Warning: Blackface outbreak spreading across the UK

By The Ligali Organisation | Tue 11 March 2014

Most blackface offenders claim they are anti-racist: Leeds University Students, Labour MP Ian Lavery and son

The racist practice of caricaturing African people through ‘black face’ continues in 2014...

In February 2014, a joker named Chris Stephan grabbed the headlines after he approached media personality Kim Kardashian and began to mimic her fiance Kanye West. His face was covered in brown face paint.

In March 2014, a Baptist pastor in Kentucky arranges for his assistant Joe Pickens to enact a boxing fight during a national conference for ‘young fundamentalists’. The annual conference which includes a Bible quiz featured the pastor’s assistant painted in so called ‘blackface’.

Later on in March 2014 and we have four students from Leeds University who have decided to wear afro wigs and hats with locs on their head to a party at the Medication club in Leeds.

Not feeling this costume is authentic enough they too continue their homage to ‘blackness’ by covering themselves in face paint in a parody of being African. A picture of them is then posted on Facebook. The caption used is;

“The Jamaican Bobsleigh Team getting their dose of Medication last night? yeeee mon!!!”

Cue a bunch of whining ignorant people asking ‘why is this racist?’

Finally, on 11 March 2014, Labour MP Ian Lavery who claims to support anti-racism is caught posing with his son wearing brown face paint and a Michael Jackson costume.

The picture which was posted on Facebook is accompanied by comments that refer to him using the n word and a “liquorice stick.”

Racist blackface continues in 2014: Chris Stephan, Joe Pickens

Justifying blackface?

Many blackface offenders often claim not to be racist in the same manner that some rapists claim not to be misogynists. Just as defenders of these sex offenders argue it’s actually about power, supporters of blackface offenders claim it’s only a laugh. They typically fail to identify whose expense the ‘laugh’ is at.

Toyin Agbetu, head of education and social policy at Ligali said;

“In the scale of issues African people are dealing with crimes of blackface may seem to be a low priority but its not. If you consider the net effect of the constant denigration of African identity and culture and the impact this has not only on African people but also those who interact with them like racist Police officers, we can see there is a direct correlation between those promoting hatred ‘for a laugh’ and those who feel it’s ok to engage with humiliating, unlawful stop and search procedures ‘because of the way you look’. It’s not funny, it’s racist.”

Examples of racist blackface from 2013

External Links
Blackface man who claims he is NOT racist
Club posts official photo of punters ‘blacking up’
Church staffer dons blackface for boxing skit during
Anti-racism MP causes storm after posing with son blacked up to look like Michael Jackson

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