Blackface isn’t art and someone should tell Lady Gaga.
It’s 2016 yet dressing in Blackface and defending it as something else is a thing. It’s 2016 yet dressing in costumes as Native Americans is a thing. It’s 2016 and Columbus Day is a thing. It’s 2016 and Nat Turner is missing from history books. It’s 2016 and kids think King Leopold was after diamonds in the Congo thanks to Tarzan, but you know not telling the melanin truth is a thing. It’s 2016 and the Republican front runner calls Black people “The African Americans” that apparently are all poor and live in hell because, you know, that too is a thing. It’s 2016 and people other than African descent feel they are entitled to “nigga” because it’s in a song. It’s 2016 and the word “ghetto” is used to define underserved, underrepresented groups of people in a community. It’s 2016 and I am expected not to racially categorized events, issues and circumstances because it makes other people feel uncomfortable because that too is a thing. It’s 2016 and white privilege and moreover, white entitlement is a thing—a BIG thing. Listen, my culture is MINE; you can enjoy it but know that you do NOT own it. If you want parts of MY culture then don’t take it in pieces, take all of it—the music, the hairstyles, the dress, the dialect, the protest, the discrimination, the double and triple standards, the systematic racism, the disenfranchisement, take the glorified behinds AND the ignored demands. Do more than just ENJOY Black culture, defend it.
Whether 50 years ago, 2 weeks ago or 200 years from now, Blackface will NEVER be okay. NEVER, not even a little bit. Just because you think it’s all fine and dandy does not mean your opinion is gold and neither is mine but this Black Girl Magic is not optional today or any day for that matter. Granted, it’s hard to avoid images/products/people that intentional mocked, destroyed or even displaced a group of people such as Walmart, Firestone Tires, Disney and the Koch brothers but I’ll save that lesson for another day. I understand that Black history is not always taught in school and when it is, it seldom truly depicts the atrocities faced by Black people. So, since you do not know about the history of a said action, person or thing why jump to a defense when they say THEY ARE OFFENDED? Why not TRY to empathize and understand? Does your privilege really make you that oblivious? I know…I know…it’s 2016 and discriminatory and racist practices must be backed by celebrities before they have validity but damn!
Today’s point is to do what you can, for those that you can, while you can—that includes the defense and unwavering support of Black people, Black culture and yes, Black history that did not start on a boat.