Why is George Zimmerman allowed to roam free tonight?

Prederick wrote:
Stengah wrote:

"Sorry you were offended" is sometimes a reasonable "apology" to give.

Bleargh. I'd rather they just told me I was wrong and to go f*ck myself. "Sorry you were offended" is possibly the most dickish, passive-aggressive non-apology out there..

That's generally what I mean when I say it, and why I put "apology" in quotes. Though usually it's more "I think you're overreacting/missing the point and I'm not going to stop just to soothe your feelings" instead of "go f*ck yourself." I suppose it's the same train of thought, just with less harsh language.

Stengah wrote:

To get it back to the reason I brought it up: they had a valid story reason for doing it, so was it racist for them to try? Would it be less offensive if they had done a better job of it?

Well, there's actually an Asian-American advocacy group that can explain their feelings on the matter.

"Cloud Atlas missed a great opportunity. The Korea story’s protagonist is an Asian man--an action hero who defies the odds and holds off armies of attackers," Guy Aoki, MANAA's founding president, said in a statement. "He’s the one who liberates [a clone played by actress] Doona Bae from her repressive life and encourages her to join the resistance against the government. It would have been a great, stereotype-busting role for an Asian American actor to play, as Asian American men aren’t allowed to be dynamic or heroic very often."

Instead, it is Jim Sturgess who plays that role, while Hugo Weaving and James D'Arcy are also cast as Asian actors. Not only is the MANAA upset about the lack of Asian actors involved, but also at how little they believe was done to transform actors of other races into convincing Asian characters.

"It appears that to turn white and black actors into Asian characters (black actor Keith David was also Asian in the 2144 story), the make-up artists believed they only had to change their eyes, not their facial structure and complexion," Aoki said.

The Village Voice's Michael Musto didn't agree, but posted the full text of their protest there.

Prederick wrote:
Stengah wrote:

"Sorry you were offended" is sometimes a reasonable "apology" to give.

Bleargh. I'd rather they just told me I was wrong and to go f*ck myself. "Sorry you were offended" is possibly the most dickish, passive-aggressive non-apology out there. I may not like John Derbyshire, but at least the man has the conviction to stand behind his beliefs. On a certain level, I can respect that.

Stengah wrote:

To get it back to the reason I brought it up: they had a valid story reason for doing it, so was it racist for them to try? Would it be less offensive if they had done a better job of it?

Well, there's actually an Asian-American advocacy group that can explain their feelings on the matter.

"Cloud Atlas missed a great opportunity. The Korea story’s protagonist is an Asian man--an action hero who defies the odds and holds off armies of attackers," Guy Aoki, MANAA's founding president, said in a statement. "He’s the one who liberates [a clone played by actress] Doona Bae from her repressive life and encourages her to join the resistance against the government. It would have been a great, stereotype-busting role for an Asian American actor to play, as Asian American men aren’t allowed to be dynamic or heroic very often."

Instead, it is Jim Sturgess who plays that role, while Hugo Weaving and James D'Arcy are also cast as Asian actors. Not only is the MANAA upset about the lack of Asian actors involved, but also at how little they believe was done to transform actors of other races into convincing Asian characters.

"It appears that to turn white and black actors into Asian characters (black actor Keith David was also Asian in the 2144 story), the make-up artists believed they only had to change their eyes, not their facial structure and complexion," Aoki said.

The Village Voice's Michael Musto didn't agree, but posted the full text of their protest there.

And the basis of their complaint was that it was so badly done. So going by that, Yonder's suggestion of a really well done makeup job to make a white guy look black as part of a Lando costume should be borderline-okay, shouldn't it?

I really don't get the "I don't intend it to be racist" thing. Did someone hold you down and apply the face paint?

People seem to think that the racist line is drawn at the point you wear blackface with hate in your heart. It's not. It's drawn at the point you decide you know better than the people you're upsetting and you're going to do something you know offends them because you think your right to do what you want trumps everything.

It's patronising, It's selfish, It's entitled, And that's racism.

Yonder, I understand you're saying that the intention doesn't have to be malicious. What I'm saying is that it really doesn't matter how innocent the white persons intention is. Let's also be honest here and say that any white person who has a true understanding of blackface would know that its not acceptable. So those who do use blackface are either ignorant of it's history or using it maliciously and ignorance is not an sufficient excuse. When it was used as a vehicle for nothing other than denigrating the intelligence if black folks, the very concept of blackface is malicious and therefore the maliciousness of it by nature supersedes any "innocent" and infantile use of it as a Halloween costume. In fact, I would say that using it as a Halloween costume is extremely offensive because it attempts to use a historically racist and denigrating caricature of an entire group of people for the purposes of entertainment.

