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Stop trying to make ‘digital blackface’ happen The media is invested in keeping Americans divided

'Ain't nobody got time for that!'


March 30, 2023   6 mins

Sweet Brown is wearing a tie-dyed tank top, a scarf knotted around her short dark hair. She’s talking to the camera like it’s someone she knows intimately, telling the story of her brush with death: “I said, oh lord Jesus, it’s a fire! Then I ran out, I didn’t grab no shoes or nothing. Jesus! I ran for my life!” And then she delivers the line that will make her famous: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The interview went viral in 2012. And the final line, shortly after it was uttered, became culturally ubiquitous, particularly on social media where it proliferated as a reaction GIF — it was also, crucially, the subject of a fierce debate about whether its popularity was racist. Did we love Sweet Brown for her story and her screen presence, or was it because she was a walking, talking stereotype of the archetypal sassy black woman?

That debate has waxed, waned and evolved over the years, but the one thing it stubbornly refuses to do is die. Five years after Sweet Brown’s original interview, it was given new weight with the coining of a phrase. In a Teen Vogue essay, Lauren Michele Jackson described the act of non-black people using reaction GIFs featuring black Americans as “digital blackface”. And so, a trend was born: The New York Times weighed in, followed by The Guardian, followed by the mommy bloggers and the service journalists. Just when it seemed like the internet had squeezed the concept dry, it returned again, last weekend, in the form of a clickbaity banner on the front page of CNN: “What’s ‘digital blackface’? And why is it wrong when White people use it?”

For those who remember this argument in its original iteration, the immediate reaction is probably best encapsulated by a meme from the pre-social internet — not one of the ones that allegedly constitutes digital blackface, but the one from Mean Girls, in which an enraged Regina George hisses: “Stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen! It’s not going to happen!” We do not need to do this again. This argument was transparent, racebaiting, outrage fodder even when it was new; now, it is all of that and tired.

If anything, the notion that, as CNN’s John Blake insists, employing reaction GIFs featuring black people represents “one of the most insidious forms of contemporary racism” is illustrative of just how badly the discourse is foundering in the wake of the massive racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd. All that momentum, all that money, all those marches and protests and pleas for real change end up being squandered again and again on luxury beliefs: galaxy-brained takes that circulate like wildfire among members of the coastal media class while being utterly bewildering to any normal person. The absurdity of Blake’s argument seems obvious even for those who think America is a long way from being a post-racial paradise. This is a country where black citizens remain underrepresented in key positions of power, and disproportionately suffer from poverty and violence. How terminally online must one be to think that the “most insidious” form of racism comes in the form of some 60-year-old Facebook grandma in Des Moines who feels that her emotions are best represented by a GIF of Stanley from The Office rolling his eyes?

But then, one gets the sense that no one does think this. Not even the people who are earning a living — or at least, a few hundred freelance dollars a pop — by arguing as much. Every writer who tackles this topic has dutifully attempted to connect the mimetic phenomenon of reaction GIFs to the atrocious (and happily defunct) practice of minstrel shows featuring performers in actual blackface. But given the integrated state of contemporary society, and the substantive difference between posting a video of a black cultural icon and doing a mocking impression of one yourself, that’s a tough argument to sell.

Often, those recycling it don’t even seem to be trying. Women’s Health claims that using the wrong reaction GIFs isn’t just upstream from minstrelsy, but also from murder: “[As] it has been proven throughout U.S. history, a Black man can be killed for demonstrating aggression, confusion, or even indifference. Popular GIFs of Kanye West looking serious, Nick Young with question marks around his face, and others, show Black men expressing themselves which, while technically be harmless [sic], can oftentimes be fatal.”

This isn’t just unpersuasive; it’s practically incoherent. Does anyone believe this argument? Does anyone even believe that the writer believed it? The whole enterprise feels so convictionless, more like a simulation of an opinion than the real thing.

