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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...

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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

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

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.

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 12:33:30

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 12:31:23

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.

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

What blog?

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 12:19:17

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 12:16:38

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

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 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.

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

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

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 11:13:10

""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 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.

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.

MrsBethel Tue 08-Jan-13 14:24:56


This clearly isn't racist. It's affectionate. The boy's enjoying playing at being his hero. El Hadji Diouf looks happy. What's the problem? (There isn't one.)

If anything, the nay-sayers are bring racist in making such a big deal about it.

BigSpork Tue 08-Jan-13 12:50:47

What is not necessarily the case?

Regions are made of people who should adapt and challenge their thinking and have their thinking challenged if we are ever going to improve things. If someone said or did something hurtful to me, no matter where I am, I don't learn that this is what acceptable there, I just learn not to trust them or that area. Just like I don't use one of the local park during the school run and holidays because of the xenophobic crap that has happened to me and my children so often during those times. Just like I don't sit outside on the benches of the community hall when my daughter is in GirlGuides because every time I have men have shouted at me from cars. Neither of those are acceptable behaviours, no matter where you are, but I have to change myself to suit oppressors to protect myself and my kids. So if someone in my circle does or says something hurtful, I will call them out on it and expect them to apologise and learn (or I learn not to trust them), because I don't want them going and hurting someone else and claim ignorance or treat my silence as acceptance and use me as a excuse to do hurtful things. Because that crap happens.

There is a difference between someone making a mistake like in this story and those who do these things actively knowing the harm and contributing to the generalizing and stereotypes that get us harassed, abused, and killed. That is an absolute - people kill other people because of the stereotypes and generalizations that they prove in their head and the media feeds that. The difference between a mistake and someone who doesn't see the problem is hurting others they see as less than human is easy to see because the former is willing to apologise and listen and the other will never listen and play 'it's not me, it's them' bingo - they all say variation of the same stuff which is helpful in learning how to avoid and who not to trust.

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