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She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 08, 2019 02:36PM
[www.nytimes.com]

Thomas K. Norment Jr., the powerful Republican majority leader in the Virginia Senate, was a top editor of a 1968 college yearbook that included several photographs of students in blackface as well as racist slurs.

Mr. Norment, 72, a longtime fixture and political broker in the State Legislature, is the first Republican to be swept up in Virginia’s ongoing political crisis over racist behavior in the past.






What should be of continuing interest is the fact that all of these racist cretins have been going about their daily political lives and business for decades with nary a comment. That, more than anything else speaks volumes about the institutionalized nature of racism in so many parts of this society.

African-Americans have overcome many, many purposeful kinds of racism during their long history in America. They will overcome this, too - as they have no other choice. But a serious question remains as to whether the majority white community - particularly in that part of the country - really has the will to overcome it as well.

Ripping out institutionalized racism could take generations. Hopefully the current oversupply of closet racists in the south and other parts of this country will soon be buried, and a new, more enlightened population will overcome this - rather than simply taking their places and further digging in.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: February 08, 2019 02:39PM
.....this just keeps goin'......and goin'.....and goin'.......



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 08, 2019 02:43PM
I have a different take on this sort of collegiate stupidity. It does not show 'innate racism'. Instead it shows innate weakness of character. Yes, racism is a part of that, but people's attitudes DO change over time. But if you are easily peer pressured into stuff when you are in college, you can often be buffaloed as a fully formed adult.

Of course it may just be that I was such an obstinate jerk in college that I did not weaken my personal principles and do dumb crap. OK, except for climbing the buildings, but nobody has any photographs of THAT.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 08, 2019 02:56PM
Quote
cbelt3
I have a different take on this sort of collegiate stupidity. It does not show 'innate racism'. Instead it shows innate weakness of character. Yes, racism is a part of that...

Peer pressure from their racist friends pushed them do racist stuff when they were adults and should have known better is not an excuse for doing that stuff when they were adults and d@mned well knew better.

If you're old enough to be drafted as a soldier, you're old enough to know not to do outlandishly racist stunts.



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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 08, 2019 03:14PM
Quote
Sarcany
If you're old enough to be drafted as a soldier, you're old enough to know not to do outlandishly racist stunts.

One of the worst parts about institutionalized racism is that these acts are not considered outlandishly racist by everyone … this notion that there might be degrees of racism is how it keeps cycling through the generations. Like, it's not OK to use the "N" word, but blackface - meh.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 08, 2019 03:17PM
Sarcany, yup.

I still recall how angry I was as a young boy in the 60's in the south, and the 'older boys' in the lily white suburban neighborhood would wave their pocket knives around and talk tough about stabbing people of color. My grandpa's best fishing buddy was a gentlemen of color, and I had gone fishing with him any number of times. He was a great guy. My thought was "you want to hurt my friend ! You bastards !".

When you're 7 you don't yell at a 16 year old holding a knife, but I sure hated those guys at that point.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: February 08, 2019 03:54PM
Quote
bfd
Quote
Sarcany
If you're old enough to be drafted as a soldier, you're old enough to know not to do outlandishly racist stunts.

One of the worst parts about institutionalized racism is that these acts are not considered outlandishly racist by everyone … this notion that there might be degrees of racism is how it keeps cycling through the generations. Like, it's not OK to use the "N" word, but blackface - meh.

there is something to what you write. it's highly complicated, but I believe people who use the N-word are higher degrees of racist than those who tried out blackface (and I do think some people are trying on a character, as opposed to outright performing a contemporary minstrel reprisal).
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: $tevie
Date: February 08, 2019 04:26PM
I was at a Halloween party decades ago where a friend showed up in blackface. His joke was that his costume portrayed "his neighbors". I don't know how he felt when he went into the living room and saw that the party was definitely not all white. Everyone kind of ignored the elephant in the room and I think he left after maybe an hour. There was a lot of post mortem among our group, but nobody ever called him on it to his face, I guess because it was just too weird to want to revisit. We all acted like it never happened. I imagine that may be a typical reaction, which leaves the person wearing the blackface able to pretend it was no big deal.