If anything, the concept of “digital blackface” reads like an attempt to meme more racism into existence by claiming that it’s already everywhere. Like the too-credulous coverage of outrageous hate crimes that turn out to be hoaxes, stories about the hidden racism of reaction GIFs suggest the need for constant vigilance, which in turn fuels perpetual mistrust. The overarching narrative, as I wrote last year, is one of a deep and roiling river of racial conflict running beneath the surface of American society. The moral of the story is that we can only ever relate to each other through the lens of power, privilege, resentment, and loathing — that, as Robin DiAngelo instructs, there can be no question of racism’s presence in any given interaction, only of how the racism manifests.

It’s a pessimistic and profoundly superstitious mode of thinking — racism, the devil lurking in every room — and one that has spawned a particularly fervent adherence among millennial white women, for whom self-help and self-hatred have always been inextricably intertwined. Blake’s essay quotes a young woman named Elizabeth Halford who narrates her use of reaction GIFs with the ecstasy of the confessing sinner: “I’ve appropriated Black trauma as punchlines and peeled their faces off to put on my own and say what I can’t say, to make you laugh, or just because it went viral.”

It’s hard to imagine who or what is served by this confession, apart from Halford’s masochism. It is also hard to imagine that any GIF could represent a greater affront to black people than the idea that selecting said GIF is akin to peeling their faces off.

But more discouraging than the pessimism (and bizarre Hannibal Lecter comparisons) inherent to this worldview is its racism — and not the insidious, subtle kind. The original Teen Vogue essay introducing the concept of digital blackface bemoaned that “black reaction GIFs have become so widespread that they’ve practically become synonymous with just reaction GIFs”, as if the ubiquitous presence of black people in American culture is a bad thing.

Blake’s CNN piece calls out specific, seminal memes: an outraged Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model shouting, “I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!”, or Michael Jordan crying at his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Maybe these are “black reaction GIFs”, in that they are reaction GIFs featuring black people. But surely what they capture is something bigger. These are American celebrities. This is American culture.

But lately, an impulse has found a regrettable level of validation in American media, academia, and cultural institutions — an impulse to fracture and resegregate society along racial lines. American colleges hold exclusive, separate graduation ceremonies that segregate students by racial background. Lizzo, a multiple Grammy winner and one of the most famous musicians in the country, is forced to defend herself against allegations that her music is too popular among white people. An influencer goes viral for urging white moviegoers to stay away from the new Black Panther movie. Media institutions fret over race-matching the authors of book, theatre, and film reviews to the content they’re critiquing.

All of this is great, of course, if you have an economic stake in keeping Americans at each other’s throats. But for the rest of us, it only fuels polarisation and mistrust. The most incisive response to the latest “digital blackface” article came from Wilfred Reilly, a professor of political science at the University of Kentucky, who tweeted: “This stupid article is important in only one way: it illustrates that, as actual racism continues to decline, new varieties will simply be invented/’promoted’ and used to make us fight one another.”

In a diverse, thriving, integrated society that includes people of multivariate backgrounds, of course non-black citizens are going to engage with, appreciate, and relate to cultural products created by their black countrymen — and vice versa. Not only could it not be otherwise — culture, in our highly mimetic species, has long proven itself impossible to contain — but isn’t it what we want? The popularity of these GIFs stems from the fact that they represent events, emotions, and cultural touch points that millions of people recognise and relate to; in many cases, they speak to something not just specifically American but deeply human. That something like the Crying Jordan meme has become a global visual shorthand for conveying our feelings — the fact that people of every age, shape, colour and creed feel represented by the raw emotion captured there — should be seen as a triumph of common humanity over identity category. It is, at the population level, exactly what an inclusive society should strive for.

