingers at a bloodied Trayvon Martin.
Also topping the list of racist Halloween costumes for this year is this photo of Hyndman, Pennsylvania men dressing up as the Ku Klux Klan and lynching President Barack Obama posted on Facebook.
How low can people sink before they are officially declared ‘unevolved’?
If we allowed these kinds of ‘unevolved’ minds to roam free, lynching like the lynching of Jesse Washington would once again be a normal pastime in our town centers.
When parents and the media perpetrate the stereotypes of black kids with runaway dads, it is not surprising when white teenagers like this brat who posted a picture dressed in blackface because she’s a “n***er” for Halloween, responded to criticism by saying that Black people need to stop worrying about her costume and start worrying about finding their fathers.
Really? This brat needs an education on how not to use stereotypes to justify ignorance or anything at all. She sounds like her parents would have allowed her to watch the lynching of Jesse Washington as a rite of passage and an education in white supremacy.
It is sad that we still have people like this Craigsville, Va., woman, Jessica Black, who sees nothing wrong in her 7-year-old son dressing up for Halloween in the robes of a Ku Klux Klan member, and in fact defends her appalling decision with the nonchalant remark- “It’s suppose to be white with white. Black with black. Man with woman and all of that”.
When parents teach their children that it is OK to hate, what hope do we have for a better world where equality reigns supreme?
When this 21 year old birthday gal decided to throw herself an African themed Birthday party, she thought it was her way of honoring the ‘country’ she loves. BTW, somebody should please slap the next ignoramus who calls Africa a country! It also does not help that even though she can’t write good English, she wants to visit Africa for two months, to teach English language to those poor African children. Looks like someone eagerly wants the philanthropist of the year award.
An African themed party might not be a bad idea but I wonder why many of her adult friends turned up in blackface.
The person wearing the KKK costume might lack a brain or empathy but I wonder why s/he was not kicked out at the door.
Why on earth do some white people think Blackface is funny or acceptable?
Why can’t white people just wear African attire without painting themselves all black in some exaggerated clan’s effect makeup?
I just wish white people would understand that Black-face is very, very offensive. Also, they do not need to paint their faces black and draw exaggerated big black lips to pull off African attire.
This is not a celebration of a diverse culture; it is simply mocking and stereotyping a group of people.
It really isn’t wise to attempt in any way to excuse Blackface, not with its historical connotation and the widely known ways it was used and still being used to mock Black Africans.
Also, it would be foolish to reduce it to mere make up or black paint for aesthetics. Attempts to justify some hidden good intent behind Blackface are not only irrelevant but also insulting to those whose very existence and cultures are stereotyped and mocked.
We Are A Culture, Not A costume is a laudable effort by Ohio University student group, Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS). I hope efforts like these would help create awareness, but we also need more white people to speak out against Blackface. Maybe, just maybe the Blackface apologists would listen, learn and discard their racist ways.
Sidney Davis says
Racism is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration it is hereditary, and as a disease transmitted for almost a thousand years it is incurable.
chigau (違う) says
Racism is learned behaviour.
It is incurable only if you give up without even trying to stop it.
I really doubt that anyone that age in the USA has actually seen a blackface performance so this is not even a cultural thing. Freedom of speech is necessarily sacrosanct, but it is worth asking why these people go out of their way to be rude. As for the KKK thing though, that is not really culturally insensitive unless the kkk is considered a culture. If the purpose of Halloween is to be scary, then why can’t people dress as something legitimatley scary, such as a bigoted murderer? I mean if one may dress up as a serial killer or a thief, why not a kkk member? I agree that one should hesitate before dressing as a layperson from a certain culture for halloween, as it equates that culture with monsters and demonizes people, but arguably the KKK deserve demonisation.
SC (Salty Current), OM says
Good post. Also, did you see Public Shaming’s “How Not To Be An Asshole on Halloween”?
Yemisi Ilesanmi says
@Meggamat- Ignorance is really no excuse for this kind of behaviour. It is just so insensitive and bigoted. Even if they didn’t know about the origin of Blackface, what exactly is funnily scary about other people’s skin colour that qualifies it as Halloween costume for white people?
Ku Klux Klan might not be a cultural thing, it is an ideology based on pure hate; Racism.
Halloween is about scary fun, there is nothing scarily funny or funnily scary about dressing up as KKK. It is an epitome of racism, it is deeply insensitive and both an overt and covert thumbs up for racism.
It is insensitive to dress up as KKK for Halloween just as it is insensitive to dress up as Adolf Hitler to go Tricking or Treating. There is nothing scarily funny about genocide or racism.
