Video surfaces of Canadian Prime Minister in blackface

That isn’t my question.

Yeah, my main takeaway from this topic and the previous one is that you don’t have to be the son of a wealthy world leader to be a privilege-blind liberal or progressive white guy. The mental gymnastics I’ve observed here in service of ensuring that the right of the poor downtrodden white man to express himself however he likes without having his feelings hurt by criticism (or to deny there’s a problem at all) must be exhausting.

I’ve already put one person on Ignore because this topic confirmed that his main goal in topics about racism and sexism here is making bad-faith excuses for crappy behaviour, and now I think I’ll just switch the topic from Tracking to Normal.


Whooooooo? What are you talking about?

Are you saying black kids whiten their faces to play Ryker? Anyone? When has anyone seen a black kid whiten their face to play a white Star Trek character that was coded as a white person?

Do you mean Data? Making a white kid corpse-white to play an android is NOT “exactly the same” as making a white kid look like a black person.

I hope you see the difference.


I think it is. You just haven’t fully grasped that yet.


It’s not that they are “hurting” individual feelings (as if that only should not be reason enough!!!), but it perpetuates racism as an acceptable world view.

In short, THIS. if you think that a kid not being able to darken their skin is a worse tragedy than ongoing racism, which INCLUDES blackface, then perhaps you need to reexamine your priorities a bit.

The answer is still that it isn’t the world we live in and for blackface NOT to be something that inherently disrespectful (at the very least), we would have to live in a very different world, with a very different history. We DO NOT live in a world that is free from racism, and free from a very specific historical meaning to blackface. So your question doesn’t get us very far in understand why what Justin Trudeau did is problematic. It only serves to derail and belittle the issue of racism in our popular culture, which has a very strong role in keeping such systems alive and well in our modern era.


… which is what Ali G very obviously is, and that aspect of the character is played for laughs many times on the show.


I don’t think it would be. I think it’s important for kids to learn to take into account how their behavior affects others.

The worrying will make the world a better place.


Our history goes back more than 300 years, and if one thing is certain, it’s dragging our children into racial tensions doesn’t cause anything good to happen. It’s all bad. Kids try to get along with children from other “races”, noting things from a relatively innocent perspective, like “that person has a different skin color”, and we dump all of human history on them.
I’m not saying we should forget the past, but it can’t hurt to look for productive ways to move forward, besides ongoing tensions based on skin color.

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Wtf is the deal with rich white guys‘ desire to put on blackface? It’s such a simple thing to not do and one of the few ways someone truly privileged can fuck things up for themselves these days. What’s the seemingly irresistible appeal?


I was talking in general terms, as my later reference to native Americans should indicate. To the extent I meant a certain word it would have been “negro” which I was afraid to even spell out, but apparently is still somewhat acceptable.

The context was cosplay, not stereotyping. I thought I had made it clear I didn’t like people dressing up just to mock black people. You seem to focus on misunderstanding just so you can be properly upset.

You tell me, I think we have established that I don’t really understand what makes black people upset. What would happen if a white American politician started talking about “negroes” in Congress?

Wikipedia has a passage about how acceptable words have changed over time. There was a time when “black” was considered the more offensive term.

This is a great argument for not making racial skin color a part of a kid’s Halloween costume.

Good point!


Maybe it would help to think about this in a different way.

Putting greasepaint on your kid would not actually make him look like Geordi La Forge. He would look like a kid in greasepaint. If your kid really wanted to look just like Geordi La Forge he would have to wear a latex mask, or one of those horrible plastic injection masks – and even then he would look like a kid wearing a mask with Geordi’s face on it.

When we dress up in costume we know that we are not going to actually end up looking exactly like whomever. What we try to do is convey what we think are the important aspects of that person (which would obviously be Geordi’s eye-visor and a star trek uniform – you got those two things and anyone would know who you were meant to be). Suggesting that one would need to resort to greasepaint to convey who a character was who happened to have dark skin suggests that the colour of their skin is actually the most important thing about them. You can see why that’s problematic.


Ignoring the last 300 years of American History isn’t the way to address the problem.

Imagine your daughter is going to attend her best friend’s bat-mitzvah at the local temple and wants to wear these cool earrings a pen pal sent her from India:


Do you A) Figure “eh, no harm intended” and let her wear the earrings without warning her why they might a bad idea, or B) Explain that the specific historical context behind this symbol would make those earrings likely to cause offense regardless of her personal intent?


That was me. I did the same search. You get the difference between pale makeup for vampire/zombie/alien/clown/Queen Amidala/Queen Elizabeth is different than a Mediterranean-complexioned person using pale makeup to look Scandinavian, right? Because that search brought up hundreds examples of the former and zero examples of the latter. So, no, you didn’t get results of people with one skin tone trying to look like a generic real person with a different skintone.


When talking about the term historically, it’s fine. I would not suggest calling the black folks you know IRL “negro” however.

There is no reasons to use blackface. None.

That can come through, even if it’s not the intent. Again, if your concerns about people being able to do what they want is more important than how your actions creates a more hostile world, you really should think about that. I’m very certain that dressing like La Forge does not need blackface, that the visor and uniform are more than enough.

Don’t give me that bullshit.

You seem to feel like they are out to get you.

Maybe read a book, maybe listen to what African Americans say about this and other issues that impact their lives, like blackface. The answers are out there, for people who want to better understand, but given your responses to me and others here, you do not seem genuinely interested in learning.

You do realize that black kids get “dragged into racial tensions” no matter what? That black children are punished at higher rates from pre-school, that they are more likely to grow up in impoverished conditions, more prone to environmentally based illnesses (Flint, Newark are but two examples), are more likely to be tried as adults… etc. Black kids get “dragged into racial tensions” in a way that their parents do not have the PRIVILEGE of protecting them from. But you clearly have no interest in addressing that.

Once again, IGNORING RACISM will do nothing to fix it. That’s like saying that ignoring a cancer diagnosis will lead to remission. Ignoring the past and the current racial situation WILL NOT FIX IT. All it does is make white people feel more comfortable. Well, guess what - racism does MORE than make black people feel uncomfortable. It impacts every aspects of their lives in ways that can’t be avoided. if you’re not willing to be part of the process of helping to correct that, then at least acknowledge that and stop getting the way of people who want to fix it by constantly belitting the real struggles of oppressed peoples.


Obligatory for this thread:


Not sure if it was said. But another amazing factor was DS9 brought in the dirty non-utopian parts of society too. You had back alley deals and weapons dealing and all sorts of fun real time 20tg century type happenings.

I liked that because it felt more real to me as a result.


I think this can be distilled down into two words I don’t think I’ve seen in this thread yet…


Racism is systemic, fueled by bigotry and the personal biases of a sufficient number of people in a society, mainly in the effort to maintain control over those we wish to exploit and/or harm. In our current timeline, the oppressors are generally white.
Racism is a method, bigotry the tool, and blackface is the symptom.


What? NO! That doesn’t exist! We’re all equal, and we know that because the constitution says so, and that is the only reality that matters! /s


Paul Mooney very apt disappointed face.