Then, there’s blackface, redface, yellowface—any of the faces not your own—and, they are so not on.
And, you’d think that we wouldn’t have to have the conversation about why blackface et al. is not a thing that you do, but we have public figures like Julianne Hough donning blackface so that she can be Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black.
Blackface et al. has an epically long history of being used to ensure that talented people of color are unable to obtain performing jobs as anything other than stereotypes.
Seriously, casting calls are still extremely weighted towards white actors and specify white and lightskinned actors. There’s no such thing as an “open” casting call.
Not only is there this really problematic, embedded history of oppression and exclusion through the use of blackface, but it’s also perpetrating harmful stereotypes that the darker your skin is the less intelligent a person is.
Do I need to tell you have grossly wrong that is? That it’s racial profiling? That it’s valuing whiteness and comparative-whiteness and whiteness—comparative or otherwise—is no more an indication of intelligence and/or ability than where you’re from?
And, when blackface becomes a joke—is something that people are using to create costumes like a dead Trayvon Martin replete with a simulated bullet-hole and George Zimmerman with a gun—it’s not only propagating a harmful stereotype but makes us all complicit in the deaths that follow the racist depictions of people of color everywhere in our overarching culture.