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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 08, 2019 05:43PM
https://www.theroot.com/why-white-people-love-blackface-explained-1832338879

But if everyone did it back then, is it fair to call them racist now?

Let’s be clear: Blackface was always demeaning and reductive. Even the people who did it in the 1830s knew it. Shirley Temple knew it when she did it. Judy Garland knew it when she did it. Mickey Rooney knew it when he did it. They just didn’t care how their actions affected or portrayed black people. They literally considered black people as second-class citizens.

But you bring up a great question about a called subject called “presentism.”

Oooh, I like presents! Are you going to buy me a Hitler doll?

Not quite, you neophyte Nazi. Presentism is the practice of interpreting or judging historical actions using modern-day attitudes. That’s the argument people use to explain why they don’t consider Confederates to be white supremacists—because slavery was normalized in the South.

For instance, if you look at many of the same movies that feature blackface, men would often slap their wives and girlfriends as a means of “discipline.” No one thinks this is OK now (except maybe Chris Brown) but this was the prevailing attitude of the day.

So is it fair to call those men “women abusers”?

Of course it is. They actually abused women.

Exactly. That’s why it’s disingenuous to say, “That’s just how it was back then.” There were women fighting for equal rights back then. There were abolitionists fighting against slavery since the founding of this country. Even when slavery was legal, there were people who thought it was criminal. The same is true with Jim Crow, segregation, and even blackface.

It’s not that people on the wrong side of history didn’t know—it’s that they are endowed with the all-American privilege of white supremacy, so they didn’t care because they didn’t have to care.

Is that how it was way back in the 1980s when Ralph Northam’s yearbook photo was taken?

Not quite. By 1984, everyone considered blackface a racist trope. In 1981, Ben Vereen was ridiculed by people, both black and white, for wearing blackface during a tribute to vaudeville performer Bert Williams at Ronald Reagan’s inaugural gala. In 1982, the Baltimore Police Department banned one of its police officers from performing in blackface.

Ralph Northam knew it was racist in the 1980s. Even the white people who claim they don’t know it’s racist when they get caught understand the racist implications of blackface. Have you ever noticed that white people never pose in blackface with actual black people?




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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: February 08, 2019 06:52PM
Quote
sarcany
If you're old enough to be drafted as a soldier, you're old enough to know not to do outlandishly racist stunts.

Tangential, but “draft age” is a direct function of NOT yet knowing enough to make sensible, reasoned decisions.

Ask the insurance industry; they’ve got over a century’s worth of data on the maturity and decision making abilities of “draft age” drivers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2019 06:53PM by DeusxMac.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: morlock
Date: February 08, 2019 10:47PM
Quote
Sarcany
Have you ever noticed that white people never pose in blackface with actual black people?[/i]

Well, there was Ted Danson...
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: February 09, 2019 05:14AM
(my apologies for the long post, I went into my history and sociology instructor mode)

This topic reminds me of a college course I took titled The History of Black Music in the mid-'80s. A portion of the course dealt with the use of blackface in Minstrel shows. So let me put my history teacher hat on for a moment to give some perspective to the use of blackface.

That history has an interesting sidebar that many are unaware of - namely that many minstrel performers in the post-civil war era where blacks wearing black-face. While that notion seems absurd, it is nonetheless true. One must understand that Mentrel programs where more than just insulting entertainment, it was a form of satirical jabs at the class doctrine which prevailed in the Victoria and Gilded Age.