In this context, it seems not just absurd but grotesque for our national news media to argue that we should wall off these memes from the American mainstream, or make it so fraught for non-black people to engage with them that it becomes effectively taboo. The idea that black culture, whether it’s memes or music or slang or style, needs to be kept separate for its own protection is indistinguishable in practice from the racist ghettoisation that once sidelined black artists and athletes from the mainstream, lest they pollute the spaces where white people gathered. At its root is the notion that black culture is not American culture, that black people are somehow other. And, well, you know, there’s a word (and a GIF) for that.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

katrosenfield

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William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

Growing up in the UK in the 1970s I remember there was a lot of racism about, but I also recall the message that trickled down from educators was that we should ignore race, as we are all essentially the same underneath at some level, and that we should “just try and get along with each other”. That worked fine for me, for the most part, and I learned to appreciate people for who they are, as individuals, attempting to ignore any “racial” labels that were attached to them. Now, my head is in a spin, because what I was taught has been upended, and everyone is hyper-sensitised to every gender/racial/sexual facet that could possibly be perceived; it’s so divisive.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago

If that worked fine for you, why question it now?
It worked fine for all races but that is exactly what lefties and wokies don’t want. They want conflict and chaos.
I grew up like you and I am not going to change.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

I’m not questioning it, I’m sticking with it; it’s a helpful fixed point. I am tired of having to read articles like this one though (although that’s no criticism of the author).

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Well said!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Not lefties, just wokies.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Correct. The old left (class based, focussed on working class unity) is gone. Class is now seen as old-hat, and has been replaced by an alapbet-soup of hyped up narcissistic micro-grievances. Just as the old right (low taxing, deferential to institutions) has been replaced by revolutionary nationalism.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I’m fine with the dissident right, the old right failed us in every important way. If they had even put up half a fight for the culture we wound in this mess.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I’m fine with the dissident right, the old right failed us in every important way. If they had even put up half a fight for the culture we wound in this mess.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Correct. The old left (class based, focussed on working class unity) is gone. Class is now seen as old-hat, and has been replaced by an alapbet-soup of hyped up narcissistic micro-grievances. Just as the old right (low taxing, deferential to institutions) has been replaced by revolutionary nationalism.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

I’m not questioning it, I’m sticking with it; it’s a helpful fixed point. I am tired of having to read articles like this one though (although that’s no criticism of the author).

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Well said!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Not lefties, just wokies.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

WHAT is racism? How can people keep on using this word that has NO definitive meaning?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Actually I think that you are right. When the term used was “racial prejudice” it was clear, this was pre-judging a person based upon his or her race, but “racism”? I don’t know what many mean now when they use the term.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

I see them as synonymous. Others may disagree. But I think we agree.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

They don’t know, and they don’t care. They hear a buzz word, and they react like Pavlov’s dog.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

I see them as synonymous. Others may disagree. But I think we agree.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

They don’t know, and they don’t care. They hear a buzz word, and they react like Pavlov’s dog.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Evaluating and treating people based on their race.

John Solomon
John Solomon
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

That’s what it used to mean. Now it means ‘something you say or which can be read into something you said which might imply that the human race is not homogenous, and which I can twist to make you look like a bad person, and me look like a good person.’

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  John Solomon

I think its new meaning is “being white”.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  John Solomon

I think its new meaning is “being white”.

John Solomon
John Solomon
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

That’s what it used to mean. Now it means ‘something you say or which can be read into something you said which might imply that the human race is not homogenous, and which I can twist to make you look like a bad person, and me look like a good person.’

David Yetter
David Yetter
1 year ago

But is has a definitive meaning in standard English: the belief that one race is superior to another or that people should be treated differently on the basis of race.
Unfortunately for reasoned discourse, that meaning doesn’t serve the interests of the Party (read Democrats on my side of the Pond, Labour on the other, Labor Down Under,…), so now in the real world version of Newspeak* it can mean (1) the same as in standard English; (2) objecting to a policy the centre-left fancies will benefit racial or ethnic minorities, even if the objection is based on a cogent argument that it will instead harm them; (3) concluding on the basis of the fact every fiqh of Islamic sharia is deeply illiberal that Europe could do with far less immigration from the Muslim world; (4) being a light-skinned person of European ancestry; or (most absurd of all) (5) advocating color-blind policies that completely ignore race (yes, seriously: I refer you to the writings of Ibrahim X. Kendi).
*In real world Newspeak, contrary to Orwell’s prediction, the meaning of words are not rationally narrowed to preclude expression of ideas contrary to the interests of the Party, instead words have their meanings expanded, with the expectation that the emotional valence attaching to the standard English meaning will apply to all the added meanings.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Actually I think that you are right. When the term used was “racial prejudice” it was clear, this was pre-judging a person based upon his or her race, but “racism”? I don’t know what many mean now when they use the term.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Evaluating and treating people based on their race.

