December 1, 2017

The news in blackface.

1. "Men in blackface invade council meeting, school in support of racist Santa's helper Black Pete" (Daily News):
Tradition from the 19th century holds that Pete is a goofy and inept servant from Spain, with white Dutch people wearing blackface, painting their lips red to make them fuller and wearing curly wigs to simulate someone of African descent....

Larger cities such as Amsterdam have changed their parades to remove any racial signifiers to Pete amid debate over racism in recent years, with some creating a Soot Pete who has dirt on his face because he climbs down chimneys.

Demonstrators hold signs reading "Black Pete is Rascism" and "Free Black Pete" during a demonstration against Zwarte Piet in Amsterdam. But a group of men dressed as the “traditional” Black Petes have injected themselves into this year’s back-and-forth about the caricature by bringing it uninvited to a school in the city of Utrecht.
2. "Another Makeup Artist Did Black Face — And He Doesn't Think It's Wrong/Common sense is not that common these days" (Buzzed). "Russian makeup artist @notcatart uploaded a video where he goes from 'light to dark' because he 'loves skin of all colors'... and his dream is to have dark skin because he's 'fucking white'":
3. "On [the November 12th episode of] Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim faced backlash after fans online claimed she was in blackface in her KKW Beauty ads" (EW).
"Oh my gosh. I'm seeing these photos from the campaign, the ones that we took. And people online are saying that I'm doing blackface but I would never in a million years be disrespectful and do that," Kim said.
4. "A London-based tattoo artist is facing criticism online after deciding to cover her body completely in solid black tattoos...." (Allure).
Though [Belle] Atrix has referred to her body art as "a new black blanket of skin," she doesn't agree that the blackening of her skin constitutes racism: Following several commenters’ accusations on her July video, the freelance tattoo artist wrote, "Racist?? How the hell could it be interpreted as racist [emoji laughing faces] It’s a tattoo!"...

In an email to Allure, Atrix explained her interest in blackwork began as a form of therapy to get through a period of "deep distress" when her father was sick. "It became my only true form of comfort and solace and has really helped me a lot," she writes. "I love the ritualistic practice of it and the phenomenal strength and mental calm it brings me, a very powerful type of meditation which I have grown to love.... I think some people who aren't from the tattooing community aren't educated in the tribal origins of blackwork," she continues. "I'm from a mixed race family...."
5. "To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot," Meghan Markle told Allure. "For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.'" (I know this one is arguably off-topic, but it flows from the last sentence of #4, it talks about changing "skin tone," and I feel a special personal identification with people of freckle.)

32 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Remember when Elaine accused Sienfeld of being racist because he was going out with an Asian girl and was excited about it? "Is it racist to like a race?"

Michael K said...

The left is going batshit crazy. That's all. The last time was when Reagan won 49 states.

tcrosse said...

Remember when Elaine dated a guy she thought was black, but he insisted he wasn't ?

AReasonableMan said...

Meghan Markle apparently had a wonderful father.

lgv said...

I wore black face in junior high. It was the play "Lil' Abner". I spent a lot of time in makeup before each of three shows. I remember the first night, trying to wash the makeup off. I was having no luck, until I took a bar of Lava soap. It took all the makeup off. After three days, all my zits were gone, too. I don't know why I didn't keep using it. The ultimate exfoliator in a cheap bar of soap, 70's style.

Add "Lil' Abner" to all the racist shows and movies no longer doable. No remakes for "Airplane" or "Blazing Saddles". We are very sensitive these days. I can't even eat pasta any more because it was culturally appropriated twice, first from Chinese and then Italians. Luckily, I'm technically bi-racial and get to claim two races at my convenience. Cuts the appropriation significantly.

rhhardin said...

Debussy's Gollywog's Cakewalk has to go.

Ann Althouse said...

"Lil' Abner."

There's a black character in "Lil' Abner"?

All I know is that the "Put 'Em Back" scene reads as homophobic today.

Can't believe that high schools were putting on that show in the 1960s. It was insanely sexual.

Kevin said...

How long until Trump’s orange skin is referred to as blackface by Joe and Mika?

Probably right after the dimentia claims peter out.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Sweet! In the old days you might wait years for the circus to come to your small town. Now the freaks and clowns won’t leave you alone.

Fernandistein said...

"To the illustrations of these general principles which have been already given I shall now add some more, drawing my examples, first, from the class of tabooed things, and, second, from the class of tabooed words; for in the opinion of the savage both things and words may, like persons, be charged or electrified, either temporarily or permanently, with the mysterious virtue of taboo, and may therefore require to be banished for a longer or shorter time from the familiar usage of common life."

Jim said...

There’s a great black face routine in my favorite Christmas movie, Holiday Inn. Bing Crosby sings a tribute to Abraham Lincoln in black face and the black woman who cooks for the Inn’s two children join in. It’s priceless.

buwaya said...

Frazer ( "Golden Bough") was perceptive about all sorts of cultures, but he had a huge blind spot about his own.

Curious George said...

"Jim said...
There’s a great black face routine in my favorite Christmas movie, Holiday Inn. Bing Crosby sings a tribute to Abraham Lincoln in black face and the black woman who cooks for the Inn’s two children join in. It’s priceless."

