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Is blackface a grey area?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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21 September 2019 01:58
 

Can it be done sarcastically? Can the intentions be complex? Would it matter if they were?

What about the common practice of partially darkening actors to make them seem either foreign or sinister? Do we have to condemn Michael Ansara’s colorful TV career? Kang was a Klingon. Is that okay?

Is it time to think about why clowns use white-face? Maybe because white folk are so easily fooled. Whoops, I’m a racist.

Mockery and exclusion are cruelties that are easy to see in whatever form they take.

Is there a world in the multiverse with no racial baggage where nice people can have FUN with face color? Is that something to aspire to? 

[ Edited: 21 September 2019 03:17 by Nhoj Morley]
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GAD
 
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GAD
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21 September 2019 09:19
 

It’s all part of the racism is everywhere and the poor black people need to be saved, look at me I’m a hero movement. The idea that all these cases in the media are mocking poor black people is ridiculous as it is clear that that is not the case. But they just can’t help themselves, they need racism to feel good about themselves and the industry needs it to support it self.

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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21 September 2019 09:27
 

I shared on another thread that my brother painted his face black, put on his rap t-shirt and a fake gold chain for halloween at school back in the 80’s.  He idolized rappers, and rappers were predominantly black.  He did it out of admiration.  Good thing he’s not a public figure - a photo may surface and ruin his career.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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21 September 2019 09:28
 
Nhoj Morley - 21 September 2019 01:58 AM

Can it be done sarcastically? Can the intentions be complex? Would it matter if they were?

What about the common practice of partially darkening actors to make them seem either foreign or sinister? Do we have to condemn Michael Ansara’s colorful TV career? Kang was a Klingon. Is that okay?

Is it time to think about why clowns use white-face? Maybe because white folk are so easily fooled. Whoops, I’m a racist.

Mockery and exclusion are cruelties that are easy to see in whatever form they take.

Is there a world in the multiverse with no racial baggage where nice people can have FUN with face color? Is that something to aspire to?

Intentions can change the whole story.  Of course there don’t have to be bad intentions for harm to be done, but we are better able to learn and evolve when we use common sense, perspective and fairness in our judgement of others.  To do otherwise just serves to divide people further and solves nothing.  If we’re looking for understanding and tolerance for ourselves, we must also extend it to others.

Yes, mockery and exclusion are cruelties that are easier to see.  Harsher judgements and criticism are better directed at these.

[ Edited: 21 September 2019 10:56 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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21 September 2019 17:19
 

A Klingon isn’t human so cannot therefore be dehumanized.  Whether a Klingon should feel dishonoured if a human apes its look…is not for me to say.  I imagine fictional characters aren’t that easily offended.  When wearing any costume a quick way to determine whether it carries the potential for any insult is to imagine crossing paths with the subject of your portrayal.  If that is met with your embarrassment…then you know.

 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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22 September 2019 09:50
 

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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22 September 2019 10:00
 
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before. In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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22 September 2019 10:15
 
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before.

Yep.

GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM

In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

I am not sure, but let’s stay on topic.  The idea of reconciling the sins of the past is not new or discredited, mainly because there is a strong tendency to repeat the sins and learn nothing from them.  Racism isn’t dead, it is just waiting for an opportunity, and I don’t want to let my guard down.

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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22 September 2019 10:20
 

There’s always the option of navigating the situation like they did in Tropic Thunder…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6WHBO_Qc-Q

(Robert Downey Junior was nominated for several awards but I think Sam Harris really nailed this scene.)

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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22 September 2019 10:36
 
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 10:15 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before.

Yep.

GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM

In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

I am not sure, but let’s stay on topic.  The idea of reconciling the sins of the past is not new or discredited, mainly because there is a strong tendency to repeat the sins and learn nothing from them.  Racism isn’t dead, it is just waiting for an opportunity, and I don’t want to let my guard down.

Seems like another extreme position to me.

 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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22 September 2019 10:50
 
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:36 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 10:15 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before.

Yep.

GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM

In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

I am not sure, but let’s stay on topic.  The idea of reconciling the sins of the past is not new or discredited, mainly because there is a strong tendency to repeat the sins and learn nothing from them.  Racism isn’t dead, it is just waiting for an opportunity, and I don’t want to let my guard down.

Seems like another extreme position to me.

We have seen what happens when there is no check on racism, and it’s not good.  What happens when the check on racism is a little too much?  Is it as bad as no check?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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22 September 2019 11:08
 
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 10:50 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:36 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 10:15 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before.

Yep.

GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM

In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

I am not sure, but let’s stay on topic.  The idea of reconciling the sins of the past is not new or discredited, mainly because there is a strong tendency to repeat the sins and learn nothing from them.  Racism isn’t dead, it is just waiting for an opportunity, and I don’t want to let my guard down.

Seems like another extreme position to me.

We have seen what happens when there is no check on racism, and it’s not good.  What happens when the check on racism is a little too much?  Is it as bad as no check?

It is, because logically it is the same thing. When you throw reason out the window and use a Pascal’s wager argument to justify it you are going down the same dark path as religion.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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22 September 2019 18:04
 

Almost everything is gray area. Social issues have cultural and contextual ambiguities. There are numerous sides to every story. Perceptions and preferences vary per person. I personally prefer a wide array of conclusions within a culture that makes room for them. Above all else, I want the freedom to have this conversation unconstrained by fear of authority.

The way I divide it isn’t so much by conclusion but rather by intention. It’s the tone of how one asks questions. It’s impossible for me not to notice the derision and sarcasm and bad faith inherent in how people often ‘question’ conclusions they disagree with. I take the OP at face value as a question asked in good faith from a person who, in my experience generally asks questions in good faith. This is the terrain upon which progress is possible. Many ask the question in bad faith. Part of this bad faith is a kind of ‘playing stupid’ about the ramifications of behavior. This is the pervasive poison of racism. This passive and obtuse sabotage. I have no patience for it.

As for blackface in particular… don’t do it. If you did it, apologize. If you are wrongly implicated somehow then clarify your position. Reasonable people will reason with you. This isn’t a legal matter. I don’t endorse any formal discipline. Even within institutions. The penalty is loss of political capital. Loss of business. Loss of votes. Loss of friends. I’m pleased to see a growing sensitivity among younger generations about this sort of thing and encourage it where I can.

There will never be any clear and obvious rule book for this sort of thing. There can’t be. These are issues of shifting consensus and perception and historical insight. I believe the way forward involves just a bit of humility and patience for the teachable moment. This what adult moral responsibility consists of. Not simply abiding by a static social contract but, in fact participating in its evolution and self correction.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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01 October 2019 05:42
 
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:36 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 10:15 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before.

Yep.

GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM

In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

I am not sure, but let’s stay on topic.  The idea of reconciling the sins of the past is not new or discredited, mainly because there is a strong tendency to repeat the sins and learn nothing from them.  Racism isn’t dead, it is just waiting for an opportunity, and I don’t want to let my guard down.

Seems like another extreme position to me.

Accepting the science of physics as being the best method of describing the physical world around us is an extreme position.  Just pointing out that something is on one end of a spectrum does not invalidate it.

Your “horseshoe theory” that all extremes are equally bad is bogus.  It’s an oversimplification that idealizes the center and elites.

[ Edited: 01 October 2019 05:45 by Garret]
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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01 October 2019 08:10
 
Garret - 01 October 2019 05:42 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:36 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 10:15 AM
GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM
Skipshot - 22 September 2019 09:50 AM

Let’s not pretend black-face was not meant as an insult and ridicule not too long ago.  Let’s not pretend it does not still have some of those original intentions.  We’re not out of the weeds of an openly racist past, but we are getting there.  It’s still too soon, and what LJ wrote.

So basically, we call black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way, to pay for the sins of someone else who did before.

Yep.

GAD - 22 September 2019 10:00 AM

In what other area do we say it is perfectly reasonable, good etc to hold someone innocent accountable for what someone did in the past?

I am not sure, but let’s stay on topic.  The idea of reconciling the sins of the past is not new or discredited, mainly because there is a strong tendency to repeat the sins and learn nothing from them.  Racism isn’t dead, it is just waiting for an opportunity, and I don’t want to let my guard down.

Seems like another extreme position to me.

Accepting the science of physics as being the best method of describing the physical world around us is an extreme position.  Just pointing out that something is on one end of a spectrum does not invalidate it.

Your “horseshoe theory” that all extremes are equally bad is bogus.  It’s an oversimplification that idealizes the center and elites.

Someone said calling “black-face racist even when it is clearly not being meant that way” is the right thing to do, that is an extreme position that has nothing to do with physics or horseshoes, so your comment seems like bogus bullshit.

Lets prove it, shall we. If someone said that the black kid was Innocent of the murder and someone said but I’m sure he is guilty of something so lets put him in jail for it anyways, would that be OK? No of course not because now it’s a against a poor black kid, pure double standard but the same bullshit in either case. 

 

 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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01 October 2019 09:06
 

GAD, do you understand what I said?  Reading your response, it doesn’t seem like you understood me.  Should I paraphrase it so you could understand it better?

 
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