Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

StellaM

Blackface - What the heck!!

Recommended Posts

We also never thought we should wear makeup if wearing a costume portraying someone of a different race. A white girl wearing a Pocahontas costume didn't wear skin color makeup and the same went for an Asian kid dressing up like Lincoln. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

That is it, I went to a very diverse school but on the west coast and the woke thing wasn’t much of a thing.  It was pretty colorblind, in the sense of “respect and care for all people, don’t be tribal, gangs and cliques are discouraged” was the subtext of the school.  It has gone wacky since then, but I remember dating a black JW guy in high school and being so shocked my mom was more freaked out by him being black than us having disparate religious backgrounds.  That was actually my first encounter with that sort of attitude and she is a very tolerant person, but it was a knee jerk.  
 

Love or hate it, but the melting pot of the eighties and nineties in SoCal had a good vibe to it and ethnic tensions were pretty low, outside of the illegal immigration issues.  Those were a hot button back then but it was more on a policy level than individual bias.  And yeah, blackface wasn’t something we were exposed to but it also didn’t fit under the ‘respect and be kind to everyone’ rubric.

I had almost the identical experience when my sister eloped with a black man. I thought my mom was furious because she surreptitiously got married, but I soon found out that *that* wasn’t the reason...

On the surface, I thought my family was not racist at all. Until that happened. 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Quill said:

I had almost the identical experience when my sister eloped with a black man. I thought my mom was furious because she surreptitiously got married, but I soon found out that *that* wasn’t the reason...

On the surface, I thought my family was not racist at all. Until that happened. 

Well and see I don’t judge her too harshly.  It isn’t something she acted on, and she has several very close black friends. But in her mind it was different when it was me and a relationship, and she worried about the subtext because she came from a time when interracial relationships were frowned upon. It really was more concern over that than his skin color, really, but I was just shocked.  It stuck with me, even though I understand why.  And as an adult I appreciate that I DIDN’T have that kind of formative upbringing.  I couldn’t care less what the melanin count is of a person, friendly or romantic.  I’m more concerned about our compatibility and shared values and such, and I’m thankful to healthy and inclusive attitudes about ethnicity that were modeled for me.

Unfortunately it feels like it’s swung way far over the line from that happy medium. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Well and see I don’t judge her too harshly.  It isn’t something she acted on, and she has several very close black friends. But in her mind it was different when it was me and a relationship, and she worried about the subtext because she came from a time when interracial relationships were frowned upon. It really was more concern over that than his skin color, really, but I was just shocked.  It stuck with me, even though I understand why.  And as an adult I appreciate that I DIDN’T have that kind of formative upbringing.  I couldn’t care less what the melanin count is of a person, friendly or romantic.  I’m more concerned about our compatibility and shared values and such, and I’m thankful to healthy and inclusive attitudes about ethnicity that were modeled for me.

Unfortunately it feels like it’s swung way far over the line from that happy medium. 

Interesting. See, my mom's high school boyfriend was Hispanic. My dad, my mom, and I are all in interracial marriages. My sister's previous husband was also not white. Their races were not considerations for anyone in our immediate family (extended family is different).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I’m not so sure about jokes like the above among friends of various races. In fact, I often question if something is racist because of stereotypes. We have a board book Feast for Ten. The black family goes grocery shopping and buys/prepares chicken. I just googled and the author is white. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And chicken is a very normal thing for an American family to prepare. Should the author have purposefully had them making beef just because the characters were black? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

And chicken is a very normal thing for an American family to prepare. Should the author have purposefully had them making beef just because the characters were black? 

Exactly! They didn’t just say chicken. It was going to be fried. The page says, “3 chickens to fry.” It appears to be a family preparing soul food. They buy greens, too.

Edited by heartlikealion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, in your first post you just said chicken. I've never read the book. 

Edited by kdsuomi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, kdsuomi said:

Well, in your first post you just said chicken. Maybe the writer is one of those "woke" people who did it on purpose? 

I thought it was fried but then I doubted myself so I checked the book again before I updated in the next post. I initially just remembered something about the book gave me pause. I actually think the author had no ill intent but it’s just one of those things where I ask myself at what point is something fine vs racist? I don’t think it’s always clear, either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Exactly! They didn’t just say chicken. It was going to be fried. The page says, “3 chickens to fry.” It appears to be a family preparing soul food. They buy greens, too.

The bean page bothers me in that book. I know it’s supposed to be a joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Exactly! They didn’t just say chicken. It was going to be fried. The pads says, “3 chickens to fry.” It appears to be a family preparing soul food. They buy greens, too.

