Anti-racism awareness poster campaign inadvertently spawns meme

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111 Responses to “Anti-racism awareness poster campaign inadvertently spawns meme”

  1. So a kid dressing up as one of his black friends is a racist now ? Smells like another political correctness abuse.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Um, no, that is not okay.

      • plus MEDIC says:

        Xeni, it’s difficult to tell from the low-res picture, but the person dressed in “black face” is dressed up as L’il Wayne. Quite a specific costume, there’s nothing even remotely racist about it.

        As well, the rest of this campaign stinks of racial bias (besides perhaps the suicide bomber, which is a touchy subject for many reasons). The Geisha costume is somehow offensive? What of costumes relating to typically Caucasian roles? How about a Cow Boy costume? What about dressing as witches, with scraggly hair, green skin and hideous moles? Is that not offensive to Wiccans (or nauseated people)?

        This is a problem being desired and manufactured. There’s no reason for outrage here.

        • Lobster says:

          You had me until you got to the “Wiccan” thing.  The stereotypical movie “witch” pre-dates Wicca, which is a lot newer than its practitioners would have you believe.  You might say the phenomenon of “witchcraft” is older than that, but it’s not.  The phenomenon of falsely accusing people of witchcraft is. 

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          What of costumes relating to typically Caucasian roles?

          Wow, if roles are “typically Caucasian” it’s usually because they’ve been historically exclusionary.   Never mind that there were black cowboys, latino cowboys etc. 

      • sparklemotion says:

        I disagree.

        Dressing up “as one of your black friends” is perfectly fine by this black lady, so long as it is a specific person.  Dressing up as members of your social circle is a perfectly reasonable (and if well done, rather funny and clever) costume idea.  If your friend happens to be of a different race so you need to blackface/whiteface it up to pull off the costume, I don’t see how there is anything wrong with that.

        The same also goes for a white guy dressing up as Whoopie Goldberg or Jackie Chan for Hallowe’en — you are parodying the _person_, not the _people_.

        On the other hand dressing up as a _generic_ version of someone of a different race is troubling, at best, and easily slips into the racist category if the costume also perpetuates racial stereotypes: See, blackface pimp with shiny grill, muslim “garb” + suicide belt.

        Which reminds me… why is it that blackface is so horrible, but drag queens are cool/funny/sexy, anyways?

        • Wow… You must not give a damn about the history of minstrel shows. Do you know about the history of black face? 

          While I’m happy none of this bothers you. It is too bad many white people only need one Person of color to excuse them to feel morally justified and you just gave it too them. 

    • ok.. listen.. Blackface is not ok.  that is not overly politically correct.. Not and overreaction.. Blackface is never ok.. I would add.. Wear it at your own risk.  Now grow up!

  2. dculberson says:

    You know what’s really not acceptable?  The lousy cropping and bleed through on the Dalek poster.  Really, Daleks would be much, much better at image manipulation than that!

  3. If memory serves me correct, Ted Danson was dating Whoopi Goldberg when he donned the blackface costume.

  4. Parris Adams says:

    If you’re not part of the culture and you see some of these as non offense, then you’re a bigot. Blackface stopped being okay since the 60s, the other ones are just as bad.  

  5. Antennapedia says:

    To be fair, though, pretty much every single costume that’s based on anything human could be considered insensitive: beer wenches (I’m German! Back off my lederhosen and beer steins!), witches, clowns, cowboys, ninjas, pirates… There is a kernel of common sense needed here is what I’m saying. Black face, ghutras/igals, etc do cross a line, but I’m not sure how I feel about the Geisha costumes. That’s a valid occupation in Japan, so how is that worse than dressing up as, say, a police officer? or a firefighter? Or a doctor? is it the exotic factor?

    This is a completely valid conversation to have and it doesn’t help anybody for people to get all “You’re clearly dressing up in black face for Halloween and you’re RACIST!” when we question what the campaign means.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      I’m not sure how I feel about the Geisha costumes. That’s a valid
      occupation in Japan, so how is that worse than dressing up as, say, a
      police officer? or a firefighter? Or a doctor? is it the exotic factor?

      lmfao…  whitewhine.

