Tag Archives: blackface

YouTube Wire: Free hugs, Harajuku and The Pimp Chronicles

by guest contributor Luke Lee, Racialicious’s senior YouTube correspondent

If there’s one fad that doesn’t seem to die down in online popularity it’s blackface. Despite all those millions of Weird Al “White and Nerdy” views and iTunes purchases (seriously, it’s been on the iTunes top 10 for a while. People aren’t just listening to it once and laughing, they’re buying the song.) people still feel the need to perform BWTAB particularly when sandwiched with a popular hip-hop song or a stereotypical rap beat. The so-called “Kings of MySpace” come in with their video which, simply, it sucks.

And speaking of music and music videos throwing around weird racial representations, we have of course good old Gwen Stefani who comes in with her “Wind It Up” music video which features those creepy Harajuku Girls (but in blonde hair this time). People, we’ve got to free the Harajuku/Gwenihana four!


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Blackface at Texas A&M: dialogue, not just condemnation, is needed

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

blackface texas A&MWe’ve documented the upward rise in blackface and “ghetto party” incidents extensively on this blog, but I’m still amazed by how prevalent it is, and how it seems to be spreading faster than ever, especially on college campuses.

The latest blackface incident comes from Texas A&M (thanks Sandra!). Two white students made a video in which one of them was supposed to be a “slave” being disciplined by the other one. You can view a clip of it here (you’ll have to sit through a few commercials first). Here’s the description of the tape from ABC News:

On the tape, the white student in blackface is disciplined by a second white student playing the role of a slave master with a belt. Professors say the white student is carrying a “12th Man Towel,” a symbol of how Texas A&M fans help the football team. In the three-and-a-half minute tape, the student in blackface is put through a mock whipping and sexual assault.

University spokespeople don’t want to confirm that the students involved were disciplined, but they did say that both students are no longer enrolled at the school. Texas A&M President Robert Gates (about to leave the post to be the new Secretary of Defense) also issued a statement saying that the video is “so utterly disgusting that, regardless of race, religion, or background, I believe virtually any member of our Aggie family would be outraged and ashamed if they viewed it.”

It’s good that the responses have been unambiguously condemnatory, but at the end of the day, condemning these actions won’t bring about any real change.

I hope that Texas A&M will learn something from Whitman College (thanks Lyonside!). There was an outcry among the student body when photos were found of students who put on blackface to mimic the racially segregated cast of “Survivor: Cook Islands” at an off-campus party.

Instead of merely denouncing this act, Whitman College cancelled classes for an entire day and organized a full-day symposium on race relations which every single student had to attend.

And this wasn’t some lame “we are the world,” “there’s no race but the human race” crapfest. Take a look at the agenda. Some of the panels and workshops included:

  • The History of Blackface
  • Creepy Fun, Complicit Thoughtlessness, and Taking Action
  • On Being White in A Racist Society: A Workshop on Becoming An Effective Ally
  • Individual vs. Institutional Discrimination
  • “I’m Not a Racist”: Feigning Moral Blindness
  • Race, Class and Gender in Outdoor Sports and Institutions; AKA “Why is it Always White Dudes Leading Trips?”
  • The History of Race in the Greek System

Wow. Now that demonstrates a commitment to diversity.

I sincerely hope that Texas A&M, and all the other schools that have experienced similar incidents, will look to Whitman as an example of what to do. Condemning these racist acts is important. But at the end of the day, if the perpetrator doesn’t understand why what he/she did was wrong or offensive, nothing is going to change.

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links for 2006-11-04

links for 2006-11-03

More blackface on political blogs

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

wolf blitzer blackfaceWow, do we need to start a “blackface blogging” category here on Racialicious?

Just a couple months ago we told you about a Huffington Post blogger who decided to put Joseph Lieberman in blackface. And now yet another liberal blogger is dipping into the burnt cork, this time to mock CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. (Hat tip to Rachel’s Tavern.)

And check out his lame defense of his “politically incorrect” act. Gimme a break.

When are people going to realize that there’s nothing new or edgy about racism? I can’t believe people are still using this lipstick-on-a-pig tactic of referring to racism as “political incorrectness.”

links for 2006-10-27

Links for 2006-10-24

Can Black Rock Save Black Culture? – Marketing Pop Culture
“Since we can’t count on the school system to get them excited about playing instruments, the impetus must come from popular culture. Black musicians have to make it seem cool again. And the only ones who are in a position to do that are black rock mu

Angelina Jolie Faints for Third Time in Third World – Best Week Ever
“India is a hot country. Now imagine how hot it is when you’re in blackface! Real hot (sources say this is why Al Jolson never made it over to New Delhi — too risky.)”

Panel: Brown U. should own up to slavery – MSNBC.com
“As part of its research, the committee had discovered a document hanging in University Hall…that mentions slaves whose labor helped build it…it identified roughly 30 members of the college’s governing corporation who owned or captained slave ships.

Black Candidates and White Voters – MSNBC.com
White voters often tell pollsters they support black candidates, but they don’t always follow through. The phenomenon was first noted in 1982, when LA Mayor Tom Bradley lost a squeaker of a race for governor after being widely projected as the winner.

The Real Karamo [from The Real World] – BlackPlanet.com
“Gender constructs were thrown in the air and viewers did not know how to function without seeing stereotypically gay men prancing across the screen being a spectacle for the MTV cameras. Karamo Brown’s impact was clear…”

‘Slick Rick’ Challenges Deportation Law – NPR
“In 1996, Congress passed a law demanding that foreigners convicted of violent felonies be deported. But Rick Walters says some are being unfairly targeted…”Slick Rick,” discusses his complex battle over deportation…”

IFC to translate ‘AMERICANese’ – Variety.com
Thanks Angry Asian Man!”IFC is speaking “AMERICANese,” scooping up North American rights to the Hamptons Film Festival pic for its First Take label. Movie is based on Shawn Wong’s novel about Asian-American identity, “American Knees”…

Mora Mi-Ok Stephens: Our Next Justin Lin? – AsianWeek.com
“I have also heard some say this isn’t really an Asian Pacific American film, so why should our community to make any special effort to support it? That’s a wrong approach. This is a quality film made by an Asian American woman. How many of those do we get?”

At Long Last, a Neglected Language Is Put on a Pedestal – New York Times
“More people speak Portuguese as their native language than French, German, Italian or Japanese. So it can rankle the 230 million Portuguese speakers that the rest of the world often views their mother tongue as a minor language…”

Emergence-SEE! – Theater – Review – New York Times
“the black experience varies so widely in contemporary America that each man and woman sees the slave ship with a different set of eyes, approaching it with excitement, fear, skepticism, opportunism and even…a mixture of embarrassment and irritation.”

Dad to Madonna: Whoa, Mama – New York Post
“…he explained yesterday that at the time, he believed that “when David grows up, he will return back home to his village.” Banda said he never was told that the adoption papers he had signed meant that David would no longer legally be his son…”