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NJJ
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I'd love to hear American member's reaction to this story.

http://gawker.com/5376363/in-australia-b......ffensive

A tv show over hear (a bit like the Gong Show) featured a Jackson Five parody with the five performers in full blackface!

Harry Connick Jr, one of the judges, got a little upset which meant the whole thing made the news both here and overseas.

The same thing happened in the gaza strip Smile
http://www.conman.com.au/news/blackface-zebras/
MagicSanta
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My thoughts are as followed. They were suitably over the top and would be considered offensive by many, if not most, Americans after they look around to make sure others are offended. I've actually seen an act with black guys in black face doing the old Amos and Andy type material, that didn't seem to offend anyone.

Had Connick, a guy who offends me, NOT had acted offended he would never have been able to show his face back in New Orleans. Here's the rub, it wasnt done in the US and thus Connick should not try to imply that Americans are in any fashion superior to Aussies. We are not. Australia does not have the baggage or stigma and, to be frank, the nonsense that was associated with slavery (dang those Spanish and UKers who were really behind it!) and thus do not have any cause to be sensative to the issue. While at it, why don't we go after and ridicule the dozens of other nations that had slaves from Africa or the ones that still do today? Oh, who cares, back to this. While that act would never had seen the air here that doesn't mean it can't be done elsewhere. I've news for some of you, I've been to Africa, the tribes make a lot of fun of other tribes and hate American blacks in many countries and have zero sympathy decendents of slaves and actually consider them lower than anyone else.

I will admit that when those guys came out on that video my first thought was "oh $@#$", but more power to ya.
Doug Higley
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"...after they look around to make sure others are offended."

Wow...is that a boat load of INSIGHT! That word grouping puts PC in general in the stark light of truth.

Add to the Spanish and UK'ers...the Arab Slavers and the TRIBES that captured OTHER TRIBES and sold them to the Slavers. It's still going on witrh the Hutu and Tutsies...and accorodng to folks I know this very day in South Africa there is slavery going on at a smaller scale...but going on.
A lot of folks died over here in America to get rid of the disgusting practice...my ancestral line among them stood up and gave lives hundreds of years ago in the cause of freedom for a subjected race. That's hardly ever part of the obsession with the shame of forced servitude in the US. The pride that we did the right thing seems always lost in the telling.
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Destiny
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Are they mentioning in the US that the guy in whiteface is of Indian heritage as was one of the dudes in blackface - and another Sri Lankan?

I doubt their intent was to be racist.

In fact the joke was probably in the old cliche of Michael Jackson's paling with age.

I hope you all understand that this particular talent quest is meant to highlight a lack of talent. Earlier in the show they showed a clip of a young and unknown Cate Blanchett competing on it 20 years ago.
airship
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I do not want to see blackface performances go away totally. I think they should be regularly presented in the context of historical awareness education. If we don't remember the past, we are condemned to repeat it. This is the same reason that Jesse Jackson collects Aunt Jemima cookie jars and copies of 'Little Black Sambo'.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
RJE
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I remember going to see Minstrals and blackface performances as a kid. In grade 1, we did a performance in an assembly in blackface.

Different times, different attitudes.
thorndyke
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Remember what happened to Ted Danson? Thought it would be taken differently than it was. The only blackface moments in my lifetime was an episode of All in the Family, where Archie is in a minstrel show, and the Brit series Doctor in the house, where a bigoted patient is told of a mix up in the lab and the blood he received, well,...and he sees his face in the mirror. In these cases it was done to make a point and it seemed most people got the point.
Oh yeah, and Gene Wilder in Silver Streak.
Tom Bartlett
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Quote:
On 2009-10-09 11:57, RJE wrote:
I remember going to see Minstrals and blackface performances as a kid. In grade 1, we did a performance in an assembly in blackface.

Different times, different attitudes.
Wow! How old are you? I'm 55 and blackface was not acceptable at any time in my childhood at least in Oklahoma. I remember seeing the Al Jolson story on TV and my mother telling me that we don’t do that any more because it’s hurtful and just not good manners.
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
MagicSanta
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I do recall in grade school back in Georgia a halloween costume contest was won by a guy dressed like the traditional 'black mammy'.
Futureal
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Sometimes people "get offended" by what they think others will get offended by ...
Tom Cutts
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And sometimes those with antiquated ideals think "offense" is too easily bandied about, when really it just means they are out of touch with modern society. Like whining about radio programming and such. Cripes, could you be more "old man cliche?"
NJJ
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The questions this issue has raised for me include...

The producers and participants have claims they did not not INTEND to be racist. Does intention make something more or less racist?

Would the segment have been less offensive if it was ACTUALLY funny.

'Blackface' is not as politically loaded in Australia as in the US. Does this make a difference to how racist something is?

