Video surfaces of Canadian Prime Minister in blackface

nailed it

I agree that there are probably precious few people who imagine that Justin is some kind of closet klansman, but this puts shade on his whole woke personna and reminds voters of his rich boy origins, which were never a selling point.


If you haven’t heard an answer to this question before, then let me tell you that a white person wearing dark makeup in any effort to look “like a black person” bothers people.


Even that one is tricky as the result tends to be that you stop using an old word as derogatory and invent a new one, and after a while that one too is seen as derogatory and can’t be used. As long as the underlying attitudes remain, banning words is like a dog chasing its own tail. MLK used the n-word as it was considered normal at that time, today it’s a slur that will get you punched in the face. Banning words or people from cosplaying as a black person may feel good, but it doesn’t really solve anything. Sometimes all you get is confusion when people don’t know what word they can use without insulting anyone.

I have no problem being upset about racism that directly affect people’s lives. People being shot or arrested while doing nothing wrong, or at least something so trivial the police would just look the other way if a white person did it. Having to drink leaded water because it was cheaper and who cares about poor people anyway? I’m just not a big fan of these big fights over purely symbolic issues. Read Jingo, by Terry Pratchett? When Vimes is confronted by a foreign ambassador about the meaning of a racial slur, and instead of either getting angry they just start a polite discussion comparing slurs their countries use about each other?

Please tell me you’re not talking about the word “negro”.


And if you’re a White person who still does this knowing that it bothers some people, (or even feigning ignorance that it does) that’s what makes you a bigoted ASSHOLE.

Racist bigotry is much more than just burning crosses and marching with tiki torches.


Washing your hands is tricky. I mean, they are just going to get dirty again, right? Seems like a dog chasing it’s tail.

Life is a Sisyphean struggle with no purpose. It’s still wrong to use racial slurs (or wear blackface).


If you’re still causing offense by wearing blackface and using “certain words” to refer to black people then it’s not a matter of you being “confused,” it’s a matter of you making a conscious choice to engage in behavior you know to be offensive.



And people who actively make such choices are clearly signifying where they stand in the struggle for actual equality and progress; with the enemies of those very concepts.


It’s brain science.

That wasn’t a question, I saw your point was that people need to be more sensitive to that, and I agree with you. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Someone made a comment yesterday about how white people don’t wear makeup to make themselves look more white, even for pale characters, and they asked something like, “why would they darken their skin for dark characters”? I did a quick Google search for “pale makeup cosplay”, and got all kinds of results from people of different skin tones.

So, I’m wondering, do you think the world would be a better place if everyone was ok with kids using makeup to color their skin for costumes/cosplay?

If so, what do you think would have to happen for that to change?

Yeah, @Bernel, are you talking about the word “negro”? That’s not the n-word. The n-word, the one that really hurts people, has always been a slur. There are contexts in which it would make sense for MLK to say that word, such as paraphrasing racist white people talking about black people, but it’s incorrect to say that MLK used the n-word. To use that word is to employ it as a tool of oppression. (There’e also a closely related word in AAVE that has a variety of context-dependent meanings, and it’s also called the n-word, but I don’t think that’s the word you had in mind).


You cut away the part where I mentioned how what words are considered acceptable change over time. When one word that has been used suddenly start to be perceived as offensive there tends to be a period where it’s easy not to know what word is best. “Redskin” is clearly out, to the extent if was ever acceptable, but I think there is still controversy about whether “Native American” or “American Indian” is the proper term to take an example.

Same with “blackface” that used to mean only the “minstrel” type parody, which I have no problem understanding why people find offensive, but now includes darkening your skin for whatever purpose (except, maybe, getting a tan), and who knows, tomorrow may include even dressing in imitation of a black person.

No one is talking about banning the use of make-up, as make-up.

People don’t want you to use make-up in an attempt to look like a black person.

Everyone already is okay with kids using makeup to color their skin for costumes/cosplay.

Just not to make white people look like black people.

A kindergarten of Shreks is always fine. A kindergarten of white kids painted to look like fake African warriors is a horror show that makes those kids more likely to treat black people as de-humanized others in life.


Yes, and as I understand it, that is not a safe word to use any more, even if the other n-word is worse. I thought the abbreviation could be used for both. Not that I’ve tried using either.

Do you honestly think that African Americans EVER found that word “acceptable” when it came from white people? EVER. Given it’s assocation with slavery and second class citizenship, and the endless horrific violence that went along with those?

Do you not think that dressing in some stereotype of a black person without black face would also be offensive?

No, but see, it’s ALL about changing one’s appearance, so it’s just like blackface! /s

What do you think would happen if someone used it?

Saying the n-word has a specific connotation.


And? Trudeau wasn’t a time traveler from 1865.


He’s not? Oh shit!


He’s Canadian, so his time travel is probably cut off at 1867.

Don’t judge me, I needed a little laugh in the face of all this “confusion about the rules.”


I understand that it’s not ok at this point in time. If my son wants to cosplay as his favourite Star Trek character (Geordi La Forge), he can’t put makeup on in exactly the same way other people lighten their skin for characters played by white actors, because going white to black is racist.
I’m just asking for your opinion, out of curiosity: Do you think the world would be a better place if kids could do that without worrying they’d hurt someone?
and, if so, what would it take for that to happen?

If your question is “would the world be a better place if the last several hundred years worth of racism never happened?” then the answer is yes.

That is not the world we live in. Nor is it one that we should pretend we live in.