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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Blackface (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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landmark
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Davit

The Internet is a big place. Google Minstrelsy okay?
Steve_Mollett
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And while you're at it, Google "Mushmouth Stereotype."
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Jonathan Townsend
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Civil War reinactors... I don't ask.
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MagicSanta
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Wait Landmark, there are slavery deniers? Please. Get over it. Next people will be whining that they are effected by the absence of a great great great great grandfather in their ancestors lives because he lined up with other guys and fired his gun at another army from ten yards apart and the other dude killed him. Actually the holocost survivors I met in Israel were very nice people, friendly as could be. I never said they were happy about it but they were not saying "I can't make a living because I was oppressed in Poland".
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Quote:
On 2009-10-17 19:39, Davit Sicseek wrote:
Can someone explain how it's possible to be offended by someone wearing black make up?


Do you really mean this?

Maybe it crosses from "good clean fun" into "offensive disrespect" when the class or race or nationality being caricatured has a history of being oppressed or belittled. It automatically leaves the realm of "friendly teasing" and lands squarely in "scornful mockery." It amounts to a social message that "this is just about all there is to these dumb people, let's make fun of them." And the idea that as an audience member I might find it tasteful entertainment casts me in the same bad light ... no, I'm not comfortable with it.

As a white male in America, I can take it ... let Chris Rock or whomever poke fun all he wants, let Larry the Cable Guy make clownish comedy about my hick origins.

But would you be as comfortable with "Big Chief Rain-In-The-Face" Native American portrayals by non-Indians, considering the current state of Indian life and who made it that way? Remember when Americans of Polish ancestry got really sick of Polack jokes, and it wasn't hard for anybody to decide "enough already"? Can you really still tell a "dumb blonde joke" and not get a single objection?
MagicSanta
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Let's not forget the Chinese and Irish who were made to work on the railroads. What about those poor Europeans that were grabbed off the boats and put into the army upon arrival in the US many of which never were able to contact spouses or children? Then there are the Hispanics, whatever that means these days since last name seems to rule that one, who lost territories? Then there are the indians who fought indians and the blacks that owned slaves and the natives in Africa who captured other tribes and sold 'em and the white slavers n North Africa and the Koreans who hate the Japanese who slaughtered the Chinese who tormented the Tibetians who pander to the New Yorkers who iritated the rest of the country. There there are the decendents of carpet baggers who stole from the Southerners who knew people who owned slaves many of which who had ancestors who came over on the Mayflowere who were tossed out of England which went after the Celts who fought the Normans that were defeated by the Huns who lost etc etc etc etc.
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...which lay in the house that Jack built. Smile
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MagicSanta
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Yup.
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A pretty extensive discussion of blackface in America and around the world is available here:

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Blackface

I have to be honest, I have never really been exposed to much blackface before. I can understand how the video that started this thread is offensive, as the act there was just insulting (even though I've since read that it was intentionally meant to be satirical and over the top). I mean, it had no redeeming values at all. All it was, was insulting. IMHO.

But the blackfaced model that appeared in French Vogue recently (see one of my earlier posts), I don't find that particularly offensive. More artistic. And possibly knowingly sensationalist. But not insulting, at least not based on what I've seen of it on the web.

A personal anecdote ... I was aware that Al Jolson was in the breakthrough movie, The Jazz Singer. But I've never seen the movie, and really didn't know anything about Al Jolson for most of my life. Al Jolson and his music were simply never big during my lifetime, at least not where I have lived. Until a few years back, I had always understood him to be a black performer. I was shocked the first time I saw a photo of him, and realised that he was a white guy (Asa Yoelson, a Jewish Lithuanian) in black face paint.
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MagicSanta
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I should say I'm against black face and do think it is demeaning. I just don't buy into the other stuff tied to it.
critter
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Quote:
Maybe it crosses from "good clean fun" into "offensive disrespect" when the class or race or nationality being caricatured has a history of being oppressed or belittled.


Tell that to the Irish.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Maybe I missed the fun of racism - but all I see in blackface is white people dressing up as enforced stereotypes which they created and now can't address directly. I mean it's not as if they are dressing up as Zulu warriors and preaching nobility or as San and extolling the virtues of living close to the earth and respecting all its creatures. No, they are just offering dark reflections of their own values and history and asking others to find it funny. I find it puzzling and kind of sad - one generation attempting to infect another with a tolerance of bigotry.
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landmark
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Quote:
On 2009-10-17 23:40, MagicSanta wrote:
Wait Landmark, there are slavery deniers? Please. Get over it. Next people will be whining that they are effected by the absence of a great great great great grandfather in their ancestors lives because he lined up with other guys and fired his gun at another army from ten yards apart and the other dude killed him. Actually the holocost survivors I met in Israel were very nice people, friendly as could be. I never said they were happy about it but they were not saying "I can't make a living because I was oppressed in Poland".


MS I love ya, but you're clueless here. Why do you think there is an Israel?
Jonathan Townsend
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...Why do you think there is an Israel?


Do you really want to discuss this? I'm sure our Café members from over in that side of the world have some pretty strong opinions on that matter.
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MagicSanta
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So Landmark, you are saying we should do as was done with Liberia and pack up the black Americans and send them to Africa? I think that would be cruel and also I'd miss my cubicle mate too much.

Note: I'm extremely pro Israel, love the place and people, my in laws are Palastinians from Israel.
critter
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Some cultures don't even get stereotypes. I'm a Melungeon. Paint yourself up like one of us. On those affirmative action sheets I am officially "other."
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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MagicSanta
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A former coworker of mine had a daughter apply for Stanford. The daughter was born in the US but her parents were both from Egypt but were the blondish hair Egyptians. On her application she put down "African American" because the form stated that it was defined as someone who's family came from Africa, which we all know would include Egypt. She gets into Stanford and she then gets letters about joining all these African clubs, she doesn't join because to be frank she doesn't fit the profile they are looking for. The daughter gets called into the dean of African American students (they have their own dean) to discuss her lack of joining up. He takes one look at her and says "you are not black", she agrees, and he tries to get her tossed out for lying! She had one thing that goes beyond race, more powerful than ancenstory, she had a family who could afford lawyers. She did go to Stanford.
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I think people are too sensitive and look for things to be offended about.

I am Norwegian. If I blew a gasket every time I heard someone making a goofy Norwegain accent, doing parodies of Vikings, etc. etc. I would drive myself mad.

If it's funny, it's funny. If the intention is not to insult, why LOOK for an insult?
MagicSanta
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Great, now I have a desire to do my stupid Norwegian accent.
Doug Higley
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Eddie Murphy. He does black face and white face and all the other flavors. He does Jews and Hispanic and Chinese in his movies regularly. The Wayan's brothers did 2 white chicks...Men regularly spoof another socalled minority with makeup, Women in Transvestite entertaiments...Robert Downey Jr.'s recent blackface in a major motion picture...
it all depends on the property and who's money is behind it I guess.

Was Al Jolson a racist? (I have no idea, just asking.) At the time he was a monster star.
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