But that's okay too. Soul food is huge here. Why is that racist? It's a cultural gift in my area. Do all black people eat soul food? No. Do only black people eat soul food? No. But pretty much every amazing soul food in my area is headed by an awesome black chef. And many of the black families we know cook some freaking awesome soul food for get togethers......Now maybe if it was "they're black so they only eat soul food," or something then maybe, but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion anymore than if a book showed a Hispanic family fixing tortillas and frijoles. I'm not going to scream- Omg a white person stereotyped us in a book! We don't only eat that! Because I would expect a normal person to know that people eat various things. Can showing a heritage not be something to be proud of instead of automatically assuming the negative. That same family frying the chickens may be having Thai food the next night. I mean, it's one page on a book. I am not familiar with the book you are talking about, but I'm trying to imagine where they would take that that would be a flag. 

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like a dangerous path to look too hard and try to screen everything that tightly. Because you know what happens then? You just leave the black people out of the book because you're terrified of making a mistake. Or, conversely, you put in something else like what, boiled chicken, to be as neutral as possible and leave out what can be a positive cultural affiliation. And that's really, really bad. But if people pick apart things like a family cooking fried chicken in a board book with absolutely no other flags (being derisive about it- or using negative stereotypes), and turn that into a racist trope (again assuming there are no other red flags there) then we are in trouble. Because then only black people can write about black people. And white people about white people. And Asians about Asian people, etc. etc. Otherwise, you'd have to run it through what-  a cultural screening committee or something, who purport to speak for an entire ethnic community about what is offensive-  And that to me is really terrifying. I don't need a board of a few of my self-elected cultural representatives making decisions for me.........I mean, just don't buy the book. But anymore, idk. Maybe some people want it that way? 

Also- this is in general not coming down on you for asking. I think many feel like they have to tip toe around everything- even minor things- now, or else risk being the one in black face or brown face and not caring out of sheer ignorance. There are ditches on both sides of this "road" of respect for other persons. On one side is overt bigotry. On the other is overt- sanctimony, constantly rewriting the rules to make others feel they have offended, causing people to live in terror of saying the wrong thing to where it becomes easier to just stop talking to certain groups. Not out of bigotry or fear of difference. Rather fear of judgement. 

ETA- this is not meant in regard to the OP. Rather a children's book. Not justifying that blackface is now, or was ever some minor, harmless thing. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Acorn said:

The bean page bothers me in that book. I know it’s supposed to be a joke.

The jelly beans joke? I can’t tell what kind of beans are in the clear bag that are yellow. I do not know if the bean page is offensive or not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Yeah, I’m not so sure about jokes like the above among friends of various races. In fact, I often question if something is racist because of stereotypes. We have a board book Feast for Ten. The black family goes grocery shopping and buys/prepares chicken. I just googled and the author is white. 

Is this the book? 

https://www.amazon.com/Feast-10-Cathryn-Falwell/dp/0618382267/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3F3YVMUXYZ5&keywords=feast+for+10&qid=1569010874&s=books&sprefix=feast+for%2Cstripbooks%2C165&sr=1-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I am not saying it’s a bad book... just that lots of things make me do a double take. My friend that told me about the book has a mixed child. The child’s father is black and the mom is white. I don’t know if he has seen the book (they don’t live together). 

I was trying to find more diverse books... we had a whole thread on it and I got some. I only learned recently that the author is white. I do think it’s hard to write books about other cultures. They say write what you know. Having a character doesn’t mean you have to focus the book on what they eat. In this book the whole story is counting to ten. They count mostly using the food. If I were to write a book with someone(s) of various races I would probably not focus on foods but that’s just me. Yes I would probably tip toe around a little. But no, I don’t get offended by say, the Hispanic family on Curious George. 

I think these matters can go any way. I do appreciate seeing books respresenting various races. At the literacy summit I attended last weekend they said you are more likely to find a book on an animal than a minority race (I think children with disabilities as well). Well that statistic didn’t surprise me. You pick up a book on an animal (ie Pete the Cat) and it feels like it’s written for anyone. I just find it all interesting and yes, I may overthink everything 🙂 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, re the book mentioned - I don't have it to look at, but I can see why it is hard to draw the line.  Is it OK to say an Indian family had chapatis, a Mexican family had tamales, etc?  If part of the point of the book is to introduce the idea that different cultures share common food preferences, then who decides which cultures are allowed to be considered?  Black people have told me that fried chicken is indeed a preference in some primarily black subcultures.  Should book writers exclude different black and white American subcultures from books about culture, and only include "brown" people?  But why isn't that racist?

But in today's environment, I'd get a black person to "co-author" for me.  Because if an author is black, then he's allowed to make racial observations.  If he's white, he treads on thin ice.

