The problem with blackface

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 12, 2019

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Submitted: February 12, 2019

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According to a study by the Pew Research Center Poll, 34% of Americans agree it's okay to use of blackface as a Halloween costume. The issue has been in the news the past week, because a photo of Ralph NorthamVirginia’s governorfrom 1984 leaked out to the publicfeaturing him wearing blackface makeup and a KKK member with him. He's been critizied for the existence of the photo, and that’s understandable. 

 want to ask, is 34% a lot? What are the problems of wearing a costume featuring blackface and is it justified? Of course racism in the US goes back to the times before slavery, but it's probably the most well-known example of racism in the country, especially between black and white peopleHowever, is it okay to dress as blackface if you’re white yourselfWhat about the other way around? Is it okay for a black person to dress as white, or is that also racism? 

There are no real answersbecause this question comes down to a person's own opinions and moralsWhat should be discussed though, is, is it okay to dress like that if you don’t mean it racistically? I personally think it is, but I wouldn't do so if I lived in the US is, and of course there are limits.  In Europe is not seen as badly as in American, but it still has a negative effectFeaturing a KKK member with a black person might be a little extremebut let’s say you dress up as Morgan Freeman and put on blackface makeup for that. That should be alright. 

Maybe we should also compare this to other racesnot just black people. If I decide to dress as Asian, let’s say an anime character that's Japanese. Does that mean I think Japanese people are inferior? Of course not. It's just not as easily seen as dressing up as blackface, but the consept is the same. You don't necessarily have to be racist to dress as blackface. In fact, if you do so, why would you if you're going to hate your costume?

The photo of Northam is racistbut I think the KKK member is the reason for that as wellnot just the blackfaceDressing up as a KKK member, especially if you actually aren't a racist, is in my opinion worse, because you're dressing up as someone that's not publicly accepted in most places. In conclusion, there are times and places where you shouldn't dress as blackface, but in some contexts it can be justified and okay, especially if the idea is to represent a person or a character that is actually black, not just to represent the racist idea behind all this.

 


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