7 Blackface Visuals That Show America's Racist Past
Blackface is a major part of America's racist narrative
February 14, 2019 at 2:07 am
In the past few weeks, offensive blackface has surfaced in the form of Gucci turtlenecks, Katy Perry’s ugly shoes, and Moncler Sambo coats, and blackface-themed photographs featuring two members of the Baton Rouge police, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, respectively. All instances have caused public outcry, garnering somewhat of an apology from each offender. Oftentimes, outrage is a common reaction to this surprisingly common offense, yet so many seem to forget that the common denominator among the brands and people listed is the caucasity to entertain blackface in the first place.
According to Pew Research Center, a recent survey revealed that 34 percent of the nation believes demonstrating blackface is A-OK. At the rate of current blackface revelations, it’s safe to assume the reported percentage is greater than it suggests, and that the dismissals, half-ass apologies, silence and pretense for which they shuck and jive, exemplifies white fragility — the very thing that keeps white folks like Northam, who waxed ignorantly through his blackface debacle, from owning up to racist bullshit — no cap.
The best of whiteness has trouble seeing themselves as trash; possibly because they're using the worst of whiteness — white supremacist such like the Ku Klux Klan — as their metric. As disgustingly hateful as the KKK, Unite the Right and other independent white supremacists happen to be, they are honest to a fault about where they stand on racial politics, unlike many white liberals and left wingers, who are deceivingly covert with theirs. We are witnessing this through the subtleties and cowardice of their recent blackface findings.
An apologetic Herring reasoned that his blackface was an ode; that he was channeling old school rapper Kurtis Blow. Joy Behar of The View claims similar, according to the Washington Examiner, when she darkened her skin to dress as a "beautiful African woman" one Halloween. These weren't blind acts. Both of them know better, but neither of them had the conscience, nor restraint to refrain from blackfacing. Even so-called allies have trouble suppressing this — a lot of them just can’t. Such is the case when they mock, play and deride black folks.
“Imitating perceived blackness is arguably the central metaphor for what it means to be American,” author William T. Lhamon says in his book Jump Jim Crow.
Projections of blackface and racist imagery is synonymous with American whiteness — the best and it’s worse. It is quite possibly where the two are most evenly yoked. After all, digesting such large doses of Black excellence must be terribly hard, because blackface has been a thing since early Reconstruction, which pretty much marks the incarnation of ole Jim Crow.
Therefore, the retail reincarnations of blackface and the old school throwbacks are literal throwbacks of white American culture — and they are not even the worst. White culture been commodifying blackface, and been trolling n****s with it, too. Here are seven visuals that show the blackface jiving of white America throughout American history.