Thursday, 8 October 2009

Racist, or Cultural?

The 'black faces skit' last night got me thinking. Really, it was insensitive. Ya just don't paint ya face black and do skits like that anymore. By default, it's seen as dodgy at best.

What's totally irrelevant is the ancestral origins of at least one of the people performing. Just because he/they are not of Anglo ancestry, pointing that out and suggesting that makes it less racist is kind of a racist suggestion in itself. I heard a reporter ask them about 'where they were from'. He said, "I'm Australian".

Racism is about intention, depending on the language. Both verbal and physical. But their definite intention wasn't to be racist. If they say it was a tribute then you can only take that for granted.

This skit featuring Harry Connick Jr kind of leads you into thinking the dude's a fucken hypocrite. But really, his actions are irrelevant. Same as with a fair selection of Americans. It only takes 10 minutes on Xbox Live playing against Americans and all you'll start to hear racist rants non-stop. "Be*ner" - that a Mexican, or something? - is a favourite on there, and so is "You play like a N".

Just because a fraction over half of them voted Obama in to office that doesn't make them a beacon for all that's righteous in the world. Going by some of the talk around the place you'd be forgiven for believing it though. But still, that's irrelevant.

Just thought, is it sexist for Eddie Murphy to play a heavy African American woman?. I mean, he FULLY having a go at the stereotype...

Anyway, what IS relevant is taking five minutes to consider the consequences of an action. OBVIOUSLY, painting your face black is dodgy, and it's not about "Political Correctness", it's more about sensitivity. Sure it's getting to the point where we nearly need to apologise to someone before we communicate, but some things really are just black and white.

....shit, sorry if anyone was offended for combining black and white. I apologise.


  1. Interesting, I hadn't seen that clip of Harry. Maybe he got reamed on that one, hence he was right on top of it.

    Got to agree with most of what you said. I thought it was pretty stoopid both by the performers and the producers. It wasn't even a decent attempt at imitation (except the MJ character), the wigs and white hands made it fit the black & white minstrel sterotype and so brings all the history that contains.

    The producer/s that auditioned that one dropped the ball BIG TIME.

  2. Was a pisspoor attempt at entertainment, ie a typical Red Faces sketch. I guess (hope) they had ffuck all to work with in terms of auditions. HCjr's response was OTT, and he is a hypocrite, but it was still a shit sketch.

    Ffuck all must be a Welsh expression, sorry about that.

  3. I think you are spot on, it's about 'more about sensitivity' on the other hand while I think its worth a "that was a pretty thoughless thing to do" I'd not go off on a full tantie like some over seas folk have done.

  4. Agreed Barnes, but from their perspective it is tanty worthy where as here it is more a "need a bit of educating" worthy.

    That's the problem with global media these days, everything you do needs to allow for a global audience.

  5. The beauty (if there was any) of this episode was that it is showing us how far we've come. This was pure and simple a 1980s idea, put forward by leather-tie wearing, hair-gel slapping wanktards, who never quite grew up (just outward) and who refused to accept society as it is now - a global one with far wider reaches than your 1 million wife-beater wearing provincial munters.

    Most knew what kind of society we are now and as a result were instantly cringing, knowing that black jokes really have been and gone in most parts of the world... and mistakingly believing they were in ours. These Mad Men wannabes, supping their cheap grainy blended whisky from old Vegemite jars, slapping each other on the back while they snort coke from the toilet seat in some hackneyed sticky-floored noight-club in suburban Wonthaggi while thinking their COMEDY GOLD shtick was "back, baby!" have been well and truly slapped in the forehead.

    Let's hope they take their puce skivvies and fuck off back to their comb-over specialising barber shops to lament the boring "kids these days" and never bother us again.

  6. I'm ACTUALLY standing and applauding.

  7. I've never been on xbox live. I imagine the demographic for americans there though is something like white males between the ages of 13 and 25 which isn't a cross section of the population. They are probably current and future teabaggers and, sadly, US servicemen.

    I think murphy playing an overweight black woman is sort of like a black person calling another the n-word. When a white person uses the n word it's meant to degrade. When a black person does, it sort of to say "get over yourself fool, you're still one of us".


  8. Hey mate, stoked to see you're alright.

    Yeah, I get what you're saying. The average age of people on Xbox is more in the area of 30. But I'd be willing to bet there's VASTLY more in that demographic than there are that was responsible for that skit.

    Re:Murphy. Sexist, not racist.


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