Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

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Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 19th, 2019, 8:14 am

I'm just not seeing the connection here.

Here's the definition of the word racism: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination


I get it, people find it offensive and they wouldn't be wrong. Mostly due to how it was used in the past, but is it actually racist? How does wearing brown facepaint somehow indicate a belief that people of darker color are inferior? Would the same be said for colored people wearing white face paint?

Here's my thought: Using brownface/blackface is only racist when done in conjunction with other acts. Painting one's face and dressing up as a street person or a thug/gang member - yeah that's racist. But painting your face brown to try and look like a fictional character/person who is usually seen as a positive figure isn't.

I'm no Trudeau fan, but C'mon here. Painting one's face brown simply for the purpose of attending a costume party dressed as a fictional character who had brown skin doesn't seem racist to me. Especially if it was done 20 years ago when brownface/blackface wasn't so widely seen as disrespectful nor was it's history recognized.

Is there something else going on here I'm not considering?

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby rustled » Sep 19th, 2019, 8:28 am

Perhaps because for identity politics to be effective, their proponents must promulgate victim narratives?

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby two_shoes1mit » Sep 19th, 2019, 8:46 am

Warren Kinsella
·
A HILL STAFFER WRITES

Name withheld on request.

Hey Warren, now seems like a good time to tell the story of Justin Trudeau on Oct 22, 2014, the day of the shooting on the Hill.

Long story short, everyone had been moved into the 5th floor cafeteria in Centre Block. Mostly staff and media cause CPC and NDP caucus had already begun by the time of the lockdown. But LPC caucus starts later so they were having their pre-caucus meeting in their leader’s office on the 6th floor.

They moved everyone to caf throughout the day before evacuation later that night. Anyway, at one point an East Asian man walked in to the cafeteria. He had a big beard and wore a turban.

Trudeau jumped up and joked rather loudly; “Hey there you are. You know they’re looking for you out there. Hey you’re making everyone in here nervous!”

He obviously knew the man, he was a liberal staffer. The man seemed to take the joke well but that’s not really the point. Those of us who heard it looked at each other in shock.

But who will believe Conservative staffers? There were staff, MPs and media in the room. I know people heard it too. Most media were on phones doing radio hits so maybe they didn’t hear it. Anyway that’s the story from that day. Sorry for the novel.


http://warrenkinsella.com/2019/09/a-hil ... er-writes/
Last edited by ferri on Sep 19th, 2019, 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Link to article added.

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby Silverstarqueen » Sep 19th, 2019, 8:48 am

TylerM4 wrote:I'm just not seeing the connection here.

Here's the definition of the word racism: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination


I get it, people find it offensive and they wouldn't be wrong. Mostly due to how it was used in the past, but is it actually racist? How does wearing brown facepaint somehow indicate a belief that people of darker color are inferior? Would the same be said for colored people wearing white face paint?

Here's my thought: Using brownface/blackface is only racist when done in conjunction with other acts. Painting one's face and dressing up as a street person or a thug/gang member - yeah that's racist. But painting your face brown to try and look like a fictional character/person who is usually seen as a positive figure isn't.

I'm no Trudeau fan, but C'mon here. Painting one's face brown simply for the purpose of attending a costume party dressed as a fictional character who had brown skin doesn't seem racist to me. Especially if it was done 20 years ago when brownface/blackface wasn't so widely seen as disrespectful nor was it's history recognized.

Is there something else going on here I'm not considering?

Most white people will be just as confused as you are (I am too).
Yet, it's clear to someone of a different ethnic background (like SIngh), or a different political party (such as Scheer). I think it depends on the intent, dressing up for a dramatic event (like Trudeau singing Dayo for a high school talent contest), seems pretty innocuous. But again, I'm not an Afro-canadian or american.
So, caution your children, that if they ever dress up in some ethnic costume or perform in an event, they could be wearing it (pun intended) many years later in front of national TV. and it could cost them their jobs.
I don't get the double standard, or what the standard is, since Scheer has a candidate which also dressed up in Black face, and he seems okay with that.