      • Antennapedia says:

        Honestly, how so?  I’ve lived all over the world (not Japan, but Europe and the Middle East) so I’m not unfamiliar with other cultures and their daily clothing. If I wore an abaya and a headscarf for Halloween, that would be wrong because that’s person’s daily wear for their LIFE , not for what they do for a living. But being a geisha IS a job.

        Your comment is a ham-handed marginalization of a valid question, and I don’t appreciate it.

        • Kayla Knopp says:

          Thank you – that’s the most important message here, I think.  By manufacturing offense at things like geisha costumes, we totally marginalize the very real and very valid concern of racism in our culture.  Being this oversensitive ends up hurting the big-picture cause.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          That’s tough for you I guess.  I don’t appreciate your lack of candor.

          • Antennapedia says:

            Hmm… I was pretty honest in my opinions and experiences, and even my failings, so I’m not sure how I lacked “candor.”

    • Well, there is a difference between being a ninja or samurai and having a costume that makes fun of  Asians by portraying a stereotype.  Someone I know was in Boston yesterday and saw a mother with her kids dressed up as “an Asian” with slanted eye makeup and buck teeth.  No one is saying you can’t dress up as someone from another culture.. what they are saying is that you shouldn’t dress up as a cruel ethic slur.  

      I’m white and I can see the difference.. Why is this so difficult for so many white people to grasp? 

  6. scionofgrace says:

    I get the point: mockery is wrong.

    But is there a dividing line between wearing a costume associated with a race that isn’t yours and mocking a race that isn’t yours?  I don’t think I’d be offended if someone who wasn’t white dressed up in lederhosen or a dirndl.

  7. Kayla Knopp says:

    I dunno, seems like some of those posters falsely conflate costumes that mock a person’s race/ethnicity (like the Saudi and Mexican costumes – not okay) with those that imitate a job or role held by a person that just happens to be (mostly) unique to a particular culture. It’s perfectly acceptable to dress up like a geisha, just as it’s perfectly acceptable to dress up like a 1950′s American housewife, or an Indian bride, or a belly dancer. Not all imitation is mockery, and it’s absurd to declare that all cross-cultural mimicry is racist across the board.

    But jeebus, no, blackface is never, ever ok; if you’re white, dress up like a rapper, not a black rapper.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      or an Indian bride

      WTF? 

      No it’s not, and almost all those  costumes are grossly
      A) inaccurate
      B) oversexualized/fetishized

      • Kayla Knopp says:

        An Indian bride, as in, an Indian woman in her traditional wedding clothing.  Which is very beautiful, and fun to dress in.  And not disrespectful in any way.

        A geisha is a sexualized profession; nothing was OVERsexualized about that costume.  And Halloween is, in its very nature, inaccurate and fetishized; when I dress up as Ke$ha, I don’t actually look identical to Ke$ha.  It’s a costume, not an attempt at identity theft.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          Right, but what you see for sale at Target or everywhere else is a sexy “native huntress” or something along those lines.

          I didn’t realize “Ke$ha” was a cultural depiction of a particular minority group. In particularly one that was nearly wiped out by white Americans/Europeans.

          • Kayla Knopp says:

            Ok, so let me clarify again (though I thought it was pretty clear)… Indian, as in, from the country of India.  Not Native American (which, according to most Native Americans I know, is not properly referenced by the term “Indian” anyway).  You missed my original point – imitating someone else’s culture, minority or not, CAN be racist, but it is not ALWAYS racist.  There is definitely a line of acceptability; context and intention are important, and these posters ignore that.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            I’m sure most women from India would feel very honored and dignified by you appropriating their culture for a night of drunken costume fun.

          • Kayla Knopp says:

            My Indian friends are delighted to let me borrow their clothing and help me get dressed for Halloween or some other occasion, actually.

            Seriously, I think you could fit a few more straw men into your arguments if you really tried.  Appropriating their culture?  Are you kidding me?  I hoppe you can step back to see how completely ridiculous you are coming across right now.  If your goal is to promote a type of cultural sensitivity and understanding that you think we’re lacking, you’re doing it wrong.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Funny how every internet person who argues for playing dress up as minorities always has a minority friend who supposedly thinks it’s great……………………….

