Putting this here because my facebook is going to be like Whoa.
So can we talk about blackface for a minute?
Blackface is a problem that has never been resolved despite the face that white people will tell you that it has and THAT my friends is the very crux on which this whole argument is built.
White people don’t like to be told no. And more to the point, white people will NOT be told no.
As blackfolk we ask two things from white people when it comes to pop culture appropriation: 1) don’t say the n-word and 2) don’t do blackface. And EVERY YEAR we are sorely disappointed.
And the excuses start rolling in:
"It’s just a character!"
"More people would notice if I DIDN’T do blackface!"
"I didn’t use paint that dark!"
"I’m European, and my Google doesn’t work so I’m not sure what’s going on here, but let me say several racially insensitive things about it, mmkay?"
"Whatever, blackface was so long ago, it’s time that we get past this as a society. Really, you’re racist by even noticing it."
"What about White Girls?"
And so on, and they ask about men being women, and women being eskimos, and eskimos being surfers and where does the POLITICAL CORRECTNESS STOP?! Why can’t we all just get along?
Because you won’t STOP. White people, this is directly to you, I need you to stop. Find some chill and overdose on it, because I can count a couple of times where I”ve seen blackface and it didn’t make me want to vomit. Twice on 30 Rock and Scrubs and both were spearheaded by black people who were like, “okay, here’s the line, you can toe it, but don’t cross it.” and you white people said, “okay” and you know what? It was freaking great and controversial and funny and got people to talking, well done.
But I need you to find some chill and overdose on it, okay? Because when you get all up in your airs and start with the whole “I’m white and that’s right and I can do what I want!” you end up ruining everything for everyone! I think it’s so cute to be able to wear Native Headdresses and outfits and moccasins. But y’all went and painted your faces red and started talking about “Yeah! Let’s get drunk and go open a casino, HAHAHAHAHAH!!!” and then the Native Americans were like “Shut it down!”
Remember you could wear a sombrero and a poncho and it’d be fun, and then some white people decided to dress as wetbacks or tape grass to their backs and paint their faces and still with the drinking and show up to the party in a home depot truck? This is why we can’t have nice things whitefolk, because y’all take this ish too far to the point where it’s just freaking rude. And there have been COUNTLESS examples including race, class, religion, culture, everything.
Even with this Trayvon and GZ mess?
Uggh, I was waiting for someone to do TM and GZ and I just wanted it to be done well and the only people who were doing it was some lazy college kids who couldn’t even afford the D on their costumes and paint their whole face and wear a black hoodie. Julianne Hough picks the lightest shade of Wet n Wild bronzer she could find which makes her lazy and insulting on two levels.
I think honestly that white people are sick of doing blackface, but they don’t want to give up acting like they’re the victims so they just get sloppy with it which just pisses more people of color off. So the bottom line comes back to: why is this still an issue?
Because White people, you don’t get to say when something doesn’t matter anymore. You don’t get to say how long has been long enough. You don’t get to keep resetting the “get over it” clock. And the moment you understand that is the moment this world will be a much clearer place. You’ve held on to this position of power for so long that the moral cons of claiming membership within the white institution far outweigh the social benefits and yet you still grasp on to it with the whitest of knuckles.
It’s a construct built on disillusion. The fallacy of anything being “nude” or “natural” colored and it being akin to white skin. There’s something to this that I’m still working on, but suppose you have a biracial child who is black and white. And you teach them Rites of Passage and Juneteenth and then you want to make sure they know both sides of the family so you break out the family tree and notice you have Irish and Italian in you. So you teach the kids about being Irish, or Italian, or French, but how do you teach a kid to be white? Especially a kid who may not look white? How do you install a person of color into a white construct? You can’t, and you can’t change the child so the construct has to be changed. But if you change the construct then you have to acknowledge that it exists. That privilege is universal and effects more than those who benefit from it. More on that another time.
The world is changing and you’re refusal to change with it, while also blaming everyone else around you for daring to lap you is troublesome. Because white people in blackface is NOT a step forward, it’s a step back. And you want everyone to stay back with you while you look like an insensitive jerk and honestly I’m tired of lagging behind on account of this mess. Be done with it and move on.