There is still the question of why a black actor COULD NOT play the role.
Doesn’t make it and the society that produced that reality any less racist. That’s the whole point, it’s racist due to the blackface connection, and it’s racist because of who is being denied roles that are specifically characters of color. We’re STILL having these issues, where “big names sell” being used as the lazy excuse for not casting characters of color or LBGQT actors. Take Pose, a show about LBGQT lives - the entire case almost is made up of LBGQT people of color and it’s getting all sorts of awards and accolades because it’s a bang up show. They did it right, seeking out people who have historically been marginalized on screen and giving them roles that mirror their real lives.
Just because that’s how it was does not mean that we can’t understand that how it was was wrong.
We can’t ignore racism, because if we do, we only perpetuate it. It’s all well and good to say “we’re all the same” but when the LIVE REALITY of one group of people based on some aspect of their lives they have no control over, and that has been defined in a particular way by the power structure for centuries at this point, that has disempowered that group, and created a situation where they are by that second class citizens, just ignoring that is not going to work. You have to do ACTUAL WORK that acknowledges the past and actively changes the system that has kept things they way they are for a very long time. Just saying “race doesn’t matter” when it has mattered very much for a long time and continues to matter with regards to how power is distributed in society, only reinforces racist structures. We have to dismantle the racist structures if we want a future where race truly does not matter. Saying that individuals in power doing racist things is okay, because we should ignore race ONLY reinforces the racism that STILL exists in our society.
FFS, mass incarceration, police violence against black Americans, subtle forms of racism, the concentration camps on the border, the murder of black trans women… all of these are real things happening to real people, and they are related to racial structures in our society. If we don’t attend to the specific issues, we only sweep it under the rug. This is exactly what the Cubans did. Officially, racism is over, but if you go there and see what’s actually happening, it’s crystal clear that Afro-cubans are still second class citizens because of their skin color.