        • grimc says:

          A geisha is a sexualized profession

          Japanese geisha are not sex workers. They wear traditional kimono, and I’ll bet anything that cheap costume only goes as far as the buttocks. And they don’t walk around with their lips pursed and their hands pressed together like the person in the costume.

          And that’s where the racism comes in. White girls who dress up as ‘geisha’ for Halloween just can’t resist making that face, holding their hands that way and walking around in mincing little steps. It’s blatantly fucking racist. I’ve been at more than one Halloween party where some asshole has done this. Twice, they were in groups.

          Too many people think Halloween gives them a pass to let their inner bigot out. Some college group–rightfully–calls people out on it and suddenly white people are shocked! that dressing up as racial stereotypes is offensive.

          • Antennapedia says:

            This is a good point, but I think the offensiveness stems from the fact that it’s “sexy” geisha, not necessarily the geisha part. The “sexy” anything costumes can be set adrift from pop culture in a leaky raft as far as I’m concerned (“sexy optimus prime” is a thing that exists.) And if you’re going the blatant racist route, well, then you’re just being an asshole.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Would you wear a geisha ‘costume’ to a costume event where you were one of the few or only non-Japanese guests? Especially keeping in mind that these costumes are rarely authentic or not-sexualized?

  8. lesserlesserwashington says:

    From message to meme in a few short hours.  I think this says terrible things about the disrespect our greater culture shows of the racial subcultures and nations that exist.  It’s meant as humor but comes off as ignorant intolerance.

  9. Lobster says:

    Cry all you want about big mean “political correctness” keeping you from “telling it how it is,” but seriously?  You want to fight for your right to dress up as a black person for Halloween?  How is that a costume? 

    • geekandwife says:

      cos·tume  (kstm, -tym)
      n.1. A style of dress, including garments, accessories, and hairstyle, especially as characteristic of a particular country, period, or people

      How is it not a costume?

      • Lobster says:

        Because the only thing “characteristic” about black people is that they have darker skin.  Even then, they don’t have a single set skin tone.  Stereotypes aside, I just don’t think it’s a very good costume.  It would be like dressing up as an accountant.  Not even an obnoxious, “I’m a serial killer because they can look just like anybody LOL!” kind of costume, more like a, “for Halloween I dressed up like someone who couldn’t come up with a costume” kind of costume.

  10. Conspirator says:

    That one with the black girl doesn’t make any sense to me.  Is she actually a zombie?  Or is the black person in the photo she’s holding not black?  Tiny pictures don’t get the message across and I can’t find a good size version of that image.

  11. dragonfrog says:

    I guess I’m a bigot then, because I think the cowboy costume with the fake legs and the real person’s legs turning into the horse/donkey/ostrich/whatever’s legs is always OK.  In this case, the person is dressed as a stereotypical Mexican cowboy, not a stereotypical Western US cowboy, or a stereotypical French cowboy (aka Guardien de Camargue).

    Seriously, how are you supposed to to Halloween without stereotypes – that’s how you can tell what a costume is supposed to be, because it conforms to a stereotype the viewer will recognize.

    “Oh, I’m dressed as a doctor.  But not a stereotypical white-lab-coat doctor, more of a family doctor who does housecalls and wears jeans and a cardigan.  See, here’s a fake business card that says I’m a GP.” == not wearing a costume.

  12. daneyul says:

    I guess I appreciate the idea but the execution is soooo pouty.  

    And… Lady Gaga == ok, but lil Wayne == racist? 

    (Editing my own comment)

    Sheesh! That’s what I get for commenting at work. This morning reading over the comments and looking into it a bit..I see that the lil Wayne costume is actually a white cheerleader. In my stupid quick post yesterday I honestly thought is was an African American kid just dressed as a rapper. (In my defense…not very clear from the small picture).

    So…to revise:

    lil Wayne + black face DEFINITELY == racist

  13. Macgruder says:

    Struggling to find the problem with the Geisha costume. Geisha is a profession specific to Japan, and geisha’s themselves have a highly stylized white makeup, rounded lips,  etc. 

  14. Felton / Moderator says:

    Everyone, please keep it civil.

  15. Ian Wood says:

    I’m dressing up as an African American Wall Street Investment Banker.

    Feel the conflict. Feel it.

  16. Omar Kooheji says:

    As an Arab I find the Suicide Bomber costumes hilarious, I give permission on behalf of my race for anyone to dress up like that.  This is political correctness gone seriously wrong.