ETA: I saw part of the book and read a little about the author.  There isn't much out there, but it looks like a lot of her work includes children of color, especially AA.  I wonder why she chooses that.  Makes me wonder if she has kids or grandkids of color.

Anyway - maybe the chicken was racial, maybe it wasn't.  My family used to buy and cook (fry or bake) at least one chicken every week.  It's a very common thing for American families to do.

Edited by SKL
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

The jelly beans joke? I can’t tell what kind of beans are in the clear bag that are yellow. I do not know if the bean page is offensive or not. 

I wish they would have bought 5 types of beans. The picture shows box of Lima beans, can of pinto, green beans, yellow wax beans and jelly beans. I think since the rest of the grocery list is food for a meal that we should expect to count 5 types of beans not confuse the readers that jelly beans are beans or give the impression that the characters think they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, katilac said:

To the first part: you have to realize that America may be considered a diverse country overall but there are still large portions of it that are overwhelmingly white. It's not a rarity even now to have communities with very little to no minority representation. 

To the second part: uh, no, can't say that was a thing! That actually sounds like something people would rip a politician to bits for if an old video surfaced. 

This would be in the context of a minority starting a conversation about someone saying something racially clueless, then people mimicking and mocking being clueless to demonstrate just how clueless it is.  Carlos Mencia made a whole career out of it. His Wetback Mountain, a parody of Brokeback Mountain, with he and Mario Lopez is some of the funniest comedy I've ever seen. It's exactly the kind of humor my minority friends and the rest of us participated in as an act of sympathetic support.  We could riff on that kind of thing all day.

I guess I really do have a distorted view of how diverse America is for most people.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Yes. Under the one star reviews one person calls it racist. Which just goes to show I can see how it could be interpreted more than one way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

This would be in the context of a minority starting a conversation about someone saying something racially clueless, then people mimicking and mocking being clueless to demonstrate just how clueless it is.  Carlos Mencia made a whole career out of it. His Wetback Mountain, a parody of Brokeback Mountain, with he and Mario Lopez is some of the funniest comedy I've ever seen. It's exactly the kind of humor my minority friends and the rest of us participated in as an act of sympathetic support.  We could riff on that kind of thing all day.

I guess I really do have a distorted view of how diverse America is for most people.

You are comparing a white person teasing an Asian friend about not wearing Hello Kitty to some Hispanic comedians making jokes about Hispanics? 

Its always been considered more ok within the same race/ethnicity to crack jokes on each other. But the other? Not as much. 

I knew Hispanics that called each other “beaners” but I hated the term. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

You are comparing a white person teasing an Asian friend about not wearing Hello Kitty to some Hispanic comedians making jokes about Hispanics? 

Its always been considered more ok within the same race/ethnicity to crack jokes on each other. But the other? Not as much. 

I knew Hispanics that called each other “beaners” but I hated the term. 

 

Yes, using the affectionate teasing that's done to build camaraderie in direct response to the minority saying something like, "You won't believe what someone said to me about Asians....."  Then it's customary to respond with mocking the clueless person who made the racists statement by pretending to be them and saying something similar to them, usually in a voice that indicates they're stupid.   You're getting that mocking is directed at the clueless person, not the minority right? The joking is happening between the minority friend and white friend. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:



I guess I really do have a distorted view of how diverse America is for most people.

 

This is the ethnic makeup for my county:

96.48% White, 1.45% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races.

Many, many places are not ethnically diverse at all. I don’t know a single person of Hispanic descent.

Edited by Medicmom2.0
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

 

This is the ethnic makeup for my county:

96.48% White, 1.45% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races.

Many, many places are not ethnically diverse at all.

My home town NOW is 93.7% White, 1.1% Hispanic, 0.1% Black, 1.2% Asian, 2.6% Mixed, and 1.3% other.  When I graduated there in the 80s it was much closer to 100% white.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Metropolitan Opera only announced that they would no longer have white singers in blackface in 2015. Robert Downey Jr wore blackface in Tropic Thunder in 2008. Johnny Depp played Tonto in 2013. White actors wore black or brown face in movies like Trading Places and Aliens, without people calling for the actors to be banned or boycotted. When I was in HS, it was common for white kids playing brown roles (like in West Side Story) to wear brown makeup, it was just seen as a normal part of the costume. 

