Tuesday, November 03, 2009
When will we understand that blackface is *not* acceptable??
Remember that Post-racial America series I did here, here, and here? Well, here's another to add to it.
Deadspin.com reports that a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader dressed up in blackface as Lil' Wayne for Halloween. Though I believe Deadspin was reporting it for the sheer idiocy of the act, the question they pose at the beginning of their article speaks to their own ignorance:
"When are people going to learn that you cannot upload photos to your Facebook page if you don't want them to get out?"
Geesh! How do people miss the point so blatantly??
Maybe I'm over-estimating people, but I think we all know that the World Wide Web is the WORLD WIDE Web! We may not think about it as much as we should, but people know that their words, pictures, etc. are accessible. Otherwise, we wouldn't put them on our pages. Whitney Isleib knew other people would see her photos. There would have been no need to post them if others couldn't see them.
The problem here is not that she uploaded the photo (though the picture is nauseating to look at). The problem is that she thought it was ok to go in blackface in the first place!
I'm sure she shared her costume idea with others before going out for the evening. So, my other problem with this whole incident is that no one around her talked her out of the idea!
Whitney obviously doesn't have the social consciousness to know or understand her actions...on the other hand, maybe she does. I mean, really, who doesn't know by now that blackface is not acceptable?? But, it sounds like she also doesn't have friends who are willing to call her on her own ignorance.
I'm sure someone will point out that there were Black people at the same party. I saw that, too. The only thing I can think is that if I were Black, would I point out the racism of your costume or just shake my head and wonder why White people still don't get it. I lean toward the latter.
I'm trying to keep myself from lumping Whitney in with all White people. But when will we learn?? When will we begin taking historical context into account and realizing that no matter what year it is or what crowd of people we are around, some things just aren't acceptable!