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...

seeker Thu 03-Jan-13 12:29:32

Then they are real racists, then, jins!

Wigornian- words fail me!

FreudiansSlipper Thu 03-Jan-13 12:34:29

ffs it's 2013 and his father didn't know this will offend some where's does he live mars

what a load of bs he did but didn't care as it was just for a laugh and it was his son wanting to do so

just like the minstrel show was not racist it was just fun hmm

tittytittyhanghang Thu 03-Jan-13 12:36:33

Even if the footballer in this case appeared to be touched (like how else was he going to respond, eh?),

Ahh yes, even if they dont act offended, deep down they really are, cos the PO said so.

The footballer, his team mates, his manager and quite a few others have all clearly said that they were not offended by it, and by his actions the footbaler seemed quite flattered.

When in doubt, don't, and don't be afraid to ask someone how they'd feel about it before you do it. So do you have to ask every single person, or just one? There will always be someone offended by something, by your suggestion we'd be afraid to sneeze for fear of offending someone.

"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool" Sums up my feelings.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 03-Jan-13 12:41:57

so my friends that have been called nigger and my family who have been called paki in jest should just laugh it off becuase it was all a bit of fun no harm intended

Really so it is not up to the person themselves or others to feel offended it is up to ourselves to choose if we have offended others or not. Very much a line from the daily mail

Booblesonthetree Thu 03-Jan-13 12:42:36

Re the references to the king and I, the later film version (Jodie Foster) had actors from all over Asia in the relevant parts. It was banned in Thailand for being disrespectful to the King.
Personally I think it was misguided of the father to encourage his son to do it rather than intentionally racist, there are better ways to show respect for your favourite player!
I wonder what people would think about the Britannia Coconutters?

ComposHat Thu 03-Jan-13 12:42:58

Even if the footballer in this case appeared to be touched (like how else was he going to respond, eh?), it doesn't mean every other Black person will think it's hunky dorey or just conveniently forget the history and the racist context of black face

He could have refused to pose with him (twice) or told him to 'fuck off' he didn't do either of these things. You seem to want to rob El Hadji Diouf of his agency and ability to make decisions over what is offensive or not. (Believe me Diouf has no problems making his views clear on any number of subjects or speaking up when he believed he had been the victim of racism)

There is a world of difference between black face (which is a grotesque parody of the supposedly 'generic' features and gestures of black people as a 'race') and what this kid did in clumsy tribute to a specific favourite player, incorporating gloves, haircut and full kit.

To say there is a moral equivalence between the two is idiotic.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 12:48:45

Race or sex discrimination isn't just about the person who does it intending to offend. It is quite possible to lose a discrimination claim against you when you had no intention to discriminate and did not realise that you were doing so.

Booblesonthetree Thu 03-Jan-13 12:49:07

Slightly off topic but I can also think of better footballers to idolise than that diving git Diouf... However that is more of a footballing preference...

AbigailAdams Thu 03-Jan-13 12:55:30

What seeker, Kritiq and tethers say. If you have to ask then don't do it!

ComposHat Thu 03-Jan-13 12:55:35

I though that booble not to mention the spitting at numerous groups of fans, taunting injured players etc. but in that context it is largely immaterial.

Pendeen Thu 03-Jan-13 14:18:27

I'm not sure where this thread is heading...

There seems to be an almost perverse desperation amongst some contributors to find racism in the boy's intentions.

His objective in dressing, head-shaving and 'blacking up' was quite guileless - if misguided (and I am here also referring to idolising ugly football players who have no sense of style) but surely the effect was unintended.

101handbags Thu 03-Jan-13 14:28:18

Is Matt Lucas as the black female coffee seller in Little Britain racist? Just wondering as I've never considered it so.

Latara Thu 03-Jan-13 14:44:28

The boy's father was idiotically naive because 'blacking up' has a very offensive historical context.

ComposHat Thu 03-Jan-13 14:53:46

I just think that, as a rule of thumb, if you're not sure whether something is racist or not, it's best not to do it.

Easy peasy. Sorted

It is a nice sentiment, but is not a panacea for all ills and in some circumstances can be used to stifle legitimate criticism of certain cultural practices, for example raising concerns about circumcision (male or female) Irish abortion law or forced marriage. Or in a more tragic case the grooming of children in Rochdale by men from the British-Asian community may not have been tackled quickly due to the perceived cultural and a desire to avoid appearing racist.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 15:12:27

I don't think anyone is criticising the boy or suggesting that he was trying to offend. That's not really what is now being debated.

LeonardoAcropolis Thu 03-Jan-13 15:28:11

101handbags, that's an interesting point. Matt Lucas also portrayed a Muslim baggage handler and one defence for the sketches I remember reading was that it is an 'affectionate tribute' rather a demeaning caricature. A huge selection of British society were lampooned in Little Britain and Come Fly with Me - would it have been racist to ignore the Caribbean immigrants and Muslims? Or sensible as it would have avoided the inevitable Blacking Up?

ComposHat Thu 03-Jan-13 16:18:47

I wished Lucas and Walliams had avoided making 'Come Fly with me' altogether because it was fucking shite.

FierySmaug Thu 03-Jan-13 16:41:06

For pity's sake, how can anyone get offended by this? It's a little boy dressing up to look like his hero.
When I was 6, I was a bit of a tomboy, and my hero was B.A from The A Team. I loved dressing up as him, complete with black faced mask. Does that make me racist? hmm

wigornian Thu 03-Jan-13 17:36:07

Why seeker?

seeker Thu 03-Jan-13 17:51:59

Frankly, because I find it hard to believe that any black person would be so ill informed about their own history to countenance the presence of a golliwog in their house. For starters.

Fabuloo Thu 03-Jan-13 17:54:44

I'm disappointed tethers hasn't come back to explain why she finds it so offensive and whether she would find it so offensive in reverse, or in any of the other situations I described.... She said my comment about not judging future generations of a race on the actions of previous generation who happen to be of the same race is ridiculous... Does my son who is white somehow have his card marked as a racist because he is white, yet my daughter who is mixed race has her card marked as a victim... Sickening.

Fabuloo Thu 03-Jan-13 17:57:31

seeker - How dare you tell a person of another race how you as a white person feel they should and shouldn't act and what they should and shouldn't have in their home because you feel offended on their behalf, what patrionsing bullshit!

seeker Thu 03-Jan-13 18:00:44

A. You have no idea what race I am.
B. Being black does not make you automatically knowledgeable about black
history.

Fabuloo Thu 03-Jan-13 18:19:59

seeker - You you feel that someone who is black but knows less about 'black history' is somehow 'less' of a black person? There are a lot of black people with a lot of different histories around the world.

seeker Thu 03-Jan-13 18:25:57

Nope. I didn't say that. I said that being black does not automatically make you knowledgable about black history. There are many people, both black and white who do not know why, for example, golliwogs are offensive. Every time there's a thread about them, there are people who are horrified to discover that what they thought was just a doll was a symbol of oppression. Ignorant people, even when it is explained to them, persist in their right to be racist. I find the idea of a black person doing this even more depressing and upsetting than a white person doing it.

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