Attitudes are very different in 2019, and when we know better, we should do better. But it's not accurate to insist that everyone in North America had to have known decades ago that wearing blackface or brownface as part of a costume was blatantly racist. Some people did, and some people certainly used it that way on purpose, but at the same time, many people thought it was considered acceptable as theatrical makeup, based on what they saw in film, theater, and opera, until very recently. Lots of people have never heard of minstrel shows, or if they did, they totally did not get the connection between a racist form of entertainment that peaked in the 1870s and people wearing Halloween or party costumes in the last 20 years. And I think there's still a lot of genuine confusion, on the part of people who do want to be sensitive, about what is or isn't acceptable — like whether it's OK to dress as a specific person or fictional character as long as you don't change skin color. For example, there's been a lot of debate about white children wearing Moana or Tiana costumes, with some saying it's acceptable as long as there was no black/brownface and others arguing that Moana costumes = cultural appropriation and shouldn't be worn by anyone who is not Maori.

 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Sure, but you come from an English speaking country, there are some parallels in it's history around race, there is exposure to American media.

That's a lot different from someone from a European country, without that direct media and print influence in English being one factor.  But there are also historical differences in their own culture, with about the Dutch and Black Peter for example.  There is plenty of racism in Dutch culture.  But the whole background of their main exposure to blackface is different, Black Peter isn't about a culture that you subjugated or enslaved.  It's based on the at one time quite real fear that you yourself might be taken off to the slave markets, and fear of your historical enemy who is as powerful and wilful as you are yourself.  

I think though that your question about whether JT was particularly clueless can be answered more simply and empirically.  These were all group events. What was the reaction of the people around him?  Was it the same as it would have been today if a teen had done the same thing, or a drama teacher?

My inclination is to say its not odd.  My good friend came from the same kind of background and private school, I can totally imagine him doing that sort of thing as a student.  It wouldn't likely have happened here where I live in my social circle, at least the early examples, but the stuff that he talked about happening at his school was often quite weird to me.  I don't think my friend reflects those values now, he's a priest working in a northern community mainly with prisoners and indigenous persons.  JT on the other hand, he always has and still just adopts the moral positions of the right-on people around him and that's his real failing.

 

JT suffers from the perception of being a hypocrite, that's for sure.

I am thinking about events I went to in 2000, and what the reaction of people around me would have been if I'd come to an event blacked or browned up, and honestly, I don't think it would have been a good reaction. I remember seeing a comedy show in the early 80's where there were white actors in brown face, and my Mum saying 'oh, that's not very funny, I don't think they should be doing that' and she was a working class, rural Boomer.

I also remember that, of all the dolls I inherited from my great grandma, some of which she'd had as a child in Scotland, the golliwog doll was the one that was disappeared before I turned 10 - so sometime in the 70's - so the also working class, living in sticksville people in my family must have known it was, at the least, bad taste. So how did they know that ? They didn't have special access to US media - a lot less than now, actually. None of them went to uni, except dad, and he did not do a humanities subject. Could have been through newspapers and reading, I guess. We never discussed any issues pertaining to race in class, and an American history of slavery was never on any of my syllabi, from kindy through to last year of uni.

JT and I both grew up in countries where we ought to have been attuned to brown face, at least, because both of our countries have horrendous histories towards indigenous peoples. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MercyA said:

Who remembers the show Star Search? I watched it faithfully in elementary school. I still remember one performer who costumed half of his body like Michael Jackson (including blackface) and half like Paul McCartney and did the song "Say Say Say." The audience loved it. I thought it was clever and fun. It never in a million years would have occurred to me that it was offensive.

I still feel like I only have a nebulous understanding of these issues, so I appreciate this thread.

ETA: Tangential question: I have a white friend who is married to a black man. (Is it okay to say black man? Serious question.) They have two boys together and my friend has told me their family "doesn't see race" and their kids (8-ish and 11) don't generally notice people's skin color. Okay, great. But I'm not sure how to respond to that. I thought that "woke" people (for lack of a better term) weren't supposed to be "colorblind" but "race conscious." Man, I am sure I am phrasing this super awkwardly and possibly offensively. Somebody help me out. 🙂

 

Idk. I'm married to a brown man, my kids are mixed race, and they see race. So, idk. People are different ?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

So this is the point I’m at now. It’s interesting, and sometimes watching the judgment pour in anymore, there seems to be little room for forgiveness- especially for the person across the aisle. But no one on the earth has never NOT done something that could be blown up. Maybe not blackface. But sometime, someplace , everyone has made a misstep, misspeak, something that could have been taken poorly by someone. They’re now going back to what people did as teens. Good luck with that. It’s like the New Pharisees. I’m not saying certain things don’t command judgment, but where exactly is the point it’s granted vs not by the “general public “ which at this points seems to be the media and social media? I haven’t figured out their bar.  

