Brown Face, Black Face, White Face, Greek Comedy Masks

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,800
So "black face" (and all its variations) has now become a big thing

Ironically canadian premier Trudeau (seen below at a costume party some 20 years ago), has been caught in it despite his holier than thou attitude and has had to apologize .. This means no one is safe from this kind of criticism... which is turning into a new sort of inquisition

Canada's Trudeau admits to racist 'brownface' makeup

In France, an antique greek play at the Sorbonne was stopped by protesters because the actors were wearing greek comedy masks which allegedly were reminiscent of "black face"

Greek tragedy prompts 'blackface' racism row at Sorbonne





At the same time other traditions such as the one below are not criticised




Has anti racism been irretrievably coopted by intolerance and ironically racism ? Is the new philosophy, that 'whiteness' is some kind of original sin that must be atoned ?

Whether one likes Trudeau or not, suspecting him of racism is akin to suspecting the pope of not being catholic... How has an attempt to "look the part" -even if awkward- in a costume party come to be nowadays lambasted as racism ?
 

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Reactions: duncanness
Mar 2019
1,801
Kansas
So "black face" (and all its variations) has now become a big thing
It is a funny phenomena. One thing I see is people getting outraged on behalf of other people.

It is the same with the argument of cultural appropriation. Peoples have been doing that since the first time there were two cultures.
 
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Reactions: JoanOfArc007
Jul 2019
592
New Jersey
It's like when everyone got mad at Andrew Yang for making a very mild self-deprecating joke that hinged on Asian stereotypes. People just need to chill. The outrage industry is getting out of hand. That said, the hypocrisy at play here is stunning. Forgiveness for me, but not for thee.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
I guess some folks outrage meter will max out watching this. They were prime time viewing for 30 years in the UK. Perhaps all the performers, TV people and the millions who watched are all "criminals" now.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,458
South of the barcodes
It was fairly criminal back then.

Middle of the road vacuous variety shows meant to cause the least amount of deviation from half asleep blandness.

Minstrel shows mean different things in the US and the UK because we have different histories with racism and slavery but initially Minstrel music was highly sought after and appreciated and so were the musicians, you just couldnt get them over here so it became traditional for musicans to black up for the semi-authentic experience of black music.

IT adds to the British tradition of blackface morris, days of misrule and and rebellion, it was interesting and rebellious. Like all musical forms though it started to become staid and conservative, and outlived its time.

British appreciation of black American acts is legendary especially as a way to escape racism in America whether its snakehips Johnson or Rosetta Theape playing machester railway stations but blackface should have died in the early 1900's, I would say what sort of vapid idot thought that was a good idea to revive it for TV in the 1960s and 70s but they hired Jimmy Savile in that period so...!
 
Last edited:
Jun 2018
172
New York
Depending on where you're looking whiteness does seem like some sort of original sin that must be atoned for. And you have to look at what kind of groups are causing an outrage over such things. Are they taking the context of the situation into account? If so is it really as bad as they are making it out to be?

I never have an issue with these things personally, but I can understand why some groups would have an issue with it and I absolutely do not get why others have an issue with it. I believe the latter goes back to my first sentence. In the end one needs to decide if they really want to put their energy into making something bigger than it might be. And enough people decide that it is worth the trouble.

Mindsets are changing drastically, it's interesting to watch.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
British appreciation of black American acts is legendary especially as a way to escape racism in America whether its snakehips Johnson or Rosetta Theape playing machester railway stations but blackface should have died in the early 1900's, I would say what sort of vapid idot thought that was a good idea to revive it for TV in the 1960s and 70s but they hired Jimmy Savile in that period so...!
It should also be seen in the context of a revival of music hall acts at that time, for instance the extremely popular "Good Old Days" featuring acts such as the magician "Ali Bongo", real name William Wallace. These days he would be arrested for using a stage name like that, but back then nobody was "offended" except some "retentive" types who have the whip hand today.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,458
South of the barcodes
So all who took part, and those who watched without being offended, are to a degree criminals?
Considering i think the X factor is a public order offence i might be biased.

But you have to consider when that was going out the Tamla Motown tours were going on, you could have hired Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas or the Temptations for a warm meal and a chance to sit beside an open fire.

I ought to point out that i have a particular grudge against the minstrels as a bland waste of space that stopped something decent like Starsky and Hutch or Doctor who being on. I was biased!