Looking for Outrage: The Blackface Backlash

Blackface in American Culture
Hollywood Icon Judy Garland would be suffering the "Blackface Blues" today.

Outrage over blackface is all the rage among social justice warriors with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam being the latest victim of the trendy, new social norm.

Is it justified?

We all know that the snowflake generation is easily offended – they even had a tennis shoe recalled this month because it was “too white” for its Black History Month launch.

But the reality is that the political establishment is grooming its base to be abnormally thin-skinned.

It won’t be long before white people are shamed from ordering their coffee black.

If liberals and the black community are really that sensitive that their lives are negatively impacted because a person rubs shoe-polish on his or her face, then we have some serious mental health issues in our country.

And before I’m labeled a racist for telling blacks and liberals to grow up and find something else to complain about, let me give this one example . . .

The Washington Redskins.

The football franchise in our nation’s capital maintains a name that Native Americans consider a racial slur.

Where’s the liberal outrage?

How in the world are the black football players donning that jersey on Sundays instead of taking a knee and protesting the social injustice of racism against Native Americans?

I’ll tell you why, because Native Americans are not a power minority group. They’re not black, Jewish, or gay.

This example is dead proof that the outrage over Blackface is absolutely and utterly fake. You stand for the racial justice of all minorities — or you’re faking it for political gain.

Now, several tribes have protested and sued over the Redskin’s name. The Obama Administration even pulled trademark protections for the NFL team.

But the truth is, most Native Americans (including me – and not in an Elizabeth Warren way), are not offended.

As a matter of fact, my very first published work as a teen was run in my tribal newspaper, the How Ni Kan, defending the Washington Redskins.

While I think the Redskins generally suck as a football franchise, as a Native American (and I prefer to be referred to as an “Injun” — but ladies, you can call me “Chief”), I’m sincerely honored that they choose a strong Indian brave as their mascot.

Back to the origins of blackface, it started with the success of presenting black lives to a white audience.

It was entertainment and comedy, culminating with the highly popular Amos and Andy radio show, that evolved into the first black television show (which black actors).

The successful use of blackface in entertainment was simply part of giving an audience what they wanted with a look into the lives of African Americans (real or not).

That fascination has lived on through the decades from Good times, Sanford and Son, and the Cosby Show, to today’s popular sitcom, Black-ish.

It crosses mediums into music. Last year, for the first time in history, hip-hop surpassed rock as the most popular music genre in the United States.

Blackface was simply an early form of cultural appropriation that continues to this day but in different forms.

From social media star Danielle Bregoli (the “cash me outside girl”) to white rapper Post Malone, they take on a black identity without going so far as busting out the shoe-polish.

Cultural appropriation is so common today that there are few lines that blur racial differences at this point – including feigning outrage over racial slights.

Sure, blackface is taboo today, but it’s taboo as a mechanism of control. It’s a tool in the social justice warrior’s tool chest to keep white people in check by not just controlling their actions – but controlling their speech, and personal life history.

To speak out and point out how absurd it is to be offended by shoe polish on skin, is justification to throw any celebrity or political voice into the wasteland of racism, joining Megyn Kelly, Paula Deen, Juliann Hough and many others.

But, falling in line with the fakeness of this outrage, “blackface blowback” is selective.

Here’s a partial list of other celebrities who entertained with a skin change: Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, Ted Danson, Jimmy Kimmel, SNL’s Fred Armisen (portraying Obama and Prince). Even Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner blackened their skin for photo shoots.

For those above, their political views largely match those of the “outragers” so they get a pass proving once again, that blackface banishment is merely a convenient political tool used to punish, gain power, or simply display power.

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Shane Cory
Shane Cory is the Editor of Liberty News Now. A husband and father, Shane is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has been involved in politics, publishing and marketing for the past fifteen years. He has served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee and Project Veritas.