Creative Destruction

November 14, 2006

Step Away From The Damned Blackface, Already

Filed under: Race and Racism — Ampersand @ 12:19 pm

Blackacademic points out yet another case of young whites deciding that putting on the blackface is just, y’know, hilarious. And she also points out that the University President’s letter, which is mainly about saying “it was just a few bad apples, there’s no larger problem to be addressed here!,” manages to avoid ever using the word “racism.” Because using that word would apparently be in bad taste or something.

Look, it’s not that complex: If you’re white, put the blackface down. Whether you’re a frat boy or a liberal blogger, put it down. If you’re not white – well, even then, you should probably put it down. (Ebogjonson has a very fine blackface appropriateness test that bloggers of all colors who considering blackface should consult.)

Because if you happen to be an artist of Spike Lee’s caliber, then maybe you’ll be able to use blackface in a way that is both genuinely interesting and genuinely anti-racist. But you know what? Odds are very very high that you’re not Spike Lee.

Just leave the goddmaned blackface alone, already. It’s not… that… hard.

More reading: Zuky, Wampum, Dark Sun, Prometheus 6, Slant Truth and Pen-Elayne.

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