Anyone claiming that I am victim blaming when I say white people who dress in black face could get their ass beat and would deserve it are missing one crucial point. Namely, who the victim is. The initial transgression was dressing in blackface, not the person getting their ass beat. In Layman's terms, blackface is racist regardless of the ignorance of the person using it. We have established that. So by dressing in blackface, you're engaging in racist behavior. If you get your ass beat it is because you were being racist. It's not the same as a woman who gets raped for wearing clothing. Not even in the same ballpark. Same thing with shaving your head. I can shave my head tomorrow and it doesn't mean I'm a neo-nazi. My wife could wear a short skirt and a revealing top and it doesn't mean she wants men to force sex on her. But given the history of blackface, in what manner it was used and actually created for, it was only used for one thing: to denigrate the intelligence of black people. So if you use it you have a responsibility to know that. If you don't or go through with it anyway, you will get your ass beat and you will deserve it.

Think of it as a new version of the White Man's Burden. Instead of it's original racist meaning of bringing civility to non-whites, let's revise it to mean growing up and bringing some racial sensitivity and civility to ourselves. If we are unwilling to take responsibility for learning the truths about other races of people and historically what whites might have done to marginalize them, maybe we should just take a pass on trying to portray them using racist methods and pick the ninja costume instead.

Maq wrote:

I really don't get the "I don't intend it to be racist" thing. Did someone hold you down and apply the face paint?

People seem to think that the racist line is drawn at the point you wear blackface with hate in your heart. It's not. It's drawn at the point you decide you know better than the people you're upsetting and you're going to do something you know offends them because you think your right to do what you want trumps everything.

It's patronising, It's selfish, It's entitled, And that's racism.

That skirts a bit too close to using someone being offended as a trump card for me. I mean, there are people out there who are offended by interracial couples, gay couples, and even just people who look different than them being in their general vicinity, and I know no one here's suggesting anyone alter their behavior to appease them. So yeah, your right to do something does trump at least their right to not be offended. Of course, that doesn't mean your immune to any consequences that might follow from offending people.

While intent doesn't negate interpretation, I think the reverse needs to be true too. They ought to temper each other, so that someone who meant well but still caused offense doesn't get put in the same group as someone who was intentionally being offensive. Remember that Yonder's not talking about using blackface in it's traditional form; he's talking about using makeup to look like a specific character, not a caricature. Personally I think the level of effort required to ensure you do a good job of it is rarely worth whatever gains in costume accuracy you'd get unless you have a very good reason for it. A Halloween or cosplay costume wouldn't be a good reason to risk causing that much offense. Doing it for something professional like a movie or a play raises the question of why, if having the right skin color is absolutely necessary for the performance, didn't they cast someone that already had it? And even if you do end up having a really good reason for it, you should be prepared for people to be offended anyway just due to the history of it.

FSeven wrote:

Anyone claiming that I am victim blaming when I say white people who dress in black face could get their ass beat and would deserve it are missing one crucial point. Namely, who the victim is. The initial transgression was dressing in blackface, not the person getting their ass beat. In Layman's terms, blackface is racist regardless of the ignorance of the person using it. We have established that. So by dressing in blackface, you're engaging in racist behavior. If you get your ass beat it is because you were being racist. It's not the same as a woman who gets raped for wearing clothing. Not even in the same ballpark. Same thing with shaving your head. I can shave my head tomorrow and it doesn't mean I'm a neo-nazi. My wife could wear a short skirt and a revealing top and it doesn't mean she wants men to force sex on her. But given the history of blackface, in what manner it was used and actually created for, it was only used for one thing: to denigrate the intelligence of black people. So if you use it you have a responsibility to know that. If you don't or go through with it anyway, you will get your ass beat and you will deserve it.

Nope, it absolutely does not deserve getting your ass beat. It deserves plenty of scorn and criticism, but never physical violence.

Stengah wrote:
Maq wrote:

I really don't get the "I don't intend it to be racist" thing. Did someone hold you down and apply the face paint?

People seem to think that the racist line is drawn at the point you wear blackface with hate in your heart. It's not. It's drawn at the point you decide you know better than the people you're upsetting and you're going to do something you know offends them because you think your right to do what you want trumps everything.

It's patronising, It's selfish, It's entitled, And that's racism.