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby Silverstarqueen » Sep 19th, 2019, 8:58 am

two_shoes1mit wrote:Warren Kinsella
·
A HILL STAFFER WRITES

Name withheld on request.

Hey Warren, now seems like a good time to tell the story of Justin Trudeau on Oct 22, 2014, the day of the shooting on the Hill.

Long story short, everyone had been moved into the 5th floor cafeteria in Centre Block. Mostly staff and media cause CPC and NDP caucus had already begun by the time of the lockdown. But LPC caucus starts later so they were having their pre-caucus meeting in their leader’s office on the 6th floor.

They moved everyone to caf throughout the day before evacuation later that night. Anyway, at one point an East Asian man walked in to the cafeteria. He had a big beard and wore a turban.

Trudeau jumped up and joked rather loudly; “Hey there you are. You know they’re looking for you out there. Hey you’re making everyone in here nervous!”

He obviously knew the man, he was a liberal staffer. The man seemed to take the joke well but that’s not really the point. Those of us who heard it looked at each other in shock.

But who will believe Conservative staffers? There were staff, MPs and media in the room. I know people heard it too. Most media were on phones doing radio hits so maybe they didn’t hear it. Anyway that’s the story from that day. Sorry for the novel. http://warrenkinsella.com/2019/09/a-hil ... er-writes/

Depends on intent: If a liberal staffer was missing, they would be looking for him, and everyone waiting to know his whereabouts would be nervous as to his safety, with a shooter being loose. Was it just an effort to break a very high tension situation (even if insensitive)?
How a conservative will interpret those statements, during an election, or how a liberal might interpret the statements, could be very different apparently.
But let's give it the worst interpretation possible, insensitive? Hugely. Stupid? yes. Funny? Not to everyone. Does it mean he's racist? I don't think so.
I know my sons work sometimes with people of other ethnic backgrounds, and in some workplaces, there is a certain amount of banter and good natured fun. I've asked them, are they sure the person involved really sees the humor and feels it is appropriate. It seems to be the way some guys handle the tension or the ethnic differences. They learn each other's languages, and again, it's the intent. Are they really friends, are they adequately sensitive as to how the banter is received?
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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby bcpete53 » Sep 19th, 2019, 10:12 am

It is interesting as I saw this behaviour from the PM to realize that at that very time when he was partaking in these things, I was, as a very white person, working with a group of black African Americans people at a program helping them deal with past drug and violence issues in a group, country setting outside the city of Chicago where they had spent their whole lives. It was a tense situation as they were apprehensive in accepting me since the only white people they had previously dealt with were police officers who had treated them with little respect. I would watch as they greeted their fellow African American brothers often using the n-word in the greeting. I realized that myself trying to fit in by copying their cultural behaviour would never have been tolerated. I can only imagine how funny they would have thought it to be if I had put on black face and tried to make a joke about it. I am pretty sure I would not be here today to talk about this issue.
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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 19th, 2019, 10:28 am

bcpete53 wrote:It is interesting as I saw this behaviour from the PM to realize that at that very time when he was partaking in these things, I was, as a very white person, working with a group of black African Americans people at a program helping them deal with past drug and violence issues in a group, country setting outside the city of Chicago where they had spent their whole lives. It was a tense situation as they were apprehensive in accepting me since the only white people they had previously dealt with were police officers who had treated them with little respect. I would watch as they greeted their fellow African American brothers often using the n-word in the greeting. I realized that myself trying to fit in by copying their cultural behaviour would never have been tolerated. I can only imagine how funny they would have thought it to be if I had put on black face and tried to make a joke about it. I am pretty sure I would not be here today to talk about this issue.



I agree, but I kinda think that's the point here. Had you done those things in that scenario it would have been very insulting - not racist. You'd still get your butt kicked, but the reason should have been for being insulting not for being racist. Mimicking another culture with the purpose of trying to fit in = insulting. Mimicking another culture with the intent to portray in a bad light = racism.

