The Blackface Outrage

A Mum proudly posted a picture of her son who painted his white face black, donned a dreadlocked wig to look like his favourite football player and won first prize at a local library parade where children dressed as characters.

She was torched by rants of outraged objectors who claimed the act was racist and she felt compelled to remove her post.

So the boy who won the prize, the librarians who awarded the prize, the boy’s mother who proudly posted the picture are all racists.

White people who imitate Halle Berry or Imam or Jamie Foxx or Michael Jackson may face similar condemnation. Should we ban sun tanning?

But Coloured people in Cape Town proudly and joyously parade in blackface in their own self styled Coon Carnival?Cape-Coon-Carnival

Of course just making oneself look like a black person is not ‘blackfacing’ is it? Shakespeare’s  Othello  has been portrayed by blackfaced Lawrence Olivier, Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins – to world wide acclaim.

 

There are too few presumptions of innocence and too much sensitivity to possible harm; too many ready to squeal as a means of drawing attention. Kneejerk reaction based on a single perception assumes harmful intent and attracts swarms of the righteous brigade under the cloak of outraged virtue and political correctness.

It is time that we hold to account the people who unjustifiably claim offence without substantial foundation. Media authorities should penalise publicised information that is based on puffery: that will cull some of the overblown, scandalised cries of hyper-sensitive attention seekers.

This type of one sided, righteous non-sense is what drove reasonably sane and normal people to vote for Trump and Brexit.

 

*picture by Rosalin Deuters

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Author: manqindi

Post imperial wind drift. Swazi, British, Zimbabwe-Rhodesian, Irish, New Zealand citizen and resident, now in Queensland, Australia. 10th generation African of mainly European descent. Catholic upbringing, more free thinker now. BA and Law background. Altar boy, wages clerk, uncle, prefect, student, court clerk, prosecutor, magistrate, convoy escort, pensioner, HR Practitioner, husband, stepfather, father, bull terrier lover, telephone interviewer, Call Centre manager, HR manager, stepgrandfather, author

3 thoughts on “The Blackface Outrage”

  1. Manqindi, I enjoyed reading your posts as always. My personal opinion is that the definition of what is “racist” will not only continue to evolve over time, but will perpetually remain tendentious. Even among sociologist and philosophers, there is some howbeit, mundane controversy on the finite details on the definition. Among everyday mere mortals like myself, there is disagreement on whether racism is a historical, ideological or ethnocentric phenomenon. Someone once said if you want to escape prejudice in the United States, you have to be neither black or white but rather minty green. At the end of the day, there is only once race- the human race. All people of all nations, creed and color are capable of discrimination.
    Have you ever read a quote that says “… The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

    Like

    1. Definitions like history change over time, according to the mood and culture of the day; which change like fashions on a Parisian catwalk. Political advantage is sought by the previously disadvantaged and every avenue is overexploited. I surmise that social media have become the local courts of justice where everyone has a choice to be a juror, but mostly the aggrieved and those seeking to inflict pain are active therein.
      Your quote is disturbingly accurate, but so tragic!

      Liked by 1 person

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