That skirts a bit too close to using someone being offended as a trump card for me. I mean, there are people out there who are offended by interracial couples, gay couples, and even just people who look different than them being in their general vicinity, and I know no one here's suggesting anyone alter their behavior to appease them. So yeah, your right to do something does trump at least their right to not be offended.

No. That's your right to be something that offends someone else.

Remember that Yonder's not talking about using blackface in it's traditional form; he's talking about using makeup to look like a specific character, not a caricature.

Painting the skin dark to appear as a black person is blackface. "Doing a good job" and "not being racist" doesn't remove the term from use.

The jerk who dressed as Trayvon Martin for Halloween? Blackface.

Julianne Hough wearing dark makeup for her Crazy Eyes costume? Blackface.

Robert Downey JR in Tropic Thunder? Well done Blackface.

Having a well done makeup job (won't happen) or refusing to use colors that are ridiculously dark (pitch black, Halloween black) doesn't remove the possibility of racist intent. How would anyone know that someone wearing dark makeup to look like a black person isn't a racist or trying to be offensive?

Because of our history, because people keep using all kinds of makeup colors for racist depictions (not just tar black), because people will use "tar black" as a skin color for their black character without intending to be racist (easier? Cheaper? It's just Halloween?)... The first impression is gonna be "blackface" and I have a 50/50 chance of being right.

This issue must be something that comes up every year. I did a quick search and found a few articles with people who used blackface this year. Someone collected a few images: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...

Oh, and Julianne Hough apologized:

"I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize," Hough tweeted.
Maq wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Maq wrote:

I really don't get the "I don't intend it to be racist" thing. Did someone hold you down and apply the face paint?

People seem to think that the racist line is drawn at the point you wear blackface with hate in your heart. It's not. It's drawn at the point you decide you know better than the people you're upsetting and you're going to do something you know offends them because you think your right to do what you want trumps everything.

It's patronising, It's selfish, It's entitled, And that's racism.

That skirts a bit too close to using someone being offended as a trump card for me. I mean, there are people out there who are offended by interracial couples, gay couples, and even just people who look different than them being in their general vicinity, and I know no one here's suggesting anyone alter their behavior to appease them. So yeah, your right to do something does trump at least their right to not be offended.

No. That's your right to be something that offends someone else.

People wearing blackface are exercising their right to be racist jerks. When I say it trumps people's right to not be offended I'm not implying that the offended parties have to just sit there and accept it, just that they can't legally force them to stop except in very specific circumstances. They could try to liken wearing blackface to "fighting words" but if they don't apply to the Westboro Baptist Church I can't see them applying to blackface (unless they were wearing blackface with the intention of provoking a fight). The offended parties can apply all sorts of other means to try to get them to stop, though. Public shaming can be very effective.

Mystic Violet wrote:

Oh, and Julianne Hough apologized:

"I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize," Hough tweeted.

I've been meaning to bring that up, but I couldn't remember her name. That's how an adult behaves when they do something ill-considered.

It's very sad that something that is intended as a heart felt tribute gets painted with the same brush as minstrel shows, but that's the nature of the world in which we live. People have lived under social oppression for centuries, so when a person of privilege does something dumb because they don't understand the connotation of their actions they need to own the mistake and learn from it.

Mystic Violet wrote:
Remember that Yonder's not talking about using blackface in it's traditional form; he's talking about using makeup to look like a specific character, not a caricature.

Painting the skin dark to appear as a black person is blackface. "Doing a good job" and "not being racist" doesn't remove the term from use.

The jerk who dressed as Trayvon Martin for Halloween? Blackface.

Julianne Hough wearing dark makeup for her Crazy Eyes costume? Blackface.

Robert Downey JR in Tropic Thunder? Well done Blackface.

Having a well done makeup job (won't happen) or refusing to use colors that are ridiculously dark (pitch black, Halloween black) doesn't remove the possibility of racist intent. How would anyone know that someone wearing dark makeup to look like a black person isn't a racist or trying to be offensive?

Because of our history, because people keep using all kinds of makeup colors for racist depictions (not just tar black), because people will use "tar black" as a skin color for their black character without intending to be racist (easier? Cheaper? It's just Halloween?)... The first impression is gonna be "blackface" and I have a 50/50 chance of being right.

Didn't we already establish earlier that blackface was specifically the tar black stuff?

FSeven wrote:

Refers to tar pitch.

The other thing is called tanning. Extreme forms of which are Oranging. See: Jersey Shore.