VA has a certain governor who arguably  has even more controversial pictures than the guy in question on this thread. His head is not yet on a platter. Comedians now seem to be getting axed left and right for varying degrees of former comedy routines. Where is the line now or what can and cannot be comedic fodder? Obviously there is one. But what is it?  Do we even have comedians anymore? Kids are losing college admission and scholarships from tweets surfacing when they were freshmen. It’s an interesting time. That’s for sure. 

I’m not Canadian so I have no cause to have an opinion on the outcome. 

I do wonder though if all our “awareness” has resulted in extreme levels of judgment though, with no chance of redemption, and maybe that’s why extremism is flourishing on all sides. Idk. I’m just a homeschooling housewife, not a philosopher. 

 

I mean, I got kicked out of my Extinction Rebellion group, because I suggested that focusing on whether or not we should apologise for publishing a photo of a white woman with a great protest sign because she had dreadlocks was a tremendous load of bullshit and not even vaguely related to climate action. 

And fwiw, I think comics should feel free to make comedy out of anything they want - I don't have to laugh or find it amusing, and often I don't. 

But just because atm, people on the far left ARE taking judgement to extreme levels, doesn't mean we should cease making judgements at all. I do judge JT for wearing black and brown face socially in 2000, and that's fine, because I think it was offensive for him to do so, at a time where he could be reasonably expected to refrain. I'm not going to make him submit to a struggle session over it, but if he was a friend of mine, idk, I think I'd be cooling off a little on the friendship. 

I still have difficulty understanding how a little girl in the working class part of Sydney - bogan central, football being the one true religon - knew it was offensive, but JT as a thirty year old man, coming from a very well-educated, well-connected background didn't. The only real answer is that he did know it was offensive, and he did it anyway, so if I was Canadian, I would not want to be lectured on social issues by JT any time soon!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cutest thing happened the other day.  My parents stood in as grandparents on grandparents day for a little girl we know. She is black.  Later in the day I had my boss's 6 year old (white) daughter at my desk as I scrolled through FB.  There is a pic of these 2 white people with a little black girl in between them.  I said, 'hey there's my parents.'   6 year old says, 'who is that girl?'  I said her name and said her grandparents live far away so my parents went in place of her grandparents.   She looks for a bit and she says, 'you can tell they aren't the real grandparents.'  I said, 'you can?  How?'  She says, 'because they aren't dressed up fancy.'   LOL....i said, 'oh well, I don't think it was a dress up fancy kinda thing.'  She said oh.  The she looks some more and says, 'well you can still tell.'  I said, 'how.'  She says, 'because she has black hair and their hair is white.  And hers is curly. '  I just  said oh interesting and let it go.  But I am  pretty sure she didn't 'see' the color.  

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Reading through this thread makes we wonder if the people who say they were unaware of how offensive blackface is has more to do with their own subculture than the culture at large? I wasn't around many African Americans, but I was around a large number of Latinos, some Asians, and a handful to Native Americans.  Just being friends with these groups might be enough to make people aware without their parents, teachers, and religious leaders explicitly addressing these issues. 

For those of you unaware, did you not have minority friends who joked with other minorities around you about the bone headed comments usually older generations make about them?  Anyone else remember the scene from Big Bang Theory where Sheldon's mom asks Raj (an astrophysicist from India)  if, "Chicken  is one of those animals your people think is magical?" It's a demonstration that you can be offensive in how you pose a question full of assumptions (in this case that he's superstitious and uneducated) while telling yourself you're just trying to nice by not serving food that's forbidden to him, when you should just ask it without assumptions the way you ask everyone else, "Do you have any dietary restrictions I should be aware of?"

Did none of you joke around with minority friends about stereotypes?  Something like, "Whaaat?  You don't have chickens roaming around your front yard and you don't play the maracas?" Or something like, "Soooo to get to your house I go to the trading post, exchange some cash for wampum, get a feathered headdress, and ride my Apaloosa bareback to your tee pee, right?" "You should try to look more Asian...maybe a Hello Kitty backpack, some headphones...."

Now that there's been mass media for a couple of generations and more recently the internet, both very effective at spreading mainstream American values, it's really hard for me to think that people can't be expected to have picked up on how fed up most of America and is with this kind of behavior.  Trudeau wasn't a tween or teen when he did this, he surely would've been exposed to modern attitudes about this.

Remember when Price Harry dressed up as a Nazi for Halloween?  Does he not know there are Neo-Nazis around the world?  And he had a relative who was a Nazi sympathizer. Did he really want to associate himself with them through imagery? I think he was teen at the time, but was no one able to say to him, "Uh Dude, you need to think about this a little deeper.  You might not like the blow back you're going to get."