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby averagejoe » Sep 19th, 2019, 10:30 am

Huh this bank robber could be charged with cultural appropriation! That's worse than being a bank robber! [icon_lol2.gif]

Could the Prime Minister be charged with cultural appropriation to even though it happened 2 decades ago?

Bank robber wearing ‘Day of Dead’ mask may be charged with cultural appropriation

Bank robber wearing ‘Day of Dead’ mask may be charged with cultural appropriation
An armed robber wearing a “Day of the Dead”-type mask, who held up a Wells Fargo Bank, may be charged with cultural appropriation, in addition to bank robbery.
According to a press release by the Santa Monica Police Department, on Sept. 10, a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt, gloves, and a skull mask similar to one that represents the Mexican holiday, entered a Wells Fargo location in the beachside Los Angeles suburb.

https://postnewsd2.blogspot.com/2019/09 ... -mask.html
Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

Thor Heyerdahl Says: “Our lack of knowledge about our own past is appalling.
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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby two_shoes1mit » Sep 19th, 2019, 10:37 am

[quote="Silverstarqueen"][quote="two_shoes1mit"]Warren Kinsella

They moved everyone to caf throughout the day before evacuation later that night. Anyway, at one point an East Asian man walked in to the cafeteria. He had a big beard and wore a turban.

Trudeau jumped up and joked rather loudly; “Hey there you are. You know they’re looking for you out there. Hey you’re making everyone in here nervous!”

He obviously knew the man, he was a liberal staffer. The man seemed to take the joke well but that’s not really the point. Those of us who heard it looked at each other in shock.

So Trudeau thought he would make a joke, purely based on a man being east asian, that had a turban and big beard.
The man seemed to take the joke well - but we don't know his inner feelings, do we?
Then, those of us who heard it looked at each other in shock. So you have to consider the automatic reaction of the average guy.

The real joke here is Trudeau himself.
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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby bcpete53 » Sep 19th, 2019, 10:43 am

TylerM4 wrote:
bcpete53 wrote:It is interesting as I saw this behaviour from the PM to realize that at that very time when he was partaking in these things, I was, as a very white person, working with a group of black African Americans people at a program helping them deal with past drug and violence issues in a group, country setting outside the city of Chicago where they had spent their whole lives. It was a tense situation as they were apprehensive in accepting me since the only white people they had previously dealt with were police officers who had treated them with little respect. I would watch as they greeted their fellow African American brothers often using the n-word in the greeting. I realized that myself trying to fit in by copying their cultural behaviour would never have been tolerated. I can only imagine how funny they would have thought it to be if I had put on black face and tried to make a joke about it. I am pretty sure I would not be here today to talk about this issue.



I agree, but I kinda think that's the point here. Had you done those things in that scenario it would have been very insulting - not racist. You'd still get your butt kicked, but the reason should have been for being insulting not for being racist. Mimicking another culture with the purpose of trying to fit in = insulting. Mimicking another culture with the intent to portray in a bad light = racism.


So which was Trudeau doing? He claims what he did was racist, although he says he did not understand that at the time. It seems portraying another race by belittling it in any way is both racist and insulting.

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby rustled » Sep 19th, 2019, 11:28 am

bcpete53 wrote: So which was Trudeau doing? He claims what he did was racist, although he says he did not understand that at the time. It seems portraying another race by belittling it in any way is both racist and insulting.

Why would anyone think someone dressing as Aladdin meant they were belittling anyone?

Now that we've all been told "that's belittling" we should all just accept it? If women my age told folk they felt belittled, mocked or insulted by Mrs. Brown, would people who think of women as victims because of their sex just go along with it, the way people who think of non-Caucasians as victims because of their race go along with this?

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 19th, 2019, 11:44 am

bcpete53 wrote:
So which was Trudeau doing? He claims what he did was racist, although he says he did not understand that at the time. It seems portraying another race by belittling it in any way is both racist and insulting.


He was doing neither. What on earth made you think I was proposing only 2 possible options?

From what I can see, it's pretty obvious he was trying to dress up as Aladdin for a costume party. I think the most we can accuse him of is being insensitive or ignorant toward how insulting some people find it 2 decades later.