Is painting your face black to play a black person itself racist? Or is it only racist because blackface, as a type of entertainment, was created as a specifically racist type of entertainment. Drag queens are not sexist for dressing up as women.
MagicSanta
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Racist means ones belief that their race is superior to another race. If one does not believe, say, that black people are less intelligent than whites or that Asians are smarter than Hispanics then they are not racist. It should be noted that I've ran into far more Asians who believe they are superior to others than any other group of people. Is it degrading? It depends on the overall meaning. I forgot who in this thread mentioned that it emphasised how Michael Jackson changed his appearance as not to look black and in that sense I think it was pretty good satire. Racist? Not at all. Insulting to a drug addict who likely was mentally ill? Sure... but it is a mentally ill drug addict who was a celeb and craved that status so he's fair game.

I am going to do a skit where a guy dressed like Steve Erwin captures and aborigine, ties him up, and moves him to another pen.
RJE
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Quote:
On 2009-10-10 00:15, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-10-09 11:57, RJE wrote:
I remember going to see Minstrals and blackface performances as a kid. In grade 1, we did a performance in an assembly in blackface.

Different times, different attitudes.
Wow! How old are you? I'm 55 and blackface was not acceptable at any time in my childhood at least in Oklahoma. I remember seeing the Al Jolson story on TV and my mother telling me that we don’t do that any more because it’s hurtful and just not good manners.


I'm only 51.

It would have been mid 60's, maybe 1964 or 1965 and the one of the local service groups, Lions, Rotary or whatever, used to have a Spring Variety Show in the local high school gym each year. It was the only building with a stage in our small town.

I remember well them doing part of the show in blackface.

In elementary school, for my first time on stage in my life, it was an evening assembly or pageant. My class was performing in blackface. I remember my mom taking a cork from a bottle and burning the end and then rubbing it on my face to blacken it.

This was in small town southern Ontario Canada.

At the time, it was not seen as anything wrong. Today of course, things are different.
landmark
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For a terrific history of minstrelsy and its uses, read the book Love and Theft by Eric Lott. (Named before Dylan came out with his album of the same name!)
Irfaan Kahan
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I have a feeling that white face would somehow be far less offensive. Probably be funnier, too.

I laughed myself into a coughing fit when Chris Rock said: "Boy I wish they would let me join the Ku Klux Klan 'cos I hate ******* so much!"

Carlos Mencia: "If I can't tell a black joke in New Orleans then I can't tell it at all."

The guys in the clip may have been awkward, but I don't think they meant any harm . . .
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ed rhodes
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I am not offended by what other people are offended by. I am offended by what offends me.

I thought the Jackson thing was highly offensive, at the same time, there's a video out there of a Japanese variety show where a Japanese man, in blackface is supposed to be Barrack Obama giving his famous catch phrase "Change!" He suddenly starts doing a magic act with the catch phrase as his "magic word."

Was I offended? No. Was it funny? I think so.

I try to take each case on an individual basis and not judge what's offensive by "what offends the group around me."
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
MagicSanta
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I'd tell a black joke if I knew a good one. Now yesterday I was sitting with my work buddy who is a black fellow and also a refuge from silicon valley. Our one black manager came over to see my friend. The manager is a very nice young guy but he never, ever, smiles, that is just his way. It was 'smile' day at work and this manager was in charge of it (I have no idea what smile day is) so I turn to my friend and say "Look at Jeremy, with that smile you'd expect him to be standing next to Malcolm X". My friend and Jeremy both laughed because they got the joke, the white guys didn't get it. My friend later explained to them about how back in X's day he was surrounded by ticked off looking guys. Racist? Not it my opinion cuz it worked.
balducci
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Quote:
On 2009-10-10 13:22, Irfaan Kahan wrote:

I have a feeling that white face would somehow be far less offensive. Probably be funnier, too.

I was watching a documentary last night, "Stayin’ Alive in Jo’Burg", and in some of the street scenes I could see black street performers performing in white face (or something like it - I think they might have actually been trying to go for an asian look, it was a little unclear).

It wasn't that funny, mainly because I think something was lost in the translation.
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
ed rhodes
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My favorite "black joke" was told by Spider Robinson in one of his "Callahan's" books. The characters are sitting around discussing blind prejudice when one of the people tells about a friend of his from Nigeria who was flown to America to undergo cataract surgery. Apparently, he'd had several friends (who were probably his sponsors) and they threw a party for him. At the party, the character gives a toast; "Welcome to America, where tomorrow morning a white man is going to take a knife to your eyes!" Everyone laughs. Later in the party a distinguished black man comes up to the character and introduces himself; "How are you Mr. XXX? <I> am the 'white man' who is going to take a knife to Mr. YYY's eyes!"
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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