Dec 12 2009



Pretty scrubbish, Duncanville.

Dec 2 2009


Is Blackface Ever Okay? [click for video]

I can dig it

I can dig it

I think there’s something to the idea that there’s a “beautiful girl exception,” as silly as it sounds.  If the intent of ‘costuming’ in any particular fashion (and that’s what we’re talking about here) is to participate in the guise of some other identity – through culture, ethnicity, race, gender, etc. – and that participation takes the form of beauty, then there shouldn’t be a problem with that. Pretending to be an Egyptian Pharoah or a Nubian princess shouldn’t automatically be out of bounds simply because it takes the form of racial disguise. One should always be careful of slipping over this line into parody (something Ted Danson did innocently enough, way back in the day, thank you I am getting rather old), but the rote response that ‘blackface is never okay’ is grounded in an increasingly anachronistic mentality in which racial categorizations were only crossed in order to inflict shame or pain. We’re rapidly heading toward a future in which race becomes harder and harder to define – in which ‘multi-racial’ children become the norm, and the hard fast divisions between black and white don’t mean as much. When we get to that (and it’s going to be here a lot sooner than most any of us recognize, I think), participating in and celebrating classically distinct racial identities will not seem so shocking. Pretending to be an African queen won’t be so anathema then, even for Caucasian (or Asian or Hispanic or whatever) girls.  I think when blackface is okay – or rather, when it’s okay to engage in the intrinsic aesthetic beauty of other ethnic characteristics without an overbearing cultural shame – humanity will be a bit closer to doing away with the inflicted social fiction of ‘race.’.