From the History of Minstrely:

Unlike the majority of white blackface performers in the 1800s who were born in Northern cities prior to the Civil War, most African American blackface minstrel performers were born after the Civil War and in Southern cities. However, the differences between white and African American minstrel performers do not stop there. Although the age of urban industrialization brought great opportunity for whites in America, according to Karen Sotiropoulos, “for black Americans, the 1890s ushered in a decade of shrinking possibilities, and artists and activists alike desperately sought any avenue for advancement.” African American artists saw their chance for advancement and financial security on the minstrel stage. These artists migrated out of the South and traveled to the West and New York City and formed minstrel groups who advertised their authentic blackness as a selling point to Northern audiences.

Like their white counterparts before them, they “blackened up,” sang, danced, and discussed provocative issues like sex in their shows. The structure of their performances and their removal of 19th century Victorian conventions was typical for all minstrel shows at the time. However, black minstrel performers felt the added responsibility to counter the stereotypes of black identity as laughable, primitive and overly sensual, leading them to develop a self-presentation on stage that balanced racist stereotypes and political commentary. African American blackface performers were also very aware of their off-stage public presentation and conducted themselves in a way to oppose the fictional representations of blacks they performed onstage. Their performances appealed to white audiences but also catered to the black middle class primarily because of the performers’ connection with activist organizations, publications, and presentations. Black performers’ association with these groups and their popularization with white audiences allowed them to “transcend local vaudeville stages to bring their art to Broadway and beyond."


From the same publication in the USF archives:
Blackface allowed actors and artists to hide behind a caricature while protesting and mocking the powerful without fear of retaliation. Minstrel performers could safely question authority while claiming to be acting out authentic African American expressions.

and

Blackface would always be Janus-faced, allowing the artist to speak freely against the interests of the powerful, a potent symbol of Jacksonian democracy. On the other hand, blackface dangerously dehumanized blacks by introducing and reinforcing racial stereotypes.

This all occurred a century ago, and times have changed. That change occurred slowly and is still occurring. The greatest modern upheaval in the viewpoint of race relations took place in the 1960s. However, nothing occurs overnight, and many attitudes held strong for another 20-30 years. As a society, blacks were viewed in a secondary role until well into the early '90s. As we, as a population, became enlightened that view was increasingly tossed aside. That is not to say it does not still exist, unfortunately, there will likely always be a small segment the embraces racial stereotyping.

At the time when these currently questioned blackface activities took place, there was far less stigma attached to it than today. This is not unlike the attitude towards woman brought to light be the MeToo movement. The time prior to the turn of the century two decades ago can safely be said to have been the waning years of the "White Man's World."

The activities that we condemn today were seen as uncomfortable by an increasing percentage of the population, but it was not the disqualifying action as it would be today. This is by no means an excuse for their actions, it is and was wrong - particularly among the supposedly educated.

This is meant to merely place those actions in a historical perspective. I personally believe that people should be judged by the whole of their actions, not just a slice of time. We have all done something stupid that we are now ashamed of, but an action taken in my teens does not define me. It should not wipe out the last 40 years of my life. This is not unlike the illegal immigrants who came here 30 years ago and built a successful life - today a segment of our population is adamant in the belief that they should be deported because of that initial action. In contrast, there are many others who point to the contribution they have made to society and ask for that initial transgression to be forgotten.

So should society pass judgment on an action nearly a half-century passed using today's standard?

My personal view is that I was willing to forgive the unfortunate use of racial stereotyping and insulting portrayal as both youthful indiscretions in a fluid time of societal change. What I am not willing to overlook is the current action of not owning up to that action. The denial and excuses are far more condemning than the initial action.

As I previously said, we all have mistakes in our past - how we face those mistakes today says more about our character than anything. In that perspective, Gov. Northam has lost his effectiveness to govern. In contrast, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring owned up to his similar mistake and immediately apologized. I am far more likely to support Herring going forward than Northam.

But that is just my view, yours may be different and I respect that.


End of class, and again my apologies for the lecture. This post did not start out that way.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: February 10, 2019 09:22AM
Quote
Ombligo
we all have mistakes in our past - how we face those mistakes today says more about our character than anything. In that perspective, Gov. Northam has lost his effectiveness to govern.