My wife found an old picture of 13yo me at Halloween - about 30 years ago now. I was dressed as a terrorist. I had on a stupid looking robe, a horrible turban, and a toy grenade hanging off my belt. It was racist and horrifying - I tore up that old photo. Nobody batted an eye or said a word about it back in the day. I certainly didn't have any agenda other than a cool halloween costume. I don't think it's fair to judge people's past actions based on today's morals and attitudes. Almost all of our greatest figures in history would be seen as vile people if we did. WE were racist/insensitive back then - an entire society. Not just me, not just Trudeau. We need to own it, we need to recognize it, and we need to grow and change - pointing fingers at others is just being ignorant or hypocritical.

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby Silverstarqueen » Sep 19th, 2019, 11:54 am

rustled wrote:
bcpete53 wrote: So which was Trudeau doing? He claims what he did was racist, although he says he did not understand that at the time. It seems portraying another race by belittling it in any way is both racist and insulting.

Why would anyone think someone dressing as Aladdin meant they were belittling anyone?

Now that we've all been told "that's belittling" we should all just accept it? If women my age told folk they felt belittled, mocked or insulted by Mrs. Brown, would people who think of women as victims because of their sex just go along with it, the way people who think of non-Caucasians as victims because of their race go along with this?


I agree. Just dressing up as someone doesn't mean that person is belittling their image/character.
I recall times when men dressed up as women, in charicature, you know the silly get up, almost clown-like.
I think most people thought it was funny, but now that would be considered belittling of women I suppose.
Not the same as blackface, but similar idea. People have dressed up as a lot of different things, I am just so thankful I have never been part of a drama course, or dress up party, and happened to pick non-contentious Halloween outfits. but maybe someone was offended at some point. I guess we all have to change now, we are clueless.
Trudeau is making an effort to apologize and atone, that will not be accepted by some, unless he just resigns on the spot.
Attitude is everything, his attitude and perspective has changed.
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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby alanjh595 » Sep 19th, 2019, 12:01 pm

My good gawd.......What next?......dressing up as the opposite sex on Halloween will be considered "sexist"?.

I think back to a friend's Halloween party when my friend dressed as a very well endowed woman. The best part was that he was wearing a wight sweater (probably one of his wife's, that she no longer wanted). The costume was so funny, as it was so realistic. By the end of the night, his boobs looked like the oreos were showing through the sweater, due to all us having a good laugh and giving his costume a good grope or tweak during the party.
AND, YES, I know that I spelled Areola incorrectly.

The point is people dress up as others, without fear of sexism, racism, or class-ism all the time, (ever been to Mardi Gras?)
Get over it, it was a long time ago and we don't know under what circumstances he was dressed that way.

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Re: Brownface - why is it seen as racist?

Postby two_shoes1mit » Sep 19th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Now that we've all been told "that's belittling" we should all just accept it? If women my age told folk they felt belittled, mocked or insulted by Mrs. Brown, would people who think of women as victims because of their sex just go along with it, the way people who think of non-Caucasians as victims because of their race go along with this?[/quote]

I agree. Just dressing up as someone doesn't mean that person is belittling their image/character.
I recall times when men dressed up as women, in charicature, you know the silly get up, almost clown-like.
I think most people thought it was funny, but now that would be considered belittling of women I suppose.
Not the same as blackface, but similar idea. People have dressed up as a lot of different things, I am just so thankful I have never been part of a drama course, or dress up party, and happened to pick non-contentious Halloween outfits. but maybe someone was offended at some point. I guess we all have to change now, we are clueless.
Trudeau is making an effort to apologize and atone, that will not be accepted by some, unless he just resigns on the spot.
Attitude is everything, his attitude and perspective has changed.[/quote]

Should we, as a voting public be sympathetic, and understanding..............allowing this man-child to grow up, mature and fill the boots of a prime minister? I believe if these 3 black/brown faced incidents involved someone from the con party, JT would be nailing them to the cross. He cannot seem to change his attitude on lying, and to hope for change from this individual is nonsense. KARMA BUS coming!!!!!

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