Does Trudeau really want to associate himself through imagery with people who mock African Americans as stupid monkeys?  That's where blackface came from and there are currently white supremacists in the world who mock them this and other ways.  

 

I didn't live in a diverse area.

There were migrants from Malta, that's about all.  One girl whose family were Chinese.  No indigenous friends or relations or teachers.

My entire family and extended family (then) were white. 

It was sexist more than it was racist, or perhaps I was just more attuned to the sexism. 

My mum, who told me 'that's not OK' about blackface did grow up in country areas with high indigenous populations though - maybe she was sensitized to mockery of others through that ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids hate the whole 'color blind' thing - like, they don't find it cute at all.

They heard nasty stuff at preschool in the 21st C that showed them kids aren't color blind at all, just some kids are nice and some are not. 

Things like 'why are you dirty?' when washing hands together at the sink - and these are kids who could pass as 'international' - they're not black. I can't even imagine what some of the kids hear. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, StellaM said:

My kids hate the whole 'color blind' thing - like, they don't find it cute at all.

They heard nasty stuff at preschool in the 21st C that showed them kids aren't color blind at all, just some kids are nice and some are not. 

Things like 'why are you dirty?' when washing hands together at the sink - and these are kids who could pass as 'international' - they're not black. I can't even imagine what some of the kids hear. 

Society has become much less colorblind, though, because we now are supposed to pay attention to the differences, especially if we're white and must have the obligatory white guilt. 

My five-year-old nephew had a horrible experience at his preschool because he's white where the kids explicitly told him he was being excluded because he was white. (Much more happened as well, and the teacher did nothing.)

People can deny that I had the experiences I had growing up and say it's because I'm white all they want to. However, I lived it and have talked to people I knew growing up who are not white about it and they had the same experiences in many ways. 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, kdsuomi said:

Society has become much less colorblind, though, because we now are supposed to pay attention to the differences, especially if we're white and must have the obligatory white guilt. 

My five-year-old nephew had a horrible experience at his preschool because he's white where the kids explicitly told him he was being excluded because he was white. (Much more happened as well, and the teacher did nothing.)

People can deny that I had the experiences I had growing up and say it's because I'm white all they want to. However, I lived it and have talked to people I knew growing up who are not white about it and they had the same experiences in many ways. 

 

I don't believe in 'white guilt' as a politicised concept. It's just self-indulgent white b/s, so far as I'm concerned. Didn't stop me marching behind the Aboriginal flag yesterday, and endorsing messages like 'land rights are human rights' or 'sovereignty was never ceded'. 

I'll ask dh later if he felt growing up in the 70's and 80's that it was a color-blind time. I have a feeling he will say no. His mother used to powder him lighter before he went to school every day, so I have a feeling that, where he grew up at least, other children and teachers did notice race.

  • Like 3
  • Sad 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

Society has become much less colorblind, though, because we now are supposed to pay attention to the differences, especially if we're white and must have the obligatory white guilt

My five-year-old nephew had a horrible experience at his preschool because he's white where the kids explicitly told him he was being excluded because he was white. (Much more happened as well, and the teacher did nothing.)

People can deny that I had the experiences I had growing up and say it's because I'm white all they want to. However, I lived it and have talked to people I knew growing up who are not white about it and they had the same experiences in many ways. 

 

Asking people to recognize the existence of white privilege is not a demand for "obligatory guilt." Guilt doesn't solve anything. What matters is acknowledging that racism involves a lot more than just loud-mouthed bigots and outright discrimination; those are just the most visible tip of an iceberg that includes far more subtle and covert aspects of systemic racism. What is happening in Western culture right now is that people are trying to expose the part of the iceberg that has been invisible to people for a long time. Some people respond with "ooooohhh, I had no idea, how can I do better?" while others continue to insist it doesn't exist because they still can't see it.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The food thing mentioned above reminded me. Growing up, I thought fried chicken, collards, sweet potatoes, etc was just southern food. That's how the old ladies I knew cooked, white and black. Then I went to my rural southern college. For MLK Day, I was confused by the fact that my freshman year, the only celebration of the day was a special meal that turned out to be almost the exact same as the meal we had every Sunday. There were a handful of black students looking annoyed at best, and I asked around and figured out that we were being served these foods because they were stereotypically black foods. To make this more embarrassing, this town was crazy segregated, so besides the 20-30 black students and 1 black professor, the only other people of color I ever saw worked in groundskeeping or the kitchen. I wish we had done more, but each year the school did improve acknowledgement of the day slightly, adding a special concert and chapel, and even making it a day off my senior year. They kept up that "special meal" though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Scarlett said:

.it just didn't come up in day to day life and day to day life was pretty much focused on survival.....single mom, no help from our dad.  And not to make excuses, but it really was a different time.

