Black Like Me???

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Because life is a game and racism is all in the heads of those of whom it is perpetuated against, every once in while you have to reach for your trump – the Race Card.

Yeah, we know, slavery was 150-years ago and the Civil Rights movement was half a century ago. Certainly any talk of racism in the Age of Obama is just some veiled attempt to stir up trouble in paradise, or is that utopia.

So stop stirring up our good blacks and get over it, racism is so over.

Only a troublemaker plays the Race Card when they should be singing Kumbaya into the night. So when the deck is stacked against you, play your trump - it's the only shot you've got!

This Ain’t No Game!_al jolson

In tribute to Halloween.

We here at Boom Bap Radio have decided to explore the other side of Tom-foolery, which in this edition is being meted out by folks who, by definition cannot be “Tomming.”

In fact, because “tomming,” is either condoning ignorance or perpetuating it for the sake of approval by ones oppressor, said oppressor can only perpetuate this abhorrent behavior and not emulate it.

Therefore, it would go to reason that exhibiting this behavior from behind blackface, as a non-black, can only be categorized as good old fashioned racism, hate and bigotry.

So, after much hand-wringing we are finally playing the Race Card!

So for Halloween 2013, we look to bamboozle y’all by shining the light of Tom-foolery not on the misguided Toms who look to please their oppressors, but instead on the oppressors who, by putting on their “masks” actually show us all who they really are – oooh, how deliciously ironic!

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When I first saw many of these “holiday” shots I have to admit, I had an Al Pacino moment from Godfather III.
“Everytime I try to get out – they keep pulling me back in!” I angrily exclaimed.

You see, I’m actually tired of playing the dreaded “race card,” because, quite frankly, my deck of race cards is friggin’ frayed and tattered.  Just when you think you’ve seen the most ridiculous example of ignorance, another example is offered to take its place.

Is someone calling the President a monkey or hanging him in effigy?

Is Paula Deen wishing for a Black Antibellum wedding?

Is someone experiencing “shop and frisk,” after dropping hundreds of dollars on a purse, belt or watch at a high end shop like Barney’s of New York or Macy’s?

To be honest, certain segments of our society are so racist that it’s hard to keep up with all of their displays of ignorance.  However, the part that makes it most appalling is the part when the bad actors in these incidents continue the show. Instead of owning up to their divergent views, like their ancestors would have, they say “sorry,” or they aren’t racist, they just play one of television or on the internet.

This fronting is almost more disgusting than whatever ignorant act they perpetuated in the first place. I said “almost.” Please, no one has time for the placation. I wish they would just keep their disingenuous apologies to themselves.

Afterall, why are they apologizing in the first place?

You know they really don’t want to be black, so why are they pretending to be black?

Are we supposed to believe they somehow do not know that pretending to be black to mock has a history in America?

Believe me, it’s good they are only playing the part for a day. If you had to deal with society’s response to our deep, dark tones, you’d be running to the shower to wash that dark make-up off – quick, fast and in a hurry.

Whites and other non-blacks have been mocking people of African descent for more than 500 years by wearing blackface.

However, recently the use of blackface has regained popularity and come back with a vengeance, ironically during the “Age of Obama.”

Racist, distasteful, college students in Florida decided to masquerade as freed killer George Zimmerman and dead, black teen Trayvon Martin during a Halloween party last week. Posted on Instagram and Facebook by a female, who was also in the photo, the ghoulish mocking picture went viral, but caused a nation of African-Americans to sound a collective gasp.

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The Florida picture not only set off the Halloween season, but also began a tasteless feeding frenzy where social media users began getting their minstrel on and donning the blackface.

I wish I could say this phenomenon was new.

History points to the creation of blackface and white use in America as far back as the 1840’s when other whites were warned about encountering free Blacks. According to published sources, white performers would dress up in blackface and visit the train cars of the white and wealthy as “Jim Crow.”

The character would demonstrate all of the negative things they would encounter when they came across a possible free darkie. The act was so popular that later minstrel shows were put together and more white men could earn a living portraying the likes of Jim Crow, Mammie and other farcical minstrel characters.

That fad lasted into the 20th Century when Al Jolson became the biggest performer in the world for his black face entertainment.

If you’re fortunate enough to get an early copy of the movie Holiday Inn – starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, you’ll get a real treat when they put on a show celebrating Lincoln’s birthday. It made the song White Christmas have a deeper, more profound meaning.

While blackface was common in the pre-Civil Right era, I can recall a Bernhard Goetz party being held at North Carolina’s Duke University in the mid-80’s with black faced students of European descent donning the offensive makeup, with their ignorant asses.

Illamasqua ad

 About a year ago Austrialian makeup company “Illamasqua” unveiled its “NOT Dreaming Of A White Christmas” ad campaign replete with models in white and blackface.

Trumpeted as “not blackface” the creators of the ad removed the images from its website after it was pointed out that the models with “darkened” skin kind of looked like gollywogs from the 19th Century.

Halloween jumpstarted this year’s blackface movement, but earlier this year Dunkin Donuts in Thailand ran ads for a charcoal donut using blackfaