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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...

Pendeen Wed 09-Jan-13 09:34:43

There are significant differences between urban areas and small rural communities and if you don't understand then the debate has probably run it's course.

StuntGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 10:10:52

To reference a point that has been made several times - Native Americans generally consider it racist and offensive when others dress up as them. It's called cultural appropriation. So yes, to everyone who has said "So if I dress up as a Native American is that racist too?" Yes, yes it is.

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 11:13:10

""So if I dress up as a Native American is that racist too?" Yes, yes it is."

If someone is doing it specifically to cause offence, then that is racist.

Otherwise, I don't think it is. Your Native American won't see the costume and think "bastard racist, they clearly hate my people".

If you accidentally keep your shoes on in the wrong room, shake hands with your leftie, offer the wrong sandwich fillings, or whatever, it doesn't make you a racist.

StuntGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 11:28:38

Now while obviously no one person can speak for an entire race/culture/sex/religion I have to disagree with your above statement. Some may not, but many do.

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 11:34:48

Well, granted, you'll always get some nutjobs from all walks of life.

JustAHolyFool Wed 09-Jan-13 11:56:06

So when someone says something offends them they are "a nutjob"?

When Scotland is reduced to a kilt and a jimmy hat, it pisses me off. A lot.

StuntGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 12:10:21

Well, granted, you'll always get some nutjobs from all walks of life.

That is a horribly dismissive statement to someone's perfectly valid feelings of suffering racial oppression.

Besides, she's not the only one.

JustAHolyFool Wed 09-Jan-13 12:16:38

Also, I'd love to know how I'm being racist by not condoning blacking up.

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 12:19:17

Read it again.

If they think "bastard racist, they clearly hate my people", then they are most likely a nutjob, yes.

I'd probably be a bit offended, but I'd have sufficient empathy not to react like an absolute dick.

JustAHolyFool Wed 09-Jan-13 12:25:38

I don't see anywhere in that blog that the writer is saying "bastard racist they clearly hate my people."

In fact, I'd say she's remarkably calm, considering.

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 12:27:21

What blog?

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 12:31:23

Read it again. All I said was that if a someone looks at a bit of Village-People-type fancy dress and thinks "bastard racist they clearly hate my people" then they are probably a nutjob.

JustAHolyFool Wed 09-Jan-13 12:33:30

I've never heard any look at a Village People type fancy dress (by which I assume you mean native American) and say "bastard racist they clearly hate my people".

I HAVE heard people say "that is cultural appropriation and demeaning to my culture."

Which is a bit of a different thing, really.

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 12:37:44

Exactly. It might be insensitive, but it ain't racist.

(unless it's sort of mean and on purpose)

JustAHolyFool Wed 09-Jan-13 12:41:40

Well, it is racist. Racist isn't just mean and on purpose. Racism is in insidious in society.

StuntGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 12:49:06

You don't have to be intentionally "mean" to be racist.

MrsBethel Wed 09-Jan-13 14:25:36

I disagree. I'd say racism involves some sort of denigration of the race.

If someone wore a stereotypical costume in order to make fun of or belittle a race then clearly that is racist.

But plenty of stereotypes find there way into popular culture without any intended or perceived denigration of a race. Is David Walliams racist?

seeker Wed 09-Jan-13 14:55:23

Racism doesn't have to involve denigration. It's racist to make assumptions based on race alone - black people are good at running, or have good senses of rhythm, for example. Or Asian people are all good at running corner shops.

JustAHolyFool Wed 09-Jan-13 15:43:16

Whether David Walliams is racist or not, I have no idea. What makes you ask?

StuntGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 16:15:45

I'd say racism involves some sort of denigration of the race.

And Native Americans say non-indigenous people appropriating their cultural and ceremonial traditions is denigrating their race. Who are you to argue with them?

In fact it's taken so seriously that there are laws in place to protect aspects of Native American culture. Non-Native American's legally cannot make something and call it, for example, Navajo.

MrsBethel Thu 10-Jan-13 15:39:59

"And Native Americans say non-indigenous people appropriating their cultural and ceremonial traditions is denigrating their race. Who are you to argue with them?"

People might find it offensive, and I'm not going to argue with that.

But it isn't racist.

You're saying that bloke from the village people was a racist. I'm saying that ain't necessarily so.

sunshine401 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:15:39

Wow some very good work from the media on here... confused

Pandera Tue 05-Feb-13 09:49:14

PiccadillyCervix - My grandfathers are black my cousins mixed and I am white

Surely if your Grandfathers are black, then your Mother & Father are both mixed race, then you will also be mixed race...? Unless you are adopted?

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