 

7 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

 

It was but it wasn’t. You and I are roughly the same age. Our lights we’re off and on too. My mom was single. We struggled. But not knowing about the more diverse world I would enter wasn’t a luxury we could afford.

I've been out all day and am trying to catch up in this thread

I"m starting to see a trend. In general (and someone will probably say "not me!") most of the people who never heard of blackface or didn't know it was offensive grew up in less diverse areas. 

I too grew up with a single mom trying to make ends meet. We lived in the projects and often lived hand to mouth. There were whites, blacks and Puerto Ricans in our housing projects, and as kids we all played together. When we moved first to south, then central Florida I attended schools with large populations of black students. I wonder if this is the difference. 

6 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:


Did none of you joke around with minority friends about stereotypes?  Something like, "Whaaat?  You don't have chickens roaming around your front yard and you don't play the maracas?" Or something like, "Soooo to get to your house I go to the trading post, exchange some cash for wampum, get a feathered headdress, and ride my Apaloosa bareback to your tee pee, right?" "You should try to look more Asian...maybe a Hello Kitty backpack, some headphones...."


Remember when Price Harry dressed up as a Nazi for Halloween?  Does he not know there are Neo-Nazis around the world?  And he had a relative who was a Nazi sympathizer. Did he really want to associate himself with them through imagery? I think he was teen at the time, but was no one able to say to him, "Uh Dude, you need to think about this a little deeper.  You might not like the blow back you're going to get."

 

My friends and I never talked about each other's cultures like that because we all lived close together in the city and we knew those stereotypes weren't true. 

As for Prince Harry, yeah that was stupid and someone should have said something to him. He was however, about ten years younger than Trudeau was during his stupid moment(s).

5 hours ago, vmsurbat1 said:

Never heard of Al Jolson.  I'm well-educated (graduated with my B.Sci in the early  80's  (STEM so few lit/humanities classes).

I must not be much older than you. I graduated in the late 70s. I was in education so yeah, maybe I had more humanties and more sociology classes than a STEM student would take.

5 hours ago, SKL said:

 

Al Jolson doesn't ring a bell.

Mammy? "I"d walk a million miles for one of your smiles, my Mammy". I'd link a YouTube video but it's offensive and I don't want to post it. Look up Al Jolson Mammy if you;e curious.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in the rural midwest and the public school I attended was 100% white. The town itself was probably 99.99% white. It is quite a bit more diverse now, but that's only happened in the last twenty years or so. So now I'm wondering how I learned that blackface was wrong, because we were never taught about it in school and I don't remember my parents or anyone else ever discussing it. Don't think I learned it from a sitcom, either. It just seemed to be common knowledge.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

I don't believe in 'white guilt' as a politicised concept. It's just self-indulgent white b/s, so far as I'm concerned. Didn't stop me marching behind the Aboriginal flag yesterday, and endorsing messages like 'land rights are human rights' or 'sovereignty was never ceded'. 

I'll ask dh later if he felt growing up in the 70's and 80's that it was a color-blind time. I have a feeling he will say no. His mother used to powder him lighter before he went to school every day, so I have a feeling that, where he grew up at least, other children and teachers did notice race.

 

Yes, but he didn't live where and when I did. The 90s, at least where I lived, was a world away from those decades. Arctic shades similar experiences in a similar timeframe and location as I have, and those are likely the limiting features. That area, especially particular areas of that area, really were different worlds from the rest of the U.S. in many ways. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

White guilt is 100% a thing that people are trying to get white people at own up to, though. I have no guilt due to my skin color, and a lot of people now find a problem with that. I also never excused racism, either. I just find it interesting that if I say something and my Asian husband who is an immigrant says the same thing we'll get two very responses to the statement. I would be the evil, or naive, white person (depending on who you talk to) who just hasn't experienced anything in life, but he would be listened to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Yes, but he didn't live where and when I did. The 90s, at least where I lived, was a world away from those decades. Arctic shades similar experiences in a similar timeframe and location as I have, and those are likely the limiting features. That area, especially particular areas of that area, really were different worlds from the rest of the U.S. in many ways. 

 

My family lived in Rancho Cucamonga in the early 90s, as exurban as you could get at the time. You'd have to be a fool to come to EHS, RCHS, Fontana, or any of the other schools in the area in black face. Even the cow country townspeople that routinely played our local schools would not have showed up to games that way and expect to walk away unscathed. It's not as if there was zero interaction between these places and the rest of America. It was also decidedly NOT ideal. There was tons of tension between students of latin American descent, black students, and anglo students. It wasn't out in the open but it was absolutely there.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

I have a question for those of you who never heard of blackface until a few years ago. Sincere question. Have you never heard of minstrel shows? Vaudeville? Al Jolson? 