David Yetter
David Yetter
1 year ago

But is has a definitive meaning in standard English: the belief that one race is superior to another or that people should be treated differently on the basis of race.
Unfortunately for reasoned discourse, that meaning doesn’t serve the interests of the Party (read Democrats on my side of the Pond, Labour on the other, Labor Down Under,…), so now in the real world version of Newspeak* it can mean (1) the same as in standard English; (2) objecting to a policy the centre-left fancies will benefit racial or ethnic minorities, even if the objection is based on a cogent argument that it will instead harm them; (3) concluding on the basis of the fact every fiqh of Islamic sharia is deeply illiberal that Europe could do with far less immigration from the Muslim world; (4) being a light-skinned person of European ancestry; or (most absurd of all) (5) advocating color-blind policies that completely ignore race (yes, seriously: I refer you to the writings of Ibrahim X. Kendi).
*In real world Newspeak, contrary to Orwell’s prediction, the meaning of words are not rationally narrowed to preclude expression of ideas contrary to the interests of the Party, instead words have their meanings expanded, with the expectation that the emotional valence attaching to the standard English meaning will apply to all the added meanings.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

100% agree mate. It’s all gone to pot. I had no idea what this article was about, but presumably there’s now something wrong with the teenage me for having once had a football card featuring Pele.
In all this cretinous, self-pitying orgy of imagined grievances and contrived cultural appropriation, the irony elephant in the room is how a white person with a black gif is a thought crime, but a man pretending to be a woman is perfectly fine. 
But I guess there’s no arguing with thickos – which spring-between-the-ears-holding-head-apart is the major problem with all wokies.

nigel taylor
nigel taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Having struggled through the article (via googling what is a GIF) I too am clueless as to what it’s about.
I can’t get my head around the fact that people have so much time to waste writing about this stuff which is I assume only of interest to those intent on whipping up division where none exists.

nigel taylor
nigel taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Having struggled through the article (via googling what is a GIF) I too am clueless as to what it’s about.
I can’t get my head around the fact that people have so much time to waste writing about this stuff which is I assume only of interest to those intent on whipping up division where none exists.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago

If that worked fine for you, why question it now?
It worked fine for all races but that is exactly what lefties and wokies don’t want. They want conflict and chaos.
I grew up like you and I am not going to change.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

WHAT is racism? How can people keep on using this word that has NO definitive meaning?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

100% agree mate. It’s all gone to pot. I had no idea what this article was about, but presumably there’s now something wrong with the teenage me for having once had a football card featuring Pele.
In all this cretinous, self-pitying orgy of imagined grievances and contrived cultural appropriation, the irony elephant in the room is how a white person with a black gif is a thought crime, but a man pretending to be a woman is perfectly fine. 
But I guess there’s no arguing with thickos – which spring-between-the-ears-holding-head-apart is the major problem with all wokies.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

Growing up in the UK in the 1970s I remember there was a lot of racism about, but I also recall the message that trickled down from educators was that we should ignore race, as we are all essentially the same underneath at some level, and that we should “just try and get along with each other”. That worked fine for me, for the most part, and I learned to appreciate people for who they are, as individuals, attempting to ignore any “racial” labels that were attached to them. Now, my head is in a spin, because what I was taught has been upended, and everyone is hyper-sensitised to every gender/racial/sexual facet that could possibly be perceived; it’s so divisive.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago

The racism industry in the USA has a major problem whereby the supply falls a long way short of the demand. That is not to see that there is no supply at all, just that it’s so low that the media and politicians need to periodically invent some in order to compensate.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

And the author laments the “under representation”. They are in complete control of several major cities and have taken over large swaths of our culture. Does anyone realize that black people make up only 13% of the U.S. population? Yes, 13%.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Judging by UK adverts, the UK population is about 80% black.

