Wednesday, October 30, 2013
REALLY (Black People)?!
People are all up in a tizzy because Julianne Hough (a white singer/dancer/actress) dressed up as 'Crazy Eyes' (a black character from the Netflix hit show, Orange Is The New Black) for Halloween, complete with a brown painted face. They are comparing it to a highly racist and negative practice that whites used, way back in the day (and some still do), as a form of entertainment.
Really, Black people?! These are two totally different things, in my opinion. She was dressing up for Halloween, for goodness' sake! She wasn't doing a minstrel show or trying to be funny or derogatory with her actions. I don't know her personally, but I'm assuming that she is a fan of the show (as I am and alot of people are) and thought 'Crazy Eyes' made for a good Halloween costume. According to reports, Julianne was not aware of the history of 'blackface' and she did not mean any disrespect towards the black community. Some have suggested that 'her people' should have known and should have warned her that dressing up as this character would not be a good idea or that she could have done the character without the brown face. I beg to differ. Halloween is a holiday on which people dress up as all sorts of people, characters, things, demons, goblins and monsters. It's a day where you get to be something/someone other than yourself, in the name of fun (for the most part). I see nothing wrong with Julianne being this character and choosing to go 'all the way' with her costume. Sure, she could have donned the orange jumpsuit, put her hair in (some semblance of) bantu knots and kept her own white face buuuutttt......(in my opinion) it comes across so much better with the brown face.
To each his/her own but I think, these days, people jump on any little thing and scream 'racist/racism!' Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some black person who doesn't believe we've come such a long way that racism is not an issue. Oh, it very much is. But what I don't like, and refuse to cosign, are things that are 1)minor sand particles built up into a mountain 2)innocent occurrences (such as this) that get misconstrued or turned into something it is not or ever intended to be 3)jumping on the 'It's racism!' bandwagon just because somebody said it was racism. How are we ever to make more and bigger strides towards less racism if, at every chance (big or small), we are screaming racism and brewing major media storms about small or nonexisent issues? If everything a non-black person does that however remotely looks like they are being insensitive, disrespectful or derogatory is fodder for a race rally, how can we ever get past it? As it's said, perception is reality so, while there are definitely racist folks around and racist practices going down, I think we need to adjust our mind's eye just a little bit. One of my favorite quotes is:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
_ mahatma ghandi
Choose your battles wisely and fight when it's necessary, but please people, please....stop the 'stinkin thinkin!' Besides, Julianne's face ain't black. Like Tamar Braxton said, she just looks like she has a tan.
p.s. Julianne, stop stealing people's ideas.....you knew I was planning to be 'Crazy Eyes' for Halloween (I really was, y'all)!