, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Black face was a specific type of face paint that mocked the features of black people during live shows called minstrels. These shows portrayed black people as dim-witted. This was abhorrent and disgraceful and should be condemned.
However, to treat every instance of make up or darkening one’s skin in the same light diminishes the true nature of those actions. For example, Megyn Kelly offered the idea that someone might do it out of admiration, comedians have done it as part of their brand of humor
I can’t say, as a 32yo white man what feelings seeing jimmy Fallon or RDJ do it for humor, or seeing a politician do it to resemble Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity... but the conversation has to be based on intent as much as offense
Grace, what we offer one another when we don’t quite understand one another. Something only humans can consciously contrive, has found love in the face of hate, saved lives and changed hearts.
If we decide today darkening one’s skin is, in fact, harmful regardless of intent, then we start from the same premise from this day forward. Offering grace to the past based on intent and wisdom to the future based on impact. We have to be able to learn w/o immediate persecution
But we can allow an enlightened people to hide under the guise of “comedy” or “ignorance” or “whatever excuses” no act of experession is worth hurting innocent people. People who were once oppressed have a perspective we all could learn from. We can and should listen with intent.
Just like when @RepDanCrenshaw taught me something about grace when SNL locked our war wounds.. we can’t only use it, ignore it, or call for it when it benefits us. It must be our nature, not our consolation. We can learn to appreciate one another again as Americans not Rs or Ds.
Racism is real. But in that broad term are two factions: ignorance and hate. If we treat ignorance as hate, they’ll likely become it. However, I’ve seen in my own life and family that ignorance has the ability to learn, grow, remorse and love. That should be our goal.
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