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Is this impression of Serena Williams a form of blackface?

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Holy crap. It's like there's a collective cultural amnesia to forget just how black people have been portrayed in Western white cultures.

That's not exclusive to black women tho. Latin women around these parts are portrayed in a similar fashion. In fact most inner city women are portrayed that way, regardless of color.

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America? Lets talk about America. We have about 35 million african americans and 35 million hispanics and 30 million assorted ethnicities living in close proximity to the rest of the Caucasian population. This means that everyone in the US is exposed to the kinds of interracial interactions in numbers that very few other nations can match. Not Canada, not the UK, but the US. So maybe folks from other countries can at least acknowledge that many people in America have a more nuanced take on racial issues (and yes, also a more sensitive radar).

This has nothing to do with 'liberal guilt' or the 'race card', the latter of which is shorthand for nothing.

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It's been established that pro athletes of all sports do this same thing at various opportunities based on how they run, swing a bat, shoot a ball, whatever it is. It's been done in golf (linked in the thread), baseball, etc etc etc.

For those thinking that this is indeed racist, in this instance, how would Woz have imitated Serena without it being racist?

There is no was she could do a mocking imitation of Serena without being called racist...none.

By the way, I guess I need to bone up on my stereotypes, other than Six Mix-A-Lot I have not seen much commentary on the large breasts and posteriors of black women. I have trouble imagining the clan meeting where This comes up. "Goddamn Coy, look at them giant tits on her, that's disgusting."

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Holy crap. It's like there's a collective cultural amnesia to forget just how black people have been portrayed in Western white cultures. Is this truly ignorance, or just a willful desire to ignore the ugly historical bits?

As Thlalyi pointed out right below, some of those examples of "sociological images" of "fetishized black women's behinds" are being perpetrated (reclaimed?) by other blacks - like Nelly, who started Apple Bottom clothes (with the tagline: a woman should not try to fit the clothes, the clothes should fit the woman).*

Which is only to suggest this: Observations of historical racism are a tool; people should use them to inform (not dictate) their thinking about current representations, as one piece of data amongst many other pieces of data. I think it's entirely fair for people to weigh all of these potential data points differently based upon their own experiences, exposure to racism, beliefs about the person engaging in the representation, etc. and so on, but we are all doing a disservice to each other by insisting that the informational value of the historical depiction is either 0 (it doesn't exist or doesn't matter) or 100 (it completely determines, to the absolute exclusion of everything else, the interpretation).

*Edited to add that I am fully aware this only complicates the issue by bringing sexism and the exploitation of women by market systems into the mix.

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Obviously our President has never been mocked without being called racist, I remember all the SNL skits that were never aired. Its a pity we are so sensititve...

I'll be here all week providing counterexamples, don't forget to tip your waiters at least 15%.

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Which is only to suggest this: Observations of historical racism are a tool; people should use them to inform (not dictate) their thinking about current representations, as one piece of data amongst many other pieces of data. I think it's entirely fair for people to weigh all of these potential data points differently based upon their own experiences, exposure to racism, beliefs about the person engaging in the representation, etc. and so on, but we are all doing a disservice to each other by insisting that the informational value of the historical depiction is either 0 (it doesn't exist or doesn't matter) or 100 (it completely determines, to the absolute exclusion of everything else, the interpretation).

Oh snap. A dose of common sense. How will the thread react?

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Holy crap. It's like there's a collective cultural amnesia to forget just how black people have been portrayed in Western white cultures. Is this truly ignorance, or just a willful desire to ignore the ugly historical bits?

I have not forgotten those historical stereotypes because I have never seen them. As for the ads shown, isn't the whole idea of marketing to direct ads at the people who buy your products? Apple bottom jeans sell to women with cuvaceous bottoms. Parasuco jeans runs some unbelievably sexy ads, do you ever read Vogue magazine, TP? Every colour woman on earth shows up in them with every colour man on earth in some damn sexy poses, in various levels of nudity. And that picture of, who was it, Beyonce, and the booty comment, black slang has become fashionable with the popularity of rap music and is applied by the younger generations across all colours and nationalities.

America? Lets talk about America. We have about 35 million african americans and 35 million hispanics and 30 million assorted ethnicities living in close proximity to the rest of the Caucasian population. This means that everyone in the US is exposed to the kinds of interracial interactions in numbers that very few other nations can match. Not Canada, not the UK, but the US. So maybe folks from other countries can at least acknowledge that many people in America have a more nuanced take on racial issues (and yes, also a more sensitive radar).

This has nothing to do with 'liberal guilt' or the 'race card', the latter of which is shorthand for nothing.

Well, excuse me, Toronto has AFAIK one of the most ethnically diverse city populations in the world with something like 149 nationalities represented, and the same numbers apply to the the other 4 or 5 million people who live around Toronto. We do not have largely white suburbs, like American cities. If anything, we have largely Chinese suburbs and largely Indian suburbs. Since that Wikipedia article, Toronto has crossed the line of 49.9 per cent of the population being non-white. We are sensitive to issues of race, thanks.

