To think 'blacking up' isn't necessarily racist?

(298 Posts)
Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 20:29:14

Apologies in advance for the Daily Mail link....

this article

I think it's more to do with the intention behind it rather than the 'act'. DD is mixed race and sometimes dresses up in a blonde wig and in the past has put my make up on. My DS is blonde and fair and I would have no problem if he wanted to do the same in reverse. I do feel people need to get a grip...

lovelyladuree Wed 02-Jan-13 20:32:30

Fabulous. A Daily Mail link. I will just go and put the kettle on...........

catgirl1976geesealaying Wed 02-Jan-13 20:32:56

Umm...........could you give me a context where you think it wouldn't be?

If a small child did it to.......I don't know, look like their friend, I probably wouldn't think it was racist (as I don't generally believe small children are racist) but I would probably be having a talk about what's appropriate and the history of "blacking up" and why it was offensive.

catgirl1976geesealaying Wed 02-Jan-13 20:33:35

I didn't click on your linky though so not sure what the article says

HollyBerryBush Wed 02-Jan-13 20:34:49

It's not even Dm hysteria is it? It's onlooker need to be offended on behalf of someone else. The child isn't being racist at all - although knowing how pearl clutching hysterical some people get, I'm surprised the father allowed him to do it.

I don't see the footballers looking mortally offended.

catgirl1976geesealaying Wed 02-Jan-13 20:35:11

Read it now

I don't think the child was racist but I think the father was a bit naive to not realise that it might have caused offence.

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 02-Jan-13 20:35:34

Ther is nothing in the case written about in the DM that suggests that the child or his family are racist. They would hardly do this in advance of meeting a player they revered if they intended any offence.

However, in principle, there is a bit of a 'thing' made about race. It's making a big feature of his skin colour. They didn't for instance, make him taller, like the footballer is.
If he was meeting his favourite female pop star, would he have stuck balloons up his shirt?

The white mohican is simply funny.

Twitter storm an over-reaction, for sure.

Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 20:35:46

Ha! Sorry it's a child who's a fan of a black football player who dressed up as him (along with face paint and spray on hair) to go to a match.

It has apparently caused outrage on twitter, just had a look on there myself and there does seem to be general tutting and WTF's about it.

DameMargotFountain Wed 02-Jan-13 20:36:09

<opens new box of grips>

why not OP, let's do the accent too, and have a good laugh hmm

and no i haven't read the DHeil link

Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 20:39:19

DameMargotFountain - he wasn't doing it in order to laugh at the football player, he wanted to try and look like him.

HollyBerryBush Wed 02-Jan-13 20:40:00

It's a child emulating his hero - simple as.

I would however, looking @ the height of the child, which is no real marker, he could just be very short! say he is too young to be incontrol of his own twitter account though. therein lays the problem.

HollyBerryBush Wed 02-Jan-13 20:41:55

if people are going to say changing colour is "racist" - plenty opf skin bleaching places around for those of African and West Indian descent. is that racist? infact, I think I might have a bit of pearl cluthcing next tiem I see a black player with blond dreadlocks - clearly he desires to be white.

>throws some grips all round the thread<

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 20:42:05

Watch the film "Bamboozled" if you're interested in this question. It's about a (black) man setting up a modern day black and white minstrel show. It explains the background - really brings home to you why this is such a big racism issue. A schocking film that makes a big impression.

DameMargotFountain Wed 02-Jan-13 20:43:07

totally bloody stupid then

did he teach the child some awesome skills to emulate his favourite player?

thought not

Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 20:44:44

DameMargotFountain-

Perhaps he did, I'm not sure. Why do you find it so offensive?

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 20:45:18

NB on the small children not being racist thing. A family member has spent most of her career running nurseries. She provided the children with a variety of dolls, including a black one. She said the black doll was commonly thrown violently around the room and othewise mistreated, which was not the case with the white ones. This was in a very white part of the country.

tittytittyhanghang Wed 02-Jan-13 20:49:00

YANBU, i mean there are probably people who do this to be offensive and racist. But this isn't one of them.

Ive dressed as a geisha before. Would that be considered racist?

HollyBerryBush Wed 02-Jan-13 20:50:15

Ive dressed as a geisha before. Would that be considered racist?

Definately - along with my Cleopatra outfit

>clasps an asp<

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 20:51:30

Holly - isn't the difference that there is a preference in some communities for women in particular to look as pale as possible (as close as possible to white), whereas when whites dress up as black it has traditionally been to ridicule blacks?

Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 20:55:34

I remember being shocked at the amount of skin lightening creams for sale in SE Asia, my Thai friend was equally shocked at my fake tan and sunbathing. They like white skin not in order to look 'Western' as I first assumed, rather pale skin in considered beautiful, much as it was here in the past. People who work outdoors in manual jobs tend to have darker skin and richer people are pale.

And yet we have comedians like Harry Enfield dressing up as Mandela and Leigh Francis dressing up as Craig David and that is considered to be funny.

No difference.

HollyBerryBush Wed 02-Jan-13 20:59:25

dromedary I'm split between several websites, so posting here and there, but I read a fascinating study on Black African leaders/positions of power who actively sought out 'light/er' skinned wives in order that their children are light/er skinned.

Obviously only having one G.G.G. Grandmother who was a Sierra Leone Free Slave - I am to all intents and purposes white and have no outward negroid features - therefore I cannot speak on behalf of the Black community - but the study categorically said Black people value light skin, hence bleaching, and it is seen as a social step upwards to have a lighter skinned wife.

I do not know whether that was assumptive. Or true. It is just something I read. but I did go a-googling the ten African leaders - and about 95% have lighter wives.

Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 21:04:11

I think the 'preference' for lighter skin in some countries is less to do with trying to look western and more to do with pale skin historically belonging to the upper classes who didn't work outside in the sun.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Wed 02-Jan-13 21:06:01

I think that when it's obviously a child dressing up as someone he admires and wants to emulate, then the professionally outraged Twitterprats should know when to shut the fuck up. It's possible that the child's parents just didn't think it through - I would not have let DS do this, for instance - but nor is it a hideous racist hatecrime.

Fabuloo Wed 02-Jan-13 21:10:09

Do you think the Twitter community would have been as morally outraged if a black child had dressed as David Beckham? I imagine there likely would have been some horribly patrionising comments about how sad it is that black children feel the need to emulate white people

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