Tonight Matthew…

at

blackface

Ah here.

Drogg writes:

Spotted this yesterday in the Halloween shop in Dundrum [Co Dublin]. So to go along with all the sexist over sexualised costumes they are also promoting a bit of racism with their blackface product…

68 thoughts on “Tonight Matthew…

  1. Tom Stewart

    I read Drogg’s post before the image loaded up on my browser. I imagined that he was overreacting.

    But now I’ve seen the image. Jaysus. Basically, the costume is to allow you to dress up as one type of African man. An ethnicity as a costume? That’s in pretty poor taste. It’d be like me going “I’m going to that fancy-dress party as a Chinese man”.

    1. George Hammond

      I’ve seen normal, liberally minded Dutch people ‘black up’ for Pete. It’s like watching the Minstrels on 70s TV. Very odd duality of values, they see nothing wrong with it :-/

          1. Alfred E. Neumann

            Plenty of Dutch people think it’s racist. It’s the subject of a fierce debate every year, which I imagine is just as ring-shittingly stupid as this one.

      1. Atlas

        Well that’s because there is nothing wrong with it. The tradition predates the American minstrel shows and it’s also, you know, not being done in America.

        It’s grossly unfair to conflate the Zwarte Pieten with blackface. It’s a bit like equating the capirotes of the Spanish Semana Santa with the uniform of the Ku Klux Klan.

  2. Jess

    Three comments and nobody has claimed this isn’t racist yet. Thats impressive for a comments section

    1. Sidewinder

      The racists are too worn out to comment after a busy evening of kicking in the doors of Roma families.

      1. munkifisht

        Well allow me.

        Black face paint is not in it’s not inherently racist. You’re racist for thinking people shouldn’t be allowed to dress up as black people simply because they are black. Tom Stewart’s comment above about dressing up as a stereotypical African person is racist, as it’s a caricature of a wide and diverse culture but someone wearing black makeup is not in itself racist (then again, I find it hard to reconcile that Eddie Murphy’s African student character in Trading Places wasn’t racist, but I strongly believe it is).

        I always quote this action because of how our warped view of blackface inherited largely from America skewed this story into a WTF were they thinking moment.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/italy/10401438/Italian-team-Rioveggio-paint-faces-black-in-misguided-attempt-to-support-anti-racism.html%5B

        This is the story of the Italian team who, in support of one of their black team mates who had received racist taunts from their own fans, put on black makeup in a sign of solidarity with their team mate to highlight the fact that the players skin colour doesn’t matter.

        You actually may be offended by someone wearing black (or yellow, or red, or white for that matter) makeup, but that doesn’t mean it’s racist. If a kid wants to dress up as Barak Obama or Mace Windou or some other strong hero who happens to be non-white I would be totally fine with them wearing black makeup.

        1. Kieran NYC

          Just because something might not *always* have a completely malicious intention behind it, doesn’t mean it isn’t racist.

          1. munkifisht

            Just so I’m clear Kieran, you’re suggesting that the teammates of that guy in that article I posted were racist?

          2. Kieran NYC

            They might not be racist, but that doesn’t mean that what they did wasn’t a racist act.

            Racist things are often done through ignorance.

          3. Alfred E. Neumann

            Munkifisht, imagine I call you a tedious clown in the genuine belief that “tedious clown” is a compliment. Would you be upset?

            Now imagine I keep calling you a tedious clown, even after people have pointed out that the phrase might upset you.

            Or imagine that I have a dictionary within arm’s reach, but I haven’t bothered to look up either “tedious” or “clown” before I call you a tedious clown.

            Or I have some awareness of the fact that other people referred to as tedious clowns have been upset by it, but I’ve decided that the purity of my motives is more important than their feelings.

            Would that all be fine with you, you tedious clown?

  3. booyah

    I know a black lad who is kind of light-skinned who “blacked up” for Halloween last year using face paint for a particular character. Genuine question: was that racist of him?

    1. The Old Boy

      Sure young people these days wouldn’t know what a tin of shoe polish is at all, so they wouldn’t.

  4. Bobby Rwanda

    How is this racist? Mildly offensive, maybe but would you feel discriminated against if a black person put on white facepaint?

    1. Kieran NYC

      Not equivalent at all. There’s not a tradition of “Let’s pretend to dress up as those funny white freaks with their weird skin and habits. Sure, aren’t they almost animals!”

        1. Kieran NYC

          Not really. Why don’t you try asking a black person how they feel about blackface?

          I did, and that’s how I arrived to the opinion above. Pretty simple.

          1. linbinius

            @ Kieran

            You asked one black person? One, yeah? Were they the head of the race or did they have a direct line?

          2. Kieran NYC

            You mean unless every black person gives their opinion on blackface, none of their opinions count and they can’t be offended?

            What an odd argument.