He promptly admitted he'd darkened his face to mimic Michael Jackson—an episode no one even knew about—and apologized for doing so. What further should Wortham have done to atone for that sin?
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 10, 2019 01:23PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
Quote
Ombligo
we all have mistakes in our past - how we face those mistakes today says more about our character than anything. In that perspective, Gov. Northam has lost his effectiveness to govern.

He promptly admitted he'd darkened his face to mimic Michael Jackson—an episode no one even knew about—and apologized for doing so. What further should Wortham have done to atone for that sin?

He was getting ready to demonstrate the moonwalk when his wife stopped him. A successful demo would've gone a long way towards reconciliation … or, maybe not.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: February 10, 2019 01:24PM
....but Michael Jackson was white....??



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 10, 2019 01:35PM


You decide…
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 10, 2019 04:18PM
Prevailing theory was the Jackson's plastic surgery was done to make him look more like his idol, Diana Ross.

But now I'm seeing something else...





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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: max
Date: February 11, 2019 10:50AM
Quote
$tevie
I was at a Halloween party decades ago where a friend showed up in blackface. His joke was that his costume portrayed "his neighbors". I don't know how he felt when he went into the living room and saw that the party was definitely not all white. Everyone kind of ignored the elephant in the room and I think he left after maybe an hour. There was a lot of post mortem among our group, but nobody ever called him on it to his face, I guess because it was just too weird to want to revisit. We all acted like it never happened. I imagine that may be a typical reaction, which leaves the person wearing the blackface able to pretend it was no big deal.

Nobody I ever knew has worn blackface, it simply never even occurred to them as something they would contemplate doing.
Apparently, wearing blackface is a major rite of passage in the "liberal", wannabe progressive circles....




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship."
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: February 11, 2019 11:40AM
Quote
Sarcany
Prevailing theory was the Jackson's plastic surgery was done to make him look more like his idol, Diana Ross.

But now I'm seeing something else...


His Grandma?




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: bfd
Date: February 11, 2019 12:05PM
Quote
max
Quote
$tevie
I was at a Halloween party decades ago where a friend showed up in blackface. His joke was that his costume portrayed "his neighbors". I don't know how he felt when he went into the living room and saw that the party was definitely not all white. Everyone kind of ignored the elephant in the room and I think he left after maybe an hour. There was a lot of post mortem among our group, but nobody ever called him on it to his face, I guess because it was just too weird to want to revisit. We all acted like it never happened. I imagine that may be a typical reaction, which leaves the person wearing the blackface able to pretend it was no big deal.

Nobody I ever knew has worn blackface, it simply never even occurred to them as something they would contemplate doing.
Apparently, wearing blackface is a major rite of passage in the "liberal", wannabe progressive circles....

… maximus minimus and his traveling flea circus…



Simply put, you know nothing about what simply never even occurred to them unless you're a mind reader, and it's pretty apparent that you're not.

As to whether wearing blackface is a major rite of passage in liberal, wannabe progressive circles, it would appear be yet another attempt at humor by one who might be better off sticking to posting travelogue pictures of noodle soup.
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: February 11, 2019 12:16PM
Quote
bfd
...one who might be better off sticking to posting travelogue pictures of noodle soup.

smiley-laughing001
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Re: She's a My Blackface, Too…
Posted by: max
Date: February 12, 2019 09:21AM
quote=DeusxMac]
idiot :smiley:[/quote]
Quote
bfd
Simply put, you know nothing about what simply never even occurred to them unless you're a mind reader, and it's pretty apparent that you're not.
quote=DeusxMac]
:smiley:[/quote]
Simply put by simpletons unable to understand that one tends to attract the company that represents them.
Living in NYC and working my way through school, my friends, the company I kept was a picture of the vast diversity of different races, philosophies, views and ideas and your defense of your racism would have no place in it....




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship."
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