ETA: Toronto, btw, is quite different from many US cities where there are blacks, whites and Hispanics as the major groups. No such group dominance exists here, we are far more diverse.

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Yes, the fetishizing of the others and the process of cultural othering have both completely stopped yesterday. Today, we live in a bright new world where past wrongs are not only in the past, but should be promptly forgotten, as well.

By that logic, a black woman who straightens her hair and dyes it blonde, is a racist.

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Your link states 'white people' (defined as European Canadians) to be 52.6% of the population of Toronto.

Anyway, as you can see, everyone has a fair bit of tribal loyalty to where they currently reside and I am no exception (particularly when it comes to criticisms of over-sensitivity).

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Your link states 'white people' (defined as European Canadians) to be 52.6% of the population of Toronto.

Anyway, as you can see, everyone has a fair bit of tribal loyalty to where they currently reside and I am no exception (particularly when it comes to criticisms of over-sensitivity).

As I said, the number has been crossed and white Europeans make up less than 50% of the population, the article quotes the 2006 census, and in 2006 48% of the population identified as a visible minority, and that number is also now over 50%.

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Re: S John

Could you clarify. Do you mean Mormont the white American or TerraPrime the white American?

Do not deny me my WASP status!!

Re: Relic

That's not exclusive to black women tho. Latin women around these parts are portrayed in a similar fashion. In fact most inner city women are portrayed that way, regardless of color.

Quite true. This is common to any group who's subjected to the othering process, and it is not unique to black culture.

Re: Nestor

Which is only to suggest this: Observations of historical racism are a tool; people should use them to inform (not dictate) their thinking about current representations, as one piece of data amongst many other pieces of data. I think it's entirely fair for people to weigh all of these potential data points differently based upon their own experiences, exposure to racism, beliefs about the person engaging in the representation, etc. and so on, but we are all doing a disservice to each other by insisting that the informational value of the historical depiction is either 0 (it doesn't exist or doesn't matter) or 100 (it completely determines, to the absolute exclusion of everything else, the interpretation).

I honestly don't feel that there are people here arguing the 100% angle. Rather, I think we're reacting to the claim that there're no good reasons to see racism in the blackface cosmetic advertisement or in the mocking of Serena Williams. I feel that the vast majority of the claims that say that these things are not racist come from a place of lacking in recognition of the historical and cultural antecedents. I find that troubling and problematic.

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By that logic, a black woman who straightens her hair and dyes it blonde, is a racist.

To want to adopt the physical traits associated with power and status can indeed be a manifestation of racism, much like how Chinese people serving the British officials in the 30s dressing up in western suits were indeed racists.

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To want to adopt the physical traits associated with power and status can indeed be a manifestation of racism, much like how Chinese people serving the British officials in the 30s dressing up in western suits were indeed racists.

...dressing up in a Western suit...is racist...

Is there anything that is not racist? Can I wear my hat backwards?

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To want to adopt the physical traits associated with power and status can indeed be a manifestation of racism, much like how Chinese people serving the British officials in the 30s dressing up in western suits were indeed racists.

You lost me there, TP. Why was it racist? Were they servants of the British? Did the British demand they wore a uniform?

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...dressing up in a Western suit...is racist...

Is there anything that is not racist? Can I wear my hat backwards?

Think of the context of you unrepentantly doing that. The cultural context. What do backward hats signify, what do they mean.

To want to adopt the physical traits associated with power and status can indeed be a manifestation of racism, much like how Chinese people serving the British officials in the 30s dressing up in western suits were indeed racists.

It's more about what is perceived to be attractive, by the person or by people around that person in this case.

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...dressing up in a Western suit...is racist...

In early colonial Hong Kong? Yes, dressing up in western garments was racist.

I know it's shocking that what you have accepted as part of your culture can become a symbol of racism when applied to a totally different cultural and historical context, and we typically shield the general public from this shocking revelation by reserving the information only for active college students. But no systems are 100% efficient, and for upsetting you, I apologize.

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Because you can interpret Serena's dance as a glorification of gang life? I doubt her crip walking is "harmless fun" to someone who lost a loved one due to gang violence.

Considering that Serena's half-sister, Yetunde Price was a victim of gang violence, I think it's safe to assume that Serena's dance is not a glorification of gang life and was just a bit of harmless fun.

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America? Lets talk about America. We have about 35 million african americans and 35 million hispanics and 30 million assorted ethnicities living in close proximity to the rest of the Caucasian population. This means that everyone in the US is exposed to the kinds of interracial interactions in numbers that very few other nations can match. Not Canada, not the UK, but the US. So maybe folks from other countries can at least acknowledge that many people in America have a more nuanced take on racial issues (and yes, also a more sensitive radar).

This has nothing to do with 'liberal guilt' or the 'race card', the latter of which is shorthand for nothing.

what a load of shit. london has just been announced in this weeks census to only be 45% white british. there are plenty of people around the world who live in places which are multicultural. and even if they don't this doesn't mean that they are have any less of a nuanced take on racial issues than americans. especially since americans travel outside their borders so rarely. what you may have is a nuanced take on racism in america, this incident involved a dane, in brazil.

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