    You aren’t saying that all Arabs are Terrorists, you are making light of a stereotype. And if we can’t laugh in the face of terror then they terrorists have won.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      I give permission on behalf of my race for anyone to dress up like that.

      I get the feeling that most of your race probably would not be happy to hear that you were elected their spokesman.

    • Lobster says:

      You are AN Arab.  Singular.  Your opinion is valid as the opinion of an individual.  You do not speak for all Arabs.  You are not the arbiter (arabiter?) of what is or is not offensive.

      The fact that some of your fellow Arabs have been harassed and killed over that stereotype says to me that not everyone who promotes the stereotype does so ironically. Jeff Dunham and his fans come to mind.

  17. Jeff Ritzmann says:

    I can no longer wear my Darth Vader suit I worked so hard to obtain and build as it offends Jedi. You ought to hear them “oh you think it’s funny to dress up like a guy who betrayed and slaughtered us? You know he killed kids right??” 

    I mean they really get indignant for a bunch that preaches not to give into hate.

  18. RussellChaplin says:

    This is what I’ve been saying about all those stinking larpers!  Damn them for inaccurately portraying my middle European ancestry!

  19. tdjukic says:

    @google-c77fd1e1f501d6339f8a20df60f32608:disqus “it’s difficult to tell from the low-res picture, but the person dressed in “black face” is dressed up as L’il Wayne. Quite a specific costume, there’s nothing even remotely racist about it.”

    I once dressed as 2Pac while one of my friends dressed as BIGGIE and another as Eazy-E.  We were “The Dead Rappers”.  I shaved my head, wrote ‘Thug Life” on my abdomen with a Sharpie, and tied a bandana around my head the way that 2Pac often did and even turned paperclips into piercings.  My friends, went to similar lengths to get their outfits and appearance to match Eazy-E and Biggie.  A couple of hats, some sun glasses, fake curls tucked under a toque, a flannel shirt with one button done up…. etc…  everyone knew exactly who we were and our costumes were a hit with the people at the party of EVERY race.  

    Do you know what we didn’t do?  We didn’t paint our skin black.

    This may be the single reason why our costumes were accepted as a homage to 3 pop culture icons instead of being seen as a mockery of 3 young black men who’s lives had ended far too early.

    (I do agree with the Geisha comments though – Geisha outfits are, in and of themselves, ‘costumes’ that people wear.  I don’t see it as a mockery unless something blatant has been done to the costume to make it a mockery.  Like a cat on a roasting spit accompanying it.)

  20. Brainspore says:

    I was originally going to ask “are there really still a lot of idiots out there who think dressing in blackface is an appropriate Halloween costume?” and then I started reading through the comments. Eek. I know that I’ve spent most of my life living on the left coast but I didn’t realize I was THAT sheltered.

    For what it’s worth I do believe it’s possible to dress up as a person of another nationality without being offensive, but only if you’re going for a “character” or “occupation” over “race.” For example: white kid dressing as Aladdin or Mulan or Samurai = not especially racist. White kid dressing as black inner city crack addict = pretty darn offensive.

  21. Antennapedia says:

    You know, and while we’re on the subject of costumes, what about cosplay? Are anime or video game costumes inherently wrong because they “appropriate a culture”? Or do they get a pass because it’s geekery and we’re okay with that?

    Serious question, actually.

    • Lobster says:

      I try to stay objective on matters of racism unless it’s my race that’s being insulted.  That’s not to say that I only take it seriously when I take it personally, it’s to say that I’m not going to manufacture outrage as a proxy for someone who can do it for themselves (but chooses not to).

      I guess what I’m saying is if you want to know if anime cosplay is offensive, you should probably ask an anime character.

  22. Nadreck says:

    But if you *were* part of that ethnic group then it *would* be OK to dress up in a costume from that group.  Here, however, we run up against the problem of racial classification.  Who, for example, is “Black Enough” to be a Rapper?  Or “White Enough” to dress up as a skateboarder?  (A cultural artefact of some California Dudes.) I believe that all those classification manuals from the old South African regime are now in the public domain so maybe those could be used.

