Since we were all little kids we’ve always been taught right from wrong, and it’s always been a constantly changing set of rules that we’ve had to adapt to. What was acceptable when you were 5 is no longer allowed now. It was funny and even cute if you pooped on the floor and blamed the dog when you were a child, as you grew up, if you tried it again, it became less funny and actually borderline sociopath-like behavior, or so my therapist says. This is how the world in general works, what once was allowed no longer is, and we as society need to constantly keep up with trends and try to phase out the wrongs of previous generations.
This is why blackface has reared its ugly (but just as pretty and the same as everyone else on the inside) head once again and become a topic of conversation. Blackface has been slowly wiped out as something people could get away with doing, even if it were for reasons that had no ill-intent. A few years ago even, wanting to be Snoop Dog for Halloween to impress all your frat boy friends? Fo Shizzle my nizzle, pass the blunt and shoe polish and get your costume on. Now we know though, that’s not OK. Maybe a bandanna, sunglasses and a shirt that says “I’m Snoop D-O-Double G” on it will suffice. I don’t know what the fuck Snoop wears, and chances are, if you’re dressing up as him to be funny, your friends don’t either. It’s no longer acceptable and people should move on from it, and this is coming from someone who hates change. This might be one of those few things that are for the better.
Using blackface for a Halloween costume has been put on the shelf next to dressing as Hitler or Steve Irwin with a stingray through his stomach. We know not to do it. That doesn’t mean a time when we didn’t never existed though. Back in the 60’s people dressed in blackface at parties all the time, assuming my knowledge of the 60’s going no further than what Mad Men taught me is correct.
But there are rules and situations you should know better. If you were dressing as someone in blackface to portray a Hurricane Katrina victim, like former Florida Secretary Of State Michael Ertel
Then yeah you have some explaining to do. No normal person in their right mind decided to dress up as that with no intention of offending anyone. These are the people who give blackface a bad name, as a sign of white supremacists. The problem was, it’s not even funny, it’s just some jackbag who on a normal day looks like he pals around with Jared from Subway while using mayonnaise to masturbate to pictures of women’s elbows in the Sears catalog trying to be edgy and funny.
This is the face of a racist white asshole, but that shouldn’t mean everyone who ever thought wearing blackface was OK is a racist asshole. Ill-advised, and probably over-privileged asshole, yes. If the Attorney General in Virginia wore black face in the 80’s to a costume party to dress as a rapper,
Then sure it’s definitely got some slightly hidden racist undertones to it that aren’t really hidden at all. It was also 30 years ago, during a time when that wasn’t as looked down upon. Why are we going after people for things that happened so long ago to ruin their lives now? Should he apologize? The answer is the same as if the Florida guy were asked would he like socks for Christmas. A resounding yes.
The thing is, just like #metoo, we need to recognize the differences in everyone’s actions and not go about it like a mob mentality where everyone is equally guilty. If you dressed in blackface with a sign saying “Kill the N-Bombs” at a college party with big ol’ white paint around the lips 20 years ago, then yeah, you were a racist piece of shit then and probably are now. If you happened to be doing something stupid, but not actually looking to offend, and since then have actually done good, then maybe an apology would work? Julianne Hough did it a few years ago
First off, somehow being able to look hot in blackface worked to her advantage. She also chalked it up to the tried-and-true “I didn’t think/know better and I’m sorry” routine and we all still love her for it. Moving forward, if you don’t know by now that it’s wrong and offensive, then maybe you and Megan Kelly can start a support group, otherwise just use your imagination to dress as different characters. It really never was OK and it’s sad we still have to tell people that, but slowly people are learning. Don’t crucify everyone who has ever done it though, simply to prove a point. Chances are they know they’re assholes anyway.
Though, some can get away with changing their skin color. Sammy Sosa has had no trouble wearing the inside of a butt-hole color face, and we’ve allowed it. We’ll let that one slide though.