Saturday, April 18, 2009


Upon looking at this old image of Al Jolson - many people become upset, while others dismiss it as a vestige from a bygone era.
But what is so offensive about some burnt cork spread across one's face?
Gul Tuysuy (on a Turkish news show) seems to think that when speaking about the Black POTUS - it's okay to wear blackface to emphasize... what?
That he agrees or disagrees with Obama's policies?
That Obama is Black?
That he is stereotypically Black?
Or that he still harbours some hostility for the Muslims renaming Constantinople... Istanbul?
But who, that is white, can wear blackface and get away with it?
Is it okay for an actor who is playing an actor who is from another country?

Or if it is an actor in a movie with Richard Pryor, in an earlier stage of our racial consciousness, who wears the cork to save his characters life?

But not if an actor dons the stuff to fit through a loophole to benefit his character chances at a better education?

Or is it okay if your hittin' Whoopi Goldberg and the joke is on her?

Even Dave Chapelle wore whiteface (although an actual photo is hard to get).

Eddie Murphy played a white guy on several occasions.

Are the Wayans "Racist" for mocking the silliness of white heiresses?

Is the Zulu Crewe acting coonish when they wear blackface during their Mardi Gras parades in NOLA?
According to one source;
the laws that established blackface in the Jim Crow laws were first created in NOLA to prevent marijuana smoking Blacks from thinking that they were equal to whites.
So, what are the rules when wearing makeup to look like another race?
As long as the joke/skit/performance is funny?
As long as one is not mocking or degrading another race?
As long as you're not white?
As long as you're not Black?
As long as the makeup has some context to what you are referring?
Am I offended by Mr. Tuysuy's blackface?
Nope. I'm more dismissive of him as being simple. In fact, seeing the image, I have no interest in what he has to say.
So the bottom line is - what was his point?


Big Don said...

Blackface/whiteface was alive and well in the Seattle University District last night...

"a black male, painted with white clown makeup"

RunningMom said...

"I'm more dismissive of him as being simple. In fact, seeing the image, I have no interest in what he has to say.
So the bottom line is - what was his point?"

Sometimes I really think you are in my brain. This is exactly what I thought - Why would I listen to ANYTHING this guy has to say? He obviously has no tact or social grace. And knowing TV is now all over the entire world you decided to wear black makeup over your beige face. On tv? To talk about Obama? Really? GTF Outta Here.

I can't be bothered with those shenanigans.

SjP said...

AGREE!!! What's the point?

Freeman Press said...

See you hit the nail on the head. What was his point? How did it help what he is saying? To me that's the issue in the movies it's seen as part of the storyline even as a joke. So that kicks out the comedians and the movies. For festivals people dress up in all kinds of costumes and nothing racial is implied as much as it's a festival. Ok so that's kicked out.

So now you have to look at it the person who's saying it.

brohammas said...

anyone who does something because it is offensive is more than suspect in my book. That goes for artists, musicians, or reporters. We are in such a media driven society that I tend to assume everything is manufactured for attention or ratings, or self promotion. Hugo Chavez, Rush, Donald Trump, and now this guy.
To get your attention at the expense of someones else exposes that person as a selfish butt-munch above all else.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ Big Don - That's not the same thing.