Mystic Violet wrote:

The makeup is pitch black so people will know right away what the person is trying to accomplish. Hiring a make up artist to create dark yet realistic body color would have the same effect.

Yonder already said that was indefensible, and was merely suggesting that it's possible to do skin darkening makeup without it being inherently racist, but that it'd depend on the implementation.

As for

How would anyone know that someone wearing dark makeup to look like a black person isn't a racist or trying to be offensive?

Context. If the context doesn't clarify it, they could always ask. That said, I don't think anyone would be wrong for just defaulting to thinking it was racist. People wearing makeup to change their skin color need to be able to accept, and be prepared for, people to think they're being a racist jerk. And just to head it off, thinking someone is being a racist jerk still doesn't mean it's okay to hit them for it.

Stengah wrote:
Maq wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Maq wrote:

I really don't get the "I don't intend it to be racist" thing. Did someone hold you down and apply the face paint?

People seem to think that the racist line is drawn at the point you wear blackface with hate in your heart. It's not. It's drawn at the point you decide you know better than the people you're upsetting and you're going to do something you know offends them because you think your right to do what you want trumps everything.

It's patronising, It's selfish, It's entitled, And that's racism.

That skirts a bit too close to using someone being offended as a trump card for me. I mean, there are people out there who are offended by interracial couples, gay couples, and even just people who look different than them being in their general vicinity, and I know no one here's suggesting anyone alter their behavior to appease them. So yeah, your right to do something does trump at least their right to not be offended.

No. That's your right to be something that offends someone else.

People wearing blackface are exercising their right to be racist jerks.

Yes. That's what I was saying. I think you think I was saying something else.

I said that claiming you don't mean to be racist but doing a racist thing because you have the right to do what you want still means you're being racist.

Maq wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Maq wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Maq wrote:

I really don't get the "I don't intend it to be racist" thing. Did someone hold you down and apply the face paint?

People seem to think that the racist line is drawn at the point you wear blackface with hate in your heart. It's not. It's drawn at the point you decide you know better than the people you're upsetting and you're going to do something you know offends them because you think your right to do what you want trumps everything.

It's patronising, It's selfish, It's entitled, And that's racism.

That skirts a bit too close to using someone being offended as a trump card for me. I mean, there are people out there who are offended by interracial couples, gay couples, and even just people who look different than them being in their general vicinity, and I know no one here's suggesting anyone alter their behavior to appease them. So yeah, your right to do something does trump at least their right to not be offended.

No. That's your right to be something that offends someone else.

People wearing blackface are exercising their right to be racist jerks.

Yes. That's what I was saying. I think you think I was saying something else.

I said that claiming you don't mean to be racist but doing a racist thing because you have the right to do what you want still means you're being racist.

Yeah, I thought you were saying people weren't allowed to do things that offend other people.

We're ultimately talking about two slightly different situations. You're looking at it as being about someone who knows they're being offensive but doesn't care. I'm looking at it as being about someone who doesn't realize that what they're doing is offensive, much like what Hough did. I'm a fan of telling the latter group that what they did seemed racist instead of telling them that they are being racist. It gives them a chance to explain themselves and is less likely to make them get defensive. While it's offensive even if it wasn't intentional, I think for it to be racist the offense needs to be intentional.

stengah wrote:

Didn't we already establish earlier that blackface was specifically the tar black stuff?

FSeven wrote:

Refers to tar pitch.

The other thing is called tanning. Extreme forms of which are Oranging. See: Jersey Shore.

It's the history of Blackface that makes it offensive for a white person to paint their skin with makeup to be a black person.

The other photos posted here are labeled and described as blackface for that reason. That's why people were offended by the "not really dark" Crazy Eyes costume and the "kinda dark" Jamaican Bobsled Team are now facing consequences. Those are both considered blackface too.

A racist doesn't have to use tar black to be racist. They can and have used "not really dark" and "kinda dark". That'll also be labeled "blackface."

No one is stopping anyone from wearing dark makeup to be racist or dress up like a black character. Those folks in the link I posted wore dark makeup either just for fun or racism and both groups are facing some consequences as a result of those choices.

Mystic Violet wrote:

This issue must be something that comes up every year. I did a quick search and found a few articles with people who used blackface this year. Someone collected a few images: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...

Oh, and Julianne Hough apologized:

"I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize," Hough tweeted.

Honestly that was the only person on that link that I think deserved any respect. First off she was admiring a character not turning them into a joke, and then apologized when she realized what she did was offensive.

P&C Fall cleaning! This thread is no longer about the original post.