    BTW – What are the official definitions of the various races’ cultures?  I always wondered what “Black Culture” was exactly and none of my Caribbean, Ethiopian or New Jersey friends seem to be able to come to an agreement.

  23. Sekino says:

    I don’t think the message is that *any* portrayal of another culture is bad. One just needs to be a bit cautious with how the imagery may be interpreted.

    I think it’s pretty clear why the ‘suicide bomber’ costume may be viewed negatively… I admit I find the geisha a bit of a grey area. I actually dressed as a geisha last year, but it was not a bastardized, ‘sexy’ version, it was as authentic as I could get it. I chose it because I love Japanese culture and thought it was a gorgeous attire. I certainly hope no one saw it as offensive. Funny enough, I was the least ‘sexy’ woman at the party and was showing- by FAR- the least skin.

    In general, I believe people can tell the difference between an appreciative homage to another culture and a stereotypical, cheap joke made at their expense.

  24. Scott Frazer says:

    Racism, like sexism, is about privilege. And the thing I’ve learned about privilege is that it’s easy to not notice it when you have it.

    If you’re white and willing to do the work required to put on an authentic native american outfit, and get the details right, and not look like a sports mascot, then you’ve maybe demonstrated a desire to learn about their culture and you’re paying tribute to it. It’s a tricky thing given than you’re a member of a class that decimated their people through invasion, war, lying and cheating.

    But if you throw a few feathers on your head, add some “war paint” to your face and hit a bar? You might as well be pissing on the graves of those your predecessors killed.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Racism, like sexism, is about privilege. And the thing I’ve learned
      about privilege is that it’s easy to not notice it when you have it.

      A million times this, and it’s even harder to give up when confronted with it, as you can clearly see in this thread, or any time cultural appropriation is brought up.

  25. Navin_Johnson says:

    Would all the people defending these costumes wear them to a party in which people from those cultures were the majority and THEY were the minority?  After all there’s nothing wrong with them right? 

    We know the real answer.

  26. ikegently says:

    Is the person in the original poster black?

  27. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    If someone dressed as John Boehner, complete with orange makeup, would it be racist?

  28. Charlie B says:

    The originals are really great, though. It’s nice to laugh at Daleks and golden retrievers, but the message of the original campaign is a meme that really does deserve spreading.

    And the Daleks and Retrievers seem to be doing a great job of that – with your help, of course, Xeni.

    It’s not really important whether one person (or one lobster) thinks some particular costume is or isn’t offensive.  What’s important is that we realize some people are sensitive to issues that others don’t necessarily even perceive, and some folks may not be capable of putting aside their grievances long enough to enjoy a little off-color humor.  As long as we don’t marginalize or ignore these people for their discomfort, persons with a broad (or questionable) sense of humor can still do lame costumes and it’ll all work out.

    I myself am offended by costumes made of cheap material poorly stitched.  It’s a mockery of my ancestors’ stereotypically bad fashion sense, you know.

  29. Does this apply to men dressed as women as well? Geez, lighten up.

  30. Culturedropout says:

    Well, I’m going out dressed as a black man who is dressed as a white guy.  Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out who should be offended by _that_…  X/

  31. Jenonymous says:

    Gotta love, love love the whiners who are all like “wwwaaaah, if we can’t dress as something HUMAN from the REAL WORLD there ARE no more costume options!!” 

    You guys must have had pretty uncreative childhood upbringings.

    Things my brother and I have dressed up as over the years (all home-made):

    –a giant teabag (complete with Salada tag)
    –a lobster
    –a wizard
    –a bundle of laundry (black sweatsuit with sox/undies/small T’s pinned all over it, carry a plastic laundry basket with an emtpy bottle of detergent glued in)
    –a lobster
    –More foodstuffs than I can remember right now
    –Devil
    –Robot
    –Insect (generic, extra arms)

    There, are you all happy now, or are you concerned that America’s spirit of ingenuity will be crushed without the social freedom to mock and demean your friends and neighbors and then tell them it’s a joke?

