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Old 10-29-2013, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Halloween Has a Blackface Issue and It's a Racism Problem | Awesomely Luvvie

So, It's October 29th, a few days before Halloween and a few days after some people threw Halloween parties and/or went out in costume. And this year, like dang near every other year, the number of inappropriate costumes astounds me. In particular, people who choose to dress up in blackface. Recently, actress Julianne Hough stirred up some controversy for donning blackface when she dressed up as a black character from a TV show. Ever more disgusting are the pictures of people donning black face and going out as Trayvon Martin, basically mocking his tragic death (I refuse to have this thread devolve into the legalities of that case, but I doubt many will disagree about how such a callous costume may open wounds for his parents and those who mourn his death). Blackface has a long, dark history in this country and it strikes me as odd that, every year around this time, people, mostly young, white kids, completely disregard this history and go out in blackface. In some cases, like Hough's, it may be they are dressing up as a character they actually like who just happen to be black, but in many cases, it's people mocking black/African American caricatures and figure. Is this something that people are not regarding as an issue? Do people not see this as a problem in general, or are they excusing it because it's Halloween?

Whenever I see this topic pop up (and it's pop up a few times in my Facebook feed as of late, especially concerning the aforementioned incidents), two movies are often brought up: White Chicks and Tropic Thunder. I personally have never seen White Chicks, but obviously, if the movie, which has two of the Wayans Brothers donning whiteface to portray spoiled white women, mocks whites in the same way older movies featuring blackface mocked blacks, then obviously, that's not okay. With Tropic Thunder, I took it less as mocking blacks and, like every facet of that movie, more about mocking actors. Either way, I can see how these two movies may have complicated matters a bit in terms of the appropriateness of blackface/whiteface. Are there people out there who were offended by the blackface or whiteface portrayed in these movies?

Does anyone think there is a time or place for blackface? Are people who don blackface being racist, ignorant of its complicated past, or just dressing up for a holiday? If you're black, are you offended by these costumes? If you're white, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or any other race/ethnicity, are you offended when people outside your race/ethnicity use similar tactics to dress up as someone of your race/ethnicity?

And for the record, it's completely possible for people to dress up as characters of different races without being offensive...
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:27 AM
 
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Context is key

This topic has been hashed to death a few times on this board, but it all comes back to context IMO
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: alt reality
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eevee View Post

Are people who don blackface being racist, ignorant of its complicated past, or just dressing up for a holiday? If you're black, are you offended by these costumes?
Its a combo of all 3. Its like that movie The Purge. They're just itching to get all of the foolishness out of their systems and Halloween is the perfect excuse for closet racists to be racist, idiots to be idiots, attention whores to be attention whores, etc. People love getting off on seeing how far they can "push the envelope". They're basically saying "Look at me! Ain't I controversial?!" How do I feel about it personally? Meh.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
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That girl Julianne Hough , what was she thinking ? when you are a celeb everything you do is scrutinized . I wish she would have made a better choice and im speaking as a mother here .
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
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Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
That girl Julianne Hough , what was she thinking ? when you are a celeb everything you do is scrutinized . I wish she would have made a better choice and im speaking as a mother here .
I agree. I have no idea if she is racist or not, but I do believe she should have at least known better - or someone close to her should have clued her in that some might find it very offensive. Blackface has a very real history of promoting negative stereotypes of African Americans and it is difficult for me to understand how people can either not know that.......or worse, know it and not care.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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This must really upset some people then:

The Incredibly Offensive Photos From An "African"-Themed 21st Birthday Party
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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Hough's costume wasn't exactly an Aunt Jemima Minstrel Show. She looked more like she had gotten hold of John Boehner's spray tan. It wasn't meant as a caricature, either. If she had wanted to be She-Hulk, she would have used green makeup instead of brown. It's sad that we have people in our society who are so concerned with what a white girl wears for Halloween that they make us all numb to real racism and bigotry.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:46 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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[My first post here--been reading this forum, on and off for years]

Interesting thread, for me particularly: I am crazy about Halloween--the costumes, the silly parties, the rather exposed women in costumes, the beautiful Fall weather here in the Upstate part of South Carolina. I have donned costume most of past 20 Halloweens. I am 'brown' color of Asian extraction. Racism is not a big problem for me though a few times there have been, especially after 9/11.

So this year I donned a 'fro'. I did ask my friends if I would offend African Americans and they said no, you wouldn't. They said I look much more like Howard Stern, though of darker color, than anything else. I think they are right and I feel better to probably not be offending anyone.

One Halloween Party I do remember in 2001--shortly after 9/11--in major hotel. A guy donned a full Arab costume, on the back of which he had a target sign and which said: Shoot Me! (or something like that). I thought that was quite offensive. I am not Arab but I don't take lightly to racism.

And then a few Halloweens ago I met a couple of guys in a local bar here who were dressed as Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden: They said they were denied entry to some bars because of that. Silliness considering they really were not out to praise the two dead men, to say the least.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:04 PM
 
1,661 posts, read 2,042,883 times
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This thread is eerily similar to one on another forum I frequent. Only one way to know for sure...

OP are you aware?
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:38 PM
 
624 posts, read 797,122 times
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I have seen people don Halloween costumes as a tribute to heroes of other races (Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela) and I think that's fine and have a nice giggle at their efforts to capture the person, physically. Other kinds of cross-racial costumes tend to offend me because the intention is always questionable and I don't think everybody knows (or cares) where the line is between innocent fun and racism/stereotype. I once saw what I thought was a fun costume tribute to Bob Marley turn into a drunken show of racial mockery, and it has made me really wary of cross-racial Halloween costumes ever since unless it's absolutely clear it's out of pure respect.

The Trayvon/Arab stuff is just disgusting. Political and current event-related Halloween costumes can be fun, but not when they are an excuse to be mean-spirited. This year I'm dressing as "The Can" that our government keeps kicking down the road. But I know someone else (a White guy) who is dressing as a ghetto Obama playing kick-the-can...a whole other level of commentary that I think is inappropriate.

I don't think people who do this stuff aren't aware of the history of blackface or other racial depictions. I just think they don't care. As a result, I admit I'm a bit less critical when someone of another race dresses up as a White person (I am White). I guess I feel we have it coming for many decades of doing it to everybody else...but really, anybody of any race who does it is perpetuating the problem.
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