          3. linbinius

            @ Kieran

            Not an argument. I just question your point of view on race relations based on a conversation you had with one person.

            Honestly, I’m delighted this still exists. So when I’m in line for the bog on Halloween and some sweaty reverse Alice Cooper is trying to strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone in a mock Caribbean i can just look away and laugh at the stupidity.

            I would imagine there is a large percentage of black people who would feel the same. I haven’t spoken to one though….what are they like?

          4. Bobby Rwanda

            Great sample size, Kieran. I typically arrive at all my opinions based on one experience too.

          5. Kieran NYC

            Bobby, you’re completely ignorant of the fact that black people generally have a problem with blackface? This is a new piece of information for you?

            You need to get out more, buddy.

          6. jungleman

            There was some English comedian on BBC last night mocking a bunch of Irish country-folk and the way they talked.

            I found it pretty funny, even though I’m from the bog myself. People need to lighten up.

        2. Jess

          Linibus it is a long established fact that black people find blackface offensive in the overwhelming majority of cases. You dont have to have asked a black person this to have found this out. you just have to have been in a coma since 1976

      1. Bobby Rwanda

        They are absolutely equivalent. We live in Ireland remember, not the former Confederacy. We have neither a heritage of discrimination nor a recent history of same. So if someone (a white person) decides to use tanned facepaint to create a costume characteristic, who give a f*ck? Unless there’s tone or intent of discrimination or ridicule, there’s really not much room for offence here.

        1. Kieran NYC

          I see. You’re the same type of asshat that refuses to see the gender discrimination in the nurse/doctor toys from a few days back because you’re white and male and fupp everyone else.

        2. Drogg

          Hey Bobby you do realise a lot of people involved in the slave trade and that owned slaves in that states where Irish?

          1. AliG

            I am sure you also realise that a huge number of slaves in the Caribbean were Irish. As for the African Slave trade many if not most of the dealers were Africans. Europeans generally only controlled port cities and the slaves were captured and sold to them by indigenous traders.

  5. rotide

    It’s not racist in the slightest. Offensive, possibly (the packaging certainly is) but every year this comes up and every year someone like Keiran wrings their hands and worries and the world keeps turning.

    Droggs sexist comment is a new twist though. I know he was referring to the kids toys a few days ago, but does he think that we are perpetuating gender stereotypes by allowing women to dress up as complete prostitutes for one night of the year because they enjoy it?

    1. deliverancecountry

      Hi rotide… Not racist in the slightest but still offensive? How so?
      (I suppose I could talk about privilege now but I shouldn’t as it’s part of our culture and that would be the real racism amirite).

      1. rotide

        A man with black make up on is not racist.

        A man with black make up on holding a banana on is racist.

        It’s all a matter of context.

        We don’t live in a society like america where blackface has certain overtones that mean even the act of putting on blackface has racist connotations like America. People need to stop judging it through that lens.

    2. Drogg

      Rotide I was referring to opposing sides of the shop. Men’s side had doctor, vampire, solider etc, etc but the women’s side was sexy doctor, sexy vampire, sexy solider etc, etc.

  6. billyboy

    Didn’t this argument happen last year? I thought it was settled, it’s fine as long as you know deep down you’re not racist?

    1. Drogg

      But if your running down the road on Halloween in blackface doing a fake African accent as you go drinking with your buddy’s, you might not think you are being racist but you are.

      1. billyboy

        Fair enough, but with out the make up it’s cool? It’s ok to imitate an Africans accent but alter your skin to look like theirs(I don’t know if you’ve noticed, there’s a difference) and it’s not cool.

        To be honest lobbing black shoe polish looking Tack to your face in an effort to look African/of African ancestry is fairly Crass but if someone could give me a Robert Downey Jr. tropic Thunder Job I’d be ok with it, although admittedly I’d be mildly uncomfortable if an actual African saw me…as would they I’m sure.

        .

  7. Odis

    Where do the panel stand on soldiers, who have to put black make up on their faces, as part of their martial activities?

  8. Bingo Slimz

    “I want to dress up as Blade for Halloween. I loved that film.”
    “But you’re white!”
    “I know. I’m going to get a great costume though, and wear sunglasses, and put on dark makeup to make myself look like Blade.”
    “Dark makeup? Gosh, I didn’t know you were such a racist!”
    “I am? Neither did I. Are vampires a race?”
    “No, but black ones are.”
    “Oh… Ok, maybe I’ll just go as a white version of Blade. Nobody will know what I’m supposed to be, but I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a racist.”

    Context really is everything. This is not America. Political correctness is essentially controlled by us. Comparing people dressing up in ‘Blackface’ and belittling negroes and someone wearing black makeup as part of a costume is pathetic. One is racist, the other is isn’t at all.

    1. Caroline

      *stares wistfully at photo of younger, blacked-up self*

      “I was no racist… but I was a beautiful that day.”

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