No I haven't heard about them. 

I also live in a country that didn't do Halloween either.

I cannot think I'd anything apart from a bible skit as a child that involved costume dress ups at all. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wacotrib.com/opinion/columns/guest_columns/rhae-lynn-barnes-washington-post-blackface-hardly-new-in-american/article_840804a1-9196-5297-801c-96a4269cbfb9.amp.html

This woman is quite the expert on the history of blackface and minstrel shows. She’s got a great interview on democracynow.org, also, along with multiple articles about recent politicians wearing blackface. The link above is pretty fascinating in the history of it. I’m not sure if her book is out yet.

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I asked my 74 year old mother when she first  became aware that blackface was racist and she said, ‘oh about a week ago, ‘

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I probably first saw film of Al Jolson, and knew of the existence of minstrel shows, sometime in high school. And it was obvious that minstrel shows were racist, because racism was the whole point of them. Even when black characters were portrayed by black actors in early films, though, the characterizations were just as racist (e.g. Stepin Fetchit). So, to me, it was the racist stereotypes that made something racist more than the costumes. OTOH, when I saw Placido Domingo wearing dark makeup in Zefferelli's Othello, it just seemed like part of the costume to me — not fundamentally different from Ian Holm wearing green makeup as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream. In retrospect, I can see how other people would have seen Domingo's makeup as offensive, and would put it in the same category as Jolson's — and I would certainly see it that way now — but I don't think the fact that some people "knew" it was offensive in 1986 means that anyone who didn't get it in 1986 must be racist. 

Edited by Corraleno
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, xahm said:

The food thing mentioned above reminded me. Growing up, I thought fried chicken, collards, sweet potatoes, etc was just southern food. That's how the old ladies I knew cooked, white and black. Then I went to my rural southern college. For MLK Day, I was confused by the fact that my freshman year, the only celebration of the day was a special meal that turned out to be almost the exact same as the meal we had every Sunday. There were a handful of black students looking annoyed at best, and I asked around and figured out that we were being served these foods because they were stereotypically black foods. To make this more embarrassing, this town was crazy segregated, so besides the 20-30 black students and 1 black professor, the only other people of color I ever saw worked in groundskeeping or the kitchen. I wish we had done more, but each year the school did improve acknowledgement of the day slightly, adding a special concert and chapel, and even making it a day off my senior year. They kept up that "special meal" though.

 

Well, yes. Soul food overlaps hugely with the food eaten by everybody in the South, especially poorer people, for obvious reasons.

It took me a while to work it out, but the issue with that stereotype is not exactly "lol, black people eat this food food" but because a whole lot of ugliness accretes itself to the stereotype. Stuff that you wouldn't think could possibly attach itself to what people eat suddenly does, and in the weirdest ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Yes, using the affectionate teasing that's done to build camaraderie in direct response to the minority saying something like, "You won't believe what someone said to me about Asians....."  Then it's customary to respond with mocking the clueless person who made the racists statement by pretending to be them and saying something similar to them, usually in a voice that indicates they're stupid.   You're getting that mocking is directed at the clueless person, not the minority right? The joking is happening between the minority friend and white friend. 

I can see it, yes, but I just feel like I'm not close enough to anyone to joke that way without worrying they could think it was uncomfortable? I don't know how to explain. Like if I witnessed a person act really racist toward a black girl I know I wouldn't be mocking him saying random racist things to her. With a certain type of person/personality, yes I can see this type of ribbing. 

I had to google that Al guy. I didn't know of him. Well, he could have been mentioned in one of my classes, but I do not recall. 

Dh informed me a few months ago that some people around here grew up with the mammy archetype. I was completely shocked when he told me. I mean dh was referring to a family we know and their youngest child is younger than dh and I. I don't know the specifics but it gave me a lot of questions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of MLK Day, some people here will not acknowledge it and just refer to it as Robert E. Lee Day. I mean it's not made up, but, well, it's like a shun to MLK. 

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Okay, wait is the term Mammy racist? Because I literally HAD a Mammy.

Neither I nor anyone else said the term is racist. Mammy is the song he sang in blackface. I asked if she heard of the song because she said she never heard of Jolson. 

Edited by Lady Florida.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

Mammy? "I"d walk a million miles for one of your smiles, my Mammy". I'd link a YouTube video but it's offensive and I don't want to post it. Look up Al Jolson Mammy if you;e curious.

Not familiar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...