  32. Jenonymous says:

    Other great ideas that I have seen and Wish I Thought of First:

    –an adverb (sign around neck saying “-ly”
    –the night sky
    –every dragon costume I’ve ever seen made by anyone except me
    –better foodstuffs than the ones I made growing up
    –lava lamp (AMAZING.  Saw this one first hand, pic attached)
    –a couple 69ing in bed (also from the Village parade, involved one guy, a foam mattress strapped to his back, and a blow-up doll)
    –a group of Scrubbing Bubbles (amazing–done with just a hula hoop, a sheet, Xmas tree tinsel bunting, markers, and scissors)

    But I digress…

  33. lesserlesserwashington says:

    I’m going out in white face as Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington DC NFL team that shall not be named. 

  34. Scott Wood says:

    The point is laudable.  The conflation of culture with race is not, and lends itself to racism.  

  35. Crunchy says:

    To those who are implying that it’s not possible to be stereotyped by a costume when you’re part of the racial majority:  I’m living in the southern U.S., and I’m of both (relatively recent) Irish and Italian descent.  Yeah, I *never* see fun being made of one of those cultural groups.

    Granted, those cultures aren’t obvious by looking at me… but, then again, the cultures of several of the people in these advertisements aren’t necessarily that precise either.

    You don’t have to be a racial minority to be stereotyped, and just because a portion of your culture is made into a costume doesn’t mean it’s a comment about your race.  Racism is certainly something to be fought, but it’s not very clear-cut in these posters.  Sometimes you really have to decide whether you’re going to define yourself by other people’s stereotypes of something they don’t understand, or be defined as an actual person with your own depths.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      To those who are implying that it’s not possible to be stereotyped by a
      costume when you’re part of the racial majority:  I’m living in the
      southern U.S., and I’m of both (recent) Irish and Italian descent. 
      Yeah, I *never* see fun being made of one of those cultural groups.

       YES it’s possible to be stereotyped, and yes  it is an asshole move to mock Italians or whoever in such a manner, and yes there are Italian-American groups that have raised hell over stereotyped, negative depictions of Italian-Americans too.  I haven’t seen anybody implying that it isn’t “possible”.

      • Brainspore says:

        I’d also add that while it’s possible to mock and/or stereotype people who are in the ethnic majority it almost never has the same sting as when the power dynamic is the other way around. The reason the slur “cracker” will never feel as offensive as “n*****” is that white people have never been systematically enslaved, subjugated, oppressed and disenfranchised by black people.

        Yeah, my Irish immigrant ancestors faced some discrimination… but to pretend that it was on the same order of magnitude as what happened to generations of African-born slaves and their descendants would be ridiculous. Further, it’s been many a year since anyone of Irish descent faced any real amount of discrimination in the United States.

      • Crunchy says:

        I haven’t seen anybody implying that it isn’t “possible”.

        “if roles are “typically Caucasian” it’s usually because they’ve been historically exclusionary”.

        Seriously, they’re *costumes*.  Blackface is over the line for historical reasons if nothing else, but putting all other cultures off limits for bad costumes would make a big dent in the available pool of sources.  Costumes in general are culturally relevant in one way or another – otherwise they wouldn’t be recognizable.  And I for one wouldn’t want to have holloween limited to pop-culture references even further than it already is.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          Yes they are costumes, costumes that trivialize, stereotype or insult people’s cultural identity.  If Halloween for you is limited to dressing up like ethnic stereotypes then that’s your problem.

  36. MrBrownThumb says:

    I’ve been a lurker and sharer of BB posts for some time. Where there always this many bigots in the comments section, or is what I’m seeing in this post a result of BB’s recent efforts to open up the comments section to riffraff like myself?  

  37. Matthew Brindle says:

    Two White Chicks springs to mind. Which I don’t really find funny either. Outdated stereotype humour is cringe at best.

    As many other people have commented I agree it’s goes into murky racist territory when the line between imitating a specific person/character or a job/archetype and when you’re dressing as an actual ‘race’ itself. I’m not Whoopie Goldberg in Ghost, okay perhaps, I’m a black woman, Um, No. 

    Some friends in the UK had a ‘chav’ halloween party. Which was kind of funny on the surface but when you thought about it had some not so funny undertones going on. But that’s the way/point of bad taste halloween parties and costumes anyway I guess.

  38. birdmechanical says:

    To the people saying, that this is to PC and people whine too much. Let me rephrase it:

    If you stereotype a culture, for a costume, you are selflishly being hurtful to a group of people, you are contributing to generalization of a group of people which is dehumanizing, which makes you a jerk.