Yemisi Ilesanmi says
@SC (Salty Current), OM -- Great link, thanks.
@Yemisi- suppose so. There is a difference between being ironically scary and offensive (potentially traumatizing in the Hitler hypothetical) I don’t really do Halloween myself, but oddly enough quite a lot of people wear costumes that just don’t seem at all scary.
@#1 What kind of crap are you going on about? I see your words are lifted from text concerning anti-Semitism. Words that are just not supported by reality. As Chigau has kindly pointed out, bigotry is learned behavior not some kind of psychic gene passed on at conception. What a toxic way of looking at things, basically saying things will never get better.
I have heard some people say that blackface is not considered to be as offensive in Europe because they associate it with the 1920-30s cabaret culture, rather than American ministrel shows. Is this true or just people trying to be willfully stupid?
But seriously, why would anyone do blackface in 2013 unless they’re trying to be racist? And given how culturally and historically illiterate most people are (I doubt that the kids in the photos are watching old movies or cartoons with blackface scenes), where would they even get the idea to do blackface? It boggles the mind.
@ thinkfree83- the connotations in Europe were once somewhat different, but after black American performers started to perform more frequently in Britain, blackface was phased out, and anyone doing today would likely be thought to be either racist or ironic.
As a long-time fan of Jolson (seriously, I love his voice) I admit that I cringe at some of his songs.
“I really doubt that anyone that age in the USA has actually seen a blackface performance ” -- ah, the joy of being an old fart! I still remember how ‘Aunt Jemima’ did a presentation on the importance of a good breakfast at my grade school. You don’t know what you’ve missed.
Dressing as adolf hitler isn’t a bad idea for Halloween. I’m black myself and I think the real ignorent people are the ones who use 20 year old+ history as an excuse to take offense to any tiny little thing. I don’t take offense to black face because if you’re saying they’re stupid then obviously their views on racism don’t matter! You don’t see gay people yelling sexism everytime someone makes a “gay joke” but it’s stupid that people can’t even dress as a scary ghost style murderer without a SMALL HAND FULL of people claiming it offends 100s of people, when really, it doesn’t. Adolf hitler costume would not be offensive either. You’re one person who is likely one of few people who want to make a big deal of this… When people dress as Jack the Ripper, why shouldn’t anyone be offended? Or that popular hockey mask murderer? I much rather have someone with random racist thoughts that a physically threatening serial killer in our society. And since it’s haloween you shouldn’t complain about either of them.
Yemmy, I’m just sad that this still has to be told to people. It’s supremely offensive.
As to Whatever: obvious troll is obvious, and other tautologies of wisdom.
Yemisi Ilesanmi says
@Whatever- Once a troll , always a troll. Even with your sly attempt to bypass the trashcan you were condemned to, you still can’t shake off the stink. Troll away , back into the trash can 🙂 .
This. x 6,000,000.
The people in the pictures with the black face makeup look like some cool people… the kind you’d like to hang out with, without having to fear them being to sensitive and whiny about everything, like most blacks and gays. BTW, I’m an atheist too. I just don’t like whiny complaining over-sensitive pussies like the author and anyone who agrees with her fat over-privileged ass…. after all, blacks are more privileged nowadays than whites because of the government coddling the negros. Now go ahead and delete my comment because the truth hurts. Loosen up a little and take that fucking race card and shove it up your ass. The nation is starting to get sick and tired of listening to you racist-blacks always bitching about racism when there isn’t any except for the imaginary racism you idiots constantly bring up. You blacks paying that much attention to race and racism makes you that much more racist than those whom you accuse of such racism. Obviously you’re a closet black-supremacist, 100% anti-white male capitalist. You’re a bigot. A hypocrite. You can’t stand powerful independent white males, because the TV and the federal-mafia-funded public indoctrination centers taught you to hate whitey. It’s OK. You can come clean. I don’t care either way, because I won’t bother reading any replies. I’ve got a life to live. Peace.
Gordie Lloyd says
You have to teach the kids early. If they start wearing blackface when they’re 8, they may start stealing cars and smoking crack, just like a real reggin, when they’re 13 !! The author of this article should lay-off of the fried chicken and pig’s knuckles- then maybe she could snag a buck, and wouldn’t have to seek solace by pandering to the queers!
Yemisi Ilesanmi says
@don- It is obvious that you have some very serious issues going on in your life that has made you into this very bitter, warped person but this still does not give you a pass to vomit your bile on my space.
Did you think throwing that information in gives you some kind of validation? Very funny! What an ignorant, homophobic asshole.
