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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...

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 21:13:48

Holly - I remember that Malcolm X talked about this in his autobiography. He regretted straightening his hair to make it look more western when he was young. Also his obsession with having sexual relationships with white rather than black women when he was young.
Then there's the whole Michael Jackson thing...

MikeOxardInTheSnow Wed 02-Jan-13 21:37:49

Sorry, I just popped in to share the news about the national grip shortage, but I see you have all heard, and are sharing out your hoarded supplies willy nilly all over the place in here. Thank goodness. I will go and tell everyone where the grips are.

drivingmisspotty Wed 02-Jan-13 21:43:36

hmmm, small kid blacks up and causes twitter furore but defends himself in a surprisingly eloquent way. anyone else suspect a brass eye type spoof?

mynewpassion Wed 02-Jan-13 21:58:18

Not racist but his parents are definitely stupid. Now, they have all learned a lesson. Sometimes these things need to happen so that other people can learn from it.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Wed 02-Jan-13 22:11:08

Mind you, it would be interesting to see what happened if a 10 year old boy dressed himself up as a woman he admired whether that's the Queen, Jessica Ennis or Beyonce. (And I can imagine my DS, for instance, wanting to dress up as Beyonce...)

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Wed 02-Jan-13 22:13:20

I think his parents should have thought a little more about the possible outcome and allowing that haircut

And a 10 year old on Twitter? My ds is 7 and asking to join FB to play games, but I keep saying no. Is it acceptable to have 10 yr olds on social networks. Genuine question as I worry I am too harsh on him sometimes...?

tittytittyhanghang Wed 02-Jan-13 22:19:16

Have just read the article and have to say its one of the few dm articles where i agree with the top comments.

Bella88 Wed 02-Jan-13 22:23:42

If the footballer in question wasn't arsed, why the hell should anyone else be?

Valdeeves Wed 02-Jan-13 23:03:17

I don't think this little boy had those intentions at all - it's a shame. But I guess you have to be careful who you offend. It would be nice to one day live in a society where we can just paint our face in a colour as a tribute and it been seen as that. Right now the context of the past makes it such a cloudy issue.

tethersjinglebellend Wed 02-Jan-13 23:48:28

Nobody thinks the child is racist any more than this child is a member of the Gestapo. Yet nobody could argue that that book is not fascist.

If you truly believe that blacking up can ever not be racist, I suggest doing so and taking a trip to Brixton on a Saturday afternoon. I'm sure if you explain the non-racist context then people will understand. They'll probably want to shake you by the hand. Or something.

HollyBerryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 00:00:53

My ds is 7 and asking to join FB to play games, but I keep saying no. Is it acceptable to have 10 yr olds on social networks. Genuine question as I worry I am too harsh on him sometimes...?

You open the account, you control the PW, you control his contacts.

FB has a lot of fun, free games - mine have been playing under my accounts since 9 or 10. I control the PWs, I go through the accounts every evening

Lets be honest here, you'll get one or two posters who say their child cant have a FB account until their 13th birthday, but that child can open one at school, in a library, on a mates smart phone and the parent will never know - especially as they tend to use spoof names - Heidi Smith will become Heiidii LuffsJustinBeiber Smiffy - kids arent stupid, they don't pick family up on their secret accounts

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 03-Jan-13 00:45:50

This will not end well.

The child wasn't being racist. But it was ill thought out by his parents.

MammaTJ Thu 03-Jan-13 05:02:46

I was thinking about him having a twitter account at age 10 but Holly makes a good point. My DD has an email account, created by the school and is more than able to set up a facebook account at age 7. Scary!!

Back to the OP. I do not think the boy was being racist, it was flattery and the footballer clearly took it as such. I do think the parents should have realised how it could have been taken though.

Bertrude Thu 03-Jan-13 05:16:46

My husband did it once as he looks like a particular black celeb but is white. Was a fancy dress party where we knew everyone very well.

Went down a storm. Not offensive, not meant in an offensive way. Just like, say, someone with a big mustache putting on a curly wig and being a 118 man. Would that be offensive to curly-haired 118 men?

misterwife Thu 03-Jan-13 05:58:46

'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.'


Fabuloo Thu 03-Jan-13 10:32:10

But who exactly is offended? It strangely appears to be overwhelmingly white people offended on black peoples behalf, I find this a little patrionising.

I don't think it would be a problem dressing up as a black person in Brixton, but obviously it depends on the context.If you dressed up as anyone in order to make fun of them they would probably get upset, no matter what race they were.

I grew up in Hackney and there were a real mix of races, my older cousin married a black man and dyed her hair black and wore the darkest make-up she could find to try and look mixed race for a while, it was never a problem apart from the fact she looked a bit strange ...

tethersjinglebellend Thu 03-Jan-13 11:01:24

I can't believe I was about to write a post arguing that blacking up is racist and offensive.

If people honestly believe that it isn't then there's nothing more to say really.


ladymariner Thu 03-Jan-13 11:09:08

I'm amazed that people are getting into such a flap about this, it was a 10 year old boy dressing up as his hero Hadj El Diouf, going to meet him and getting his photo taken with him. In the photo Diouf looks really pleased to see the kid. He also had his photo taken with several other players, Neil Warnock the manager, some other fans and a couple of police. At Everton games lots of fans wear huge curly wigs to emulate Fellaini. Is there a problem with that? One NYE my son and his mate went as the guys from Pulp Fiction, ds' friend blacked up and wore a wig.....does that make him racist?

I think people need to get a grip and concentrate on the terrible things going on that really are racist, not some kid dressing up a as footballer.

Fabuloo Thu 03-Jan-13 11:11:09

tethersjinglebellend - but why are you so offended?

Is it just a white person dressing up as a black person, or would you find it offensive the other way round? How about a white person dressing up as a Japanese geisha or Indian person? Or the other way round? Or is any dressing up as another race but your own a no-no?

If it is because of the history of 'blacking up' do you think it is fair to judge future generations on the racist actions of previous generations, ironically, because of their race?

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Thu 03-Jan-13 11:18:29

YABVVVVU IMHO, if the father wanted to show the Dc's admiration for a particular player, he could have helped him master a skill to demonstrate to the man such as keepie uppie (sp) or dribbling or something, to show how he wishes to be like him/ his colleagues. Personally, I think that even if the father did not intend a racial insult, I think it is sad to show a child that it is physical appearance is what matters rather than abilities or pleasant qualities.

VoiceofUnreason Thu 03-Jan-13 11:23:51

No doubt we will soon be banning all productions of The Mikado staged by amateur dramatics companies unless every member of the cast is genuinely Japanese.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Thu 03-Jan-13 11:24:02

From pictures I have glanced at, the Dc is wearing his hair in a similar style to the player, why was this not physical homage enough, children of all races often copy fashions like this. To take it that step further, as the father, not the child, seems to have done, is stupid, offensive and tasteless IMO

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Thu 03-Jan-13 11:28:12

Voice, in a version I saw relatively recently, the only reference to physical characteristics was that the cast wore dark wigs, most audiences know wear the play is set, so why do we need to have the physical characteristics represented at all? If the cast is not composed of people of Japanese decent/ nationality.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Thu 03-Jan-13 11:28:43


Fabuloo Thu 03-Jan-13 11:37:01

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere -

I think different racial characteristics are something to been celebrated and embraced, having children who are both English, but due ethnicity look very different, has really cemented this view for me.

I find it sickening that my blonde haired blue eyed DS would be condemned as a racist (by other white people) if he dressed up as DD, where if she dressed up as DS (or me) it would be "how sad she feels the need to look western". It really makes me angry.

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