    If you don’t care, continue being a jerk.

    (I originally used a different were instead of jerk, but don’t know if BoingBoing censors/flags/deletes the word I originally used)

  39. Eric Kam says:

    surprised the ZRC (zombie rights campaign) didn’t sound off on this campaign. @Zombie_Rights http://boingboing.net/2011/10/25/anti-racism-awareness-campaign-inadvertently-spawns-meme.html?

  40. Ok.. I think people don’t get it.  That’s fine.  I hope you run into me when you’re wearing black face.  

    People are so much more concerned with having a good time then actually maybe giving someone just a bit of respect.  

    Cheers!

  41. OtherMichael says:

    Gazing at my navel for a few minutes, I don’t have a problem condemning the black-face “costume” in the original poster as racist [scroll up if you've gotten lost in the comments; it's the origin of this whole thread]. Maybe there are nuances, etc. etc. (Damn nuances). Maybe not. I’m going with the not for now, and leaving it at that.

    That being said, I don’t have a problem with NOT condemning black [brown, cocoa, off-white, dusky, high-yaller] make-up as being inherently racist. It all depends on the context (there’s that damn nuance, again).

    In the US, there is a long tradition of racist black-face minstrelsy. An primarily-Anglo-person in that make-up is primarily referencing a primarily racist tradition.

    But what about in Japan? If you don’t have a racist tradition of blackface, is black-makeup referencing racist blackface makeup? Or is it something else?

    NB: for the sake of argument, I am positing that Japan has no tradition of racist black-face make-up. This has no reflection in reality, and is solely for the sake of a poorly-worded argument.

    —-

    Also, I find the lulz posters (here, at least) amusing. I like how they’ve made me look at the original and think about it. For me, at least, they don’t detract from the original message.

    • Layne says:

      True on the blackface- it’s always been an odious practice, even when it was adopted for appropriating traditional black music and comedy. 

      And there’s a pretty relevant example about deplorable culture that gets transplanted abroad – some asian clothing store had a brand/store devoted to Hitler/Nazi imagery. Not sure if their original intent was to shock or offend, but they had a pretty intense backlash. 

  42. onepieceman says:

    I never knew Daleks were so sensitive. Blatant attempt to dominate the universe and you still can’t poke fun at them?

  43. Talia says:

    Darnit! I saw this thread was 100+ comments and was SO hoping it was all people posting their own Dalek-style mockups.

    Instead I read the thread and its all people doing their best to justify racism.  I has a sad. :/

    Time to go find my own unicorn chaser. :P

  44. Boris Matev says:

    Yes, the days of telling racist jokes in polite circles are over. So sad indeed…
    Are you kidding me? You really think we should be totally ok with blackface, as in the “old days”?

  45. lesserlesserwashington says:

    What an insensitive ignorant mother fucker some of us have become.

  46. lesserlesserwashington says:

    As a Native American, my culture is not your costume.  You’re an idiot with no concept of critical race theory of even a grasp of the racial issues at stake here.

  47. birdmechanical says:

    I don’t find it that PC to say, “don’t generalize and stereotype my culture you jerkface”.

  48. You see these students who feel this way as being PC. Maybe you should think about how hard it can be to be a person of color at a predominantly white school and then see some one dress in black face?  No.. you think they are just making a big deal.. Well its easy to say that if no one is doing it to you, but if they are.. over time.. that really grates on a person.  It’s not PC.. Its about having some damn human respect.  Grow up.

  49. Navin_Johnson says:

    What group is that?  The white/European “Race”?

  50. Navin_Johnson says:

    Just describing what you’re doing:  “Oh why oh why can’t we play mockery and dress up with minority culture stereotypes?” 

  51. Brainspore says:
    Just because something is offensive that does not mean its racist

    There are other ways to be offensive than being racist, yes. That does not mean costumes based on offensive racial stereotypes are not racist.

  52. Navin_Johnson says:

    It takes a special kind of dishonesty to try to compare dressing up as a  “Canadian” or “American”  to what the people in the campaign are politely asking you not to do.

    Everyone of any race or culture can be Canadian or American, everyone cannot be Asian, Black, Native American etc.