Of course you already know that you can’t hang on my wall as this is no place for racist, bigoted, homophobic ignoramuses. Go hang with your cool friends who love to do Blackface, just remember to stay in the cave, where you belong.
BTW, I am not going to delete your rant as you thought, it will stay up up there as an example of ‘Shits Some Atheists Say’. Pat yourself on the back; you not only got recognized as an atheist (at last!) but also as an asshole!
Don’t bother to thank me for your five minutes of infamy cos I am blocking your ignorant ass from my space. I am allergic to ignorance and you reek of it. Bye. 🙂
Yemisi Ilesanmi says
@Mammy Black- Oh dear, someone wants five minutes of malady on my wall at all cost. ROTFLMAO!
Sorry, you and your comment go into the trash can. Nothing original in your attempt at insult, many internet assholes use same line every second. If your dream is to be a recognized internet asshole, at least try and be original. You actually suck at throwing insults, which of course makes me wonder if there is anything you excel at. I am sure you also suck at wanking over my pics. What a pathetic being.
BTW, you cannot practice ‘How to be an internet asshole’ on my space, but there is room for you in my trash can. 🙂
Yemisi Ilesanmi says
@Gordie Lloyd -Wow, who let the dogs out… No worries, here comes the leash to lead you straight into the trash can. Feel free to get dirty and wallow in your ignorance in there, you are in like company and no, I won’t insult pigs by calling you a pig, you are just a biphobic, racist ignoramus. Bye 🙂
I am surprised so many people took extreme issue on this. I believe in free speech, but the rage here is not directed against censorship, but just general dislike against the author. Yemisi Illesanmi seems to have gained some infamy. Good for her, because there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Ophelia Benson says
Wow. People who take to the internet to vomit out garbage that they just can’t get away with in places where they’re not anonymous…
I went as “an old woman” for halloween once, when I was 7. I put my hair in curlers and wore house shoes and a nightgown and walked hunched over with a cane. Is that offensive?
What if you’re dressing up as a specific person or character, and that person’s skin color is different from yours? Is it offensive to complete the costume with body paint?
I read the post, but I had nothing to add until I ran across this item:
Bad taste and offensiveness obviously isn’t limited to Hallowe’en. One has to wonder if some people will ever get the point and not do it anymore.
Dave Z says
I can’t argue with any of what you’ve said. Up here in Canada people tend to do the same thing to natives. To me, playing up stereotypes for fun is too sensitive of ground for 99.9% of people to try. A few can probably walk the thin line between comedy and offensive, but if we’re being honest even some of Dave Chappelle’s material was probably on the wrong side of the line.
However, I do look forward to a day when there’s superheroes and cultural icons of all backgrounds. If one day white kids are dressing up as a black superhero because he’s an awesome superhero and not because they want to pretend they’re black or get a laugh, I can’t see that as anything but a giant victory in equality.
Jason Failes says
Once upon a time, I went in blackface.
In Grade 8, I went out as Mr Worf and, in addition to the wig, fake goatee, and terrible home-made forehead ridges, I also applies copious amounts of chocolate brown makeup to my face and hands.
I just thought it was another physical characteristic of the character I was portraying, but now I know I was racist.
Jason Failes says
“Applied”. Damn clumsy thumbs.
Zwarte Piet says
Once upon a time when I was ten I dressed up as a girl during carnival.
I wore a dress and nail polish.
Was I sexist?
People who claim there’s nothing wrong with wearing black face might benefit from reading up on how black people were dehumanized during slavery & colonialism eg: minstrel shows; black carricatures (sambos, pickaninnies, mammies) used in films, as toys (golliwog) & household artifacts; & Sarah Baartman being forcefully paraded naked in Europe as a freak just because she had a typical African woman’s body. Bottom line is that under normal circumstances, no one gives a fuzz if you paint your face white, green, violet or black for halloween but with this long history of black people being mocked & dehumanized, don’t be shocked if you’re the only one laughing when you decide to paint your face black & wear an afro wig for halloween. It’s really interesting how defensive people get when it’s pointed out that their behavior is offensive to a certain group of people. How about listening for a change & getting educated on why your behavior is offensive?
Mister X says
Nothing free thought about this. The author is a racist trying to complain about racism. Don’t be a hypocrite
Franklin Romines says
Yeah. I am offended.The worst one in the examples you gave is the T-shirt that says “It’s all about the boobs.” Wow. Really? It is?The “feel your boobies” campaign has never bothered me as much as it bothers others. But the “Save the ta-tas” is pretty bad as is “Save the hooters.”