John Solomon
John Solomon
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

And almost all couples are mixed race!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  John Solomon

True.
To be fair, I have noticed the recent appearance of one or two adverts featuring white or mainly white actors, so perhaps the ad industry is finally emerging from its racist psychosis.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  John Solomon

True.
To be fair, I have noticed the recent appearance of one or two adverts featuring white or mainly white actors, so perhaps the ad industry is finally emerging from its racist psychosis.

John Solomon
John Solomon
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

And almost all couples are mixed race!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Judging by UK adverts, the UK population is about 80% black.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

And the author laments the “under representation”. They are in complete control of several major cities and have taken over large swaths of our culture. Does anyone realize that black people make up only 13% of the U.S. population? Yes, 13%.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago

The racism industry in the USA has a major problem whereby the supply falls a long way short of the demand. That is not to see that there is no supply at all, just that it’s so low that the media and politicians need to periodically invent some in order to compensate.

james elliott
james elliott
1 year ago

We really ought not to give this cretinous bullshit any air time at all.

james elliott
james elliott
1 year ago

We really ought not to give this cretinous bullshit any air time at all.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Do you think there are any wealthy Americans who understand just how unutterable tedious they’ve become in recent years with all this race and gender nonsense. Their lives are just too easy – that’s the problem.

John Cartledge
John Cartledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Once we put this race and gender nonsense behind us, we can devote more time to the all-important issue of deciding our personal pronouns.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Exactly – tyranny tourism. But it afflicts both what used to be the left and what used to be the right. Everyone nowadays is in a perpetual uproar about some trivia or other.  

John Cartledge
John Cartledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Once we put this race and gender nonsense behind us, we can devote more time to the all-important issue of deciding our personal pronouns.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Exactly – tyranny tourism. But it afflicts both what used to be the left and what used to be the right. Everyone nowadays is in a perpetual uproar about some trivia or other.  

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Do you think there are any wealthy Americans who understand just how unutterable tedious they’ve become in recent years with all this race and gender nonsense. Their lives are just too easy – that’s the problem.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

I can’t believe that needed to be said, but apparently it does.

Jokes are already being made: https://babylonbee.com/news/man-who-shared-trump-meme-accused-of-digital-orangeface

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

I can’t believe that needed to be said, but apparently it does.

Jokes are already being made: https://babylonbee.com/news/man-who-shared-trump-meme-accused-of-digital-orangeface

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

Outrage is entertainment.
Personally, I have just stopped caring.
Your outrage is your problem.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Yes, but it’s also everyone else’s problem when outrage gets translated into ideological agitprop and legislation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Yes, but it’s also everyone else’s problem when outrage gets translated into ideological agitprop and legislation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

Outrage is entertainment.
Personally, I have just stopped caring.
Your outrage is your problem.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

The US news media does all it can to bully black people into fearful compliance, while entertainment shows try to domesticate them by depicting them as either buffoonish caricatures or soulful strong black man/woman tropes that need to teach white people a lesson in wisdom.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

The US news media does all it can to bully black people into fearful compliance, while entertainment shows try to domesticate them by depicting them as either buffoonish caricatures or soulful strong black man/woman tropes that need to teach white people a lesson in wisdom.

Lizzie J
Lizzie J
1 year ago

I’m just waiting for lip fillers and butt implants for white women to be declared racist.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
1 year ago
Reply to  Lizzie J

Close! Here and by the same author:
https://unherd.com/2023/01/is-it-racist-to-like-big-butts/
But, yes, OBVIOUSLY it is racist for white women to get lip fillers and butt implants. And racist for more ‘white’ features to be seen as attractive. It is appropriation and racist to admire ‘black’ features. It is appropriation and racist for white men to find black women attractive. It is racist for them not to find black women attractive.

David Yetter
David Yetter
1 year ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

As I observed above, one of the definitions of “racist” in real-world-Newspeak is “light-skinned person of European ancestry.”