Probably why you don't see it on TV anymore. Here's the scene: https://vimeo.com/217157868

Nice lyrics:

When black folks lived in slavery
Who was it set the darkie free
Abraham!

It's not just Bing in black face, Martha Mears joins him.

tim in vermont said...

My mother always said that "Black Pete" was about the ancient rivalry between the Dutch and Spanish empires, and he was a Moor.

Her childhood was all fucked up by Nazi occupation, so who knows?

tim in vermont said...

She also said that bad children were threatened to be sent to Spain.

tim in vermont said...

They should have replaced "Black Pete" with "Kraut Fritz."

Fernandistein said...

buwaya said...
Frazer ( "Golden Bough") was perceptive about all sorts of cultures, but he had a huge blind spot about his own.


Oh, I dunno, I figure that people who want to taboo black face, write "n-word" instead of "nigger", and freak out over impolite but harmless sexual hi-jinks are included the in the group "savages". SJWs and other PC police, feminists, college administrators, the MSM, etc, at the least; as relates to taboos, there are plenty of modern savages to go around.

Jim said...

Curious George. I couldn’t remember her name, thanks. And oh those lyrics!

tcrosse said...

The character Monostatos in Mozart's Magic Flute had been traditionally played in blackface. He's supposed to be a Moor, and has all sorts of nasty racial characteristics, but lately he has lost the blackface.

dustbunny said...

David Sedaris has an essay about this called 'Six to Eight Black Men'. I don't think he talks about them being in blackface, just that in the Netherlands Santa has black men as helpers and if children are bad they get sent to Spain.
I live part-time in Spain and while that particular story doesn't seem to resonate,, there is the parade of Three Kings. It is on the Day of the Epiphany and in the villages and towns local men dress up as the three wise men, one of whom is a Moor, and in my experience there never seems to be a black person available so he is always in blackface. No one seems to mind as yet.

tim in vermont said...

Santa's helpers should be captured Nazis, forced to labor making toys for Dutch children.

buwaya said...

They do the Reyes Magos in the colonies too.
Once at the Casino Espanol, the Reyes came in with a couple of camels borrowed from the Manila zoo, delighting the kids.

One of the Reyes Magos was always in blackface btw.

The other custom for kids was to put their shoes out, or on a window sill, in which or on which they would find presents in the morning.

buwaya said...

In some Spanish towns, like ours in the Basque country, they have cabezudos - "giants" - men on stilts, in costume, wearing large papier-mache heads. Quite often these also are "Moors".

exiledonmainstreet said...

Buwaya said,

In some Spanish towns, like ours in the Basque country, they have cabezudos - "giants" - men on stilts, in costume, wearing large papier-mache heads. Quite often these also are "Moors".

12/1/17, 11:11 AM

There is a custom in rural Louisiana called the Courir de Mardi Gras. Young Cajun men, on horseback and wearing masks and odd cone-shaped hats and baggy, clownish outfits, ride through the countryside, going from farmhouse to farmhouse. They sing bawdy songs in Cajun French, clang pots and pans and demand supplies for the community gumbo pot. The farmer or his wife provide a chicken or vegetables and then the riders take their bounty to the village square, where the cooks are waiting to make a huge pot of gumbo. Everyone partakes and, being Cajun, they eat and drink and dance the night away. There is much more food provided by the townspeople than just the gumbo. It's very different from the touristy boob and boozefest in New Orleans - and much more family-oriented. It's an absolute blast, since Cajuns are the salt of the earth and some of the nicest, most welcoming people in America. I was told by the natives that the custom goes all the way back to medieval France.

There was no blackface, but the sight of a big bunch of guys on horseback wearing white and off white hoods while riding around rural Louisiana was, well, evocative, even for me, although I knew the custom had absolutely nothing to do with slavery. That was in the early '80's. The tender snowflakes of today would faint and scream if they saw those caps today. To hell with centuries old traditions; a black person just might be made uncomfortable.

Jim S. said...

Both my kids were born in Belgium, and I wanted to avoid exposing them to Black Pete, but it just wasn't possible. They start school at two years old, and my son came home one day saying, "Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet came to my class today!" The racism over there -- and here I mean continental Europe as a whole -- is mind boggling. If the stuff that flies under the radar there happened in the States, cities would burn.

Darrell said...

Save your money. Brown University is now allowing you to self-identify. No proof or costly skin alterations needed.

Mac McConnell said...

Traveling Black minstrels performed in black face, as did white performers.

holdfast said...

I love freckles.

Very few Jews gave freckles, so I saw it as the exotic other.

tim in vermont said...

The racism over there -- and here I mean continental Europe as a whole -- is mind boggling. If the stuff that flies under the radar there happened in the States, cities would burn.

You mean like throwing bananas at black soccer players? Yeah, they do that.

Char Char Binks said...

The Russian, both before and after, has the dead-behind-the-eyes look typical of black thugs.

lgv said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"Lil' Abner."

There's a black character in "Lil' Abner"?

Three black minstrels. I don't recall our one song. Early 70's. I never recall it seeming sexual except for Daisy Mae being hot.

lgv said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"Lil' Abner."

There's a black character in "Lil' Abner"?

Three black minstrels. I don't recall our one song. Early 70's. I never recall it seeming sexual except for Daisy Mae being hot.