  53. Lobster says:

    A lot of people do find that stuff pretty offensive, actually.  There’s just a lot of money tied up in it, so it’s not going to change.

  54. Brainspore says:

    It’s completely acceptable to wear redface to Braves, Redskins, and Indians games. Where is the ad campaign fighting that?

    There have actually been several polite efforts requesting that those practices stop. But like this campaign, every one has been met with reactions of “OH STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE ALREADY/THIS PC CRAP IS OUT OF CONTROL/I DON’T MIND IF YOU MAKE FUN OF PRIVILEGED WHITE PEOPLE/ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS IS A _________.”

  55. grimc says:

    Redface is not completely acceptable. It’s just that Braves, Redskins and Indians fans are assholes.

  56. Lobster says:

    I take it you’re dressing up as a Straw Man this year?

  57. Felton / Moderator says:

    Only if a Slippery Slope costume is too difficult to make.

  58. Navin_Johnson says:

    So we’ve already reached the desperation of pedantry. Those are “Nationalities”.

  59. Stonewalker says:

    This is BB, we usually hit that desperation within 2 comments!

  60. Navin_Johnson says:

    We might be more equal if privileged whites weren’t constantly trying to trivialize and mock the cultures and struggles of minorities.

  61. Brainspore says:

    Maybe not our spirit of ingenuity, but instead our right to free speech.  Just because something is offensive does not mean someone does not have the right to say it.

    Did I miss the part where they stated people who wear offensive costumes should go to jail? The whole point of this awareness campaign is to state “I find that depiction of my culture offensive and would appreciate if you refrain from doing it.” That too is free speech. If you realize you’re offending people and you do it anyway, that’s your right. But make no mistake: you’re exercising your right to be a dick.

  62. grimc says:

    The right to be offensive doesn’t cancel out the right to be offended. Calling a jerk a jerk is a form of speech.

  63. Paul Renault says:

    “How’s she goin, b’y?” or “How’s it hangin’?” OK?

    And it’s called a two-by-four.  Or a ‘flat’.

    /herring choker

  64. OtherMichael says:

    Not all Canadians wear toques, some of us are vegetarians, some of us abstain from alcohol, and some of us don’t even speak English!!!!!

    Don’t you all speak Canuckistani?

  65. OtherMichael says:

    Guess what, pretty much every american holiday is an attempt to trivialize and stereotype peopeles cultural identity.

    Like….

    President’s Day: mocks powdered-wig wearers (and whigs, no doubt)
    Valentine’s Day: Cherub-Americans hardly dare show their wings in public anymore thanks to this one single day
    Easter Sunday: Dyed-Egg-Americans live in fear of this “holiday”
    Christmas: Krampus is coming, so you better watch out….
    Cinco de Mayo: seriously. Mayonaise? Pointy-boots and loud parades? I do not get this.
    Santa Lucia Day: again with the Scandinavians and their kooky holidays!
    Memorial Day: blatantly offensive to all non-veteran Americans
    Juneteenth: that isn’t even a real date
    Mother’s Day: seriously, is somebody at a greeting-card company just making this s–t up?

  66. Brainspore says:

    Guess what, pretty much every american holiday is an attempt to trivialize and stereotype peopeles cultural identity.

    And if the Ents voiced a problem with the way I celebrate Arbor Day I’d seriously consider changing the way I do it, because I usually try not to be an insensitive asshole.

  67. Translation:
     “I’m arianahinojos.. I like having a good time and you students should just stop ruining my fun! Everyone is being so PC. An what about all the abuse we white people? White people are very abused. We just choose to not mention it or have a problem with it until you mention our faults.To be honest, I just don’t care and I see this as some plan by Obama to attack good white people. Get used to racism folks.. its our way of having fun!”end of translation:As a white man, I know about the jokes white people say.. I hear them at the cookouts. I am sick of it and sick of other white people blaming this all on over sensitive PCism.

    I’m white. I see it all the time. Stop lying white people. Grow up!

  68. I’m done with respecting racists. I am done. I tried. I’m white and I see such an amazing amount of rationalization by white people.. I am now done. I will try to be nice .. but if its a culture war then bring it. I am now sick of watching as a white man, so many white people lie. I’m done. 

    This is about basic human dignity. If you don’t get it, I don’t think we can have a talk

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