David Yetter
David Yetter
1 year ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

As I observed above, one of the definitions of “racist” in real-world-Newspeak is “light-skinned person of European ancestry.”

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Lizzie J

What about the overwhelming % of black women in the entertainment and media businesses who straighten their hair or bleach it blond or brown?

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Or tomato red.

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Or tomato red.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
1 year ago
Reply to  Lizzie J

Close! Here and by the same author:
https://unherd.com/2023/01/is-it-racist-to-like-big-butts/
But, yes, OBVIOUSLY it is racist for white women to get lip fillers and butt implants. And racist for more ‘white’ features to be seen as attractive. It is appropriation and racist to admire ‘black’ features. It is appropriation and racist for white men to find black women attractive. It is racist for them not to find black women attractive.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Lizzie J

What about the overwhelming % of black women in the entertainment and media businesses who straighten their hair or bleach it blond or brown?

Lizzie J
Lizzie J
1 year ago

I’m just waiting for lip fillers and butt implants for white women to be declared racist.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago

I tried running this column through google translate. After about an hour it rolled its eyes and declared; ‘ain’t no bot got time for that!’, and turned itself off.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago

I tried running this column through google translate. After about an hour it rolled its eyes and declared; ‘ain’t no bot got time for that!’, and turned itself off.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

An article about an article in Teen Vogue. Has it come to this?

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Yes, it has come to this, because ideology doesn’t stay in college classrooms. It filters out into the public square–and that includes everything from the New York Times to Disney cartoons and Teen Vogue. This article is not about the cause of racial conflict but about a symptom of it. Even that is worth taking seriously.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

A telltale sign of the Idiocracy.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Yes, it has come to this, because ideology doesn’t stay in college classrooms. It filters out into the public square–and that includes everything from the New York Times to Disney cartoons and Teen Vogue. This article is not about the cause of racial conflict but about a symptom of it. Even that is worth taking seriously.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

A telltale sign of the Idiocracy.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

An article about an article in Teen Vogue. Has it come to this?

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

Has anyone asked one of these race-hustlers in what way sharing a meme of a black person is equivalent to a white person painting his face black? If there is one thing that is truly Kryptonite to radicals it is the direct question. They won’t answer it, of course. They’ll probably just call you a racist for asking, but it is edifying in its own way.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

Has anyone asked one of these race-hustlers in what way sharing a meme of a black person is equivalent to a white person painting his face black? If there is one thing that is truly Kryptonite to radicals it is the direct question. They won’t answer it, of course. They’ll probably just call you a racist for asking, but it is edifying in its own way.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
1 year ago

Many of the articles I read about the terrible woke left doing truly ridiculous things leave me exhausted. I didn’t know digital blackface was a thing or using reaction GIFS, and I am not better off for knowing it now.
It is true that people in the media make a living coming up with silly arguments about race and gender and it is also true that people in the media make a living decrying those arguments. It has all become boring and a distraction from the more serious problems afflicting us. We have to start ignoring them, paying attention only encourages them.
It is disheartening that our discourse is dominated by a tiny minority of pinheads and that we love to read about them like rubberneckers at a roadside pileup.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

But that is the problem – these idiots are affecting how schools and public institutions operate. They can no longer just be ignored as a few cranks.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

But that is the problem – these idiots are affecting how schools and public institutions operate. They can no longer just be ignored as a few cranks.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
1 year ago

Many of the articles I read about the terrible woke left doing truly ridiculous things leave me exhausted. I didn’t know digital blackface was a thing or using reaction GIFS, and I am not better off for knowing it now.
It is true that people in the media make a living coming up with silly arguments about race and gender and it is also true that people in the media make a living decrying those arguments. It has all become boring and a distraction from the more serious problems afflicting us. We have to start ignoring them, paying attention only encourages them.
It is disheartening that our discourse is dominated by a tiny minority of pinheads and that we love to read about them like rubberneckers at a roadside pileup.

Graham Thorpe
Graham Thorpe
1 year ago

America is simply obsessed with race.
Move on.

Graham Thorpe
Graham Thorpe
1 year ago

America is simply obsessed with race.
Move on.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I feel a strong impulse to create some gifs using the Black & White Minstrels.
Sorry, I mean the Black & white Minstrels.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I feel a strong impulse to create some gifs using the Black & White Minstrels.
Sorry, I mean the Black & white Minstrels.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
John Cartledge
John Cartledge
1 year ago

Everything is clickbait. The media shovels “man bites dog” stories because they sell newspapers.
So too, with opinion pieces.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Cartledge

Money is the root of much evil but not all of it. There’s much more to some problems than the age-old quest for personal wealth and power. I wouldn’t underestimate the motivating force of irrational fear and hatred, certainly not in our combustible political context with so many ideologies (allied under the banner of wokism) that make open hatred seem not only tolerable but desirable and even necessary. That’s what happens when enough people come to believe that utopian ends can justify ugly means, or at least that justice and revenge are synonymous. Many of these people are true believers, not merely greedy hypocrites.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Cartledge

Money is the root of much evil but not all of it. There’s much more to some problems than the age-old quest for personal wealth and power. I wouldn’t underestimate the motivating force of irrational fear and hatred, certainly not in our combustible political context with so many ideologies (allied under the banner of wokism) that make open hatred seem not only tolerable but desirable and even necessary. That’s what happens when enough people come to believe that utopian ends can justify ugly means, or at least that justice and revenge are synonymous. Many of these people are true believers, not merely greedy hypocrites.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
John Cartledge
John Cartledge
1 year ago

Everything is clickbait. The media shovels “man bites dog” stories because they sell newspapers.
So too, with opinion pieces.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
1 year ago

I couldn’t even finish this article on account of it’s irrelevance. I’m a daily consumer of social and political affairs commentary and have never heard of “digital blackface”.
I wish the high-wattage pundits on Unherd would avoid straw-man commentary like this.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Same here. I often find that I’m behind the curve on a lot of this stuff and I consider myself reasonably well informed on these issues, They do go from teh sublime to the ridiculous very quickly.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

*teh rediculous

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

*teh rediculous

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
1 year ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Your reply reminds me of what (anti)Democrat Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia said to Matt Taibbi during his recent congressional hearing (where she was trying to make him reveal his sourcing), and I’m paraphrasing: “You say you are a journalist and you are on this thing called Substack or something? I don’t even know what it is”.
Katt R is one of the smartest high-wattage pundits I have ever had the fortune to read on the Interwebs, her intellect cutting thru the automatically accepted bullshit of the times with a discriminative sharpness that reminds me of the long-departed and much missed Christopher Hitchens.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Same here. I often find that I’m behind the curve on a lot of this stuff and I consider myself reasonably well informed on these issues, They do go from teh sublime to the ridiculous very quickly.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
1 year ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Your reply reminds me of what (anti)Democrat Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia said to Matt Taibbi during his recent congressional hearing (where she was trying to make him reveal his sourcing), and I’m paraphrasing: “You say you are a journalist and you are on this thing called Substack or something? I don’t even know what it is”.
Katt R is one of the smartest high-wattage pundits I have ever had the fortune to read on the Interwebs, her intellect cutting thru the automatically accepted bullshit of the times with a discriminative sharpness that reminds me of the long-departed and much missed Christopher Hitchens.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
1 year ago

I couldn’t even finish this article on account of it’s irrelevance. I’m a daily consumer of social and political affairs commentary and have never heard of “digital blackface”.
I wish the high-wattage pundits on Unherd would avoid straw-man commentary like this.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Zzzzzzzzz… can someone set my alarm please?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Zzzzzzzzz… can someone set my alarm please?

Robert Bethard
Robert Bethard
1 year ago

guess I can no longer enjoy the intro to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
dammit
ï»ż

Robert Bethard
Robert Bethard
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Bethard

“it’s a miracle!!”
https://youtu.be/LIdFa1qLgNQ

Robert Bethard
Robert Bethard
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Bethard

“it’s a miracle!!”
https://youtu.be/LIdFa1qLgNQ

Robert Bethard
Robert Bethard
1 year ago

guess I can no longer enjoy the intro to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
dammit
ï»ż

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
1 year ago

Rosenfield takes no prisoners here as none should be taken. I admire her direct un-yielding good sense


Perhaps now that Ms. Rosenfield has laid this down the best next step is for all people of good will to simply ignore these divisive attention seeking fools and live life (and use memes) like these clowns don’t exist


Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
1 year ago

Rosenfield takes no prisoners here as none should be taken. I admire her direct un-yielding good sense


Perhaps now that Ms. Rosenfield has laid this down the best next step is for all people of good will to simply ignore these divisive attention seeking fools and live life (and use memes) like these clowns don’t exist


Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 year ago

What would these people have made of Bix Beiderbecke if he were alive now?

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 year ago

What would these people have made of Bix Beiderbecke if he were alive now?

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
1 year ago

Lol “ An influencer goes viral for urging white moviegoers to stay away from the new Black Panther movie” good news, it worked! I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to.
Ditto Lizzo and Kanye
It’s going to be hard to give up jazz though.

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
1 year ago

Lol “ An influencer goes viral for urging white moviegoers to stay away from the new Black Panther movie” good news, it worked! I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to.
Ditto Lizzo and Kanye
It’s going to be hard to give up jazz though.

Mr Tyler
Mr Tyler
1 year ago

I started reading this article just to get what the point of it was, but by the fourth paragraph I still hadn’t got it, so I gave up.

Mr Tyler
Mr Tyler
1 year ago

I started reading this article just to get what the point of it was, but by the fourth paragraph I still hadn’t got it, so I gave up.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
1 year ago

Don’t give a damn whether or not white people using these stupid “memes” is “racist”, but I do know that any white person imitating black ways (“blackface”) is nothing more nor less than a “wh*gger” and therefore beneath contempt.

carl taylor
carl taylor
1 year ago

you would be referring to woke authoritarian hero Justin Trudeaux

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago

I always thought the lefties tried to set black against white for the same reason they try to set rich against poor or young against old etc etc – they believe their perverse Utopia can only be birthed in blood. However its becoming apparent that there is more to it. They genuinely hate people who are not white and are happy to use them as pawns in their game because they view other races and classes as inferior to them. So if white wealthy lefties are so superior how come they can’t persuade anyone to vote for their utopia? How come nearly every time they try the bullet instead of the ballot box they lose too. Their few military victories in 50s Cuba and NK and 70s Ethiopia resulted in starvation and mass exodus of anyone who able to escape. Time to call them out for what they are and set up Nuremburg type trials for the leaders – politicians and media/entertainment sector puppets alike.

Last edited 1 year ago by mike otter
mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago

I always thought the lefties tried to set black against white for the same reason they try to set rich against poor or young against old etc etc – they believe their perverse Utopia can only be birthed in blood. However its becoming apparent that there is more to it. They genuinely hate people who are not white and are happy to use them as pawns in their game because they view other races and classes as inferior to them. So if white wealthy lefties are so superior how come they can’t persuade anyone to vote for their utopia? How come nearly every time they try the bullet instead of the ballot box they lose too. Their few military victories in 50s Cuba and NK and 70s Ethiopia resulted in starvation and mass exodus of anyone who able to escape. Time to call them out for what they are and set up Nuremburg type trials for the leaders – politicians and media/entertainment sector puppets alike.

Last edited 1 year ago by mike otter
Kelly Madden
Kelly Madden
1 year ago

God knows we still have a long way to go in these United States to repent of our racist ways, and I wonder if the black community collectively suffers from PTSD as a result of past and present wrongs done to them.
But it’s worth considering: Barack Obama is the child of an African immigrant, not African American, and that probably made the difference.

Kelly Madden
Kelly Madden
1 year ago

God knows we still have a long way to go in these United States to repent of our racist ways, and I wonder if the black community collectively suffers from PTSD as a result of past and present wrongs done to them.
But it’s worth considering: Barack Obama is the child of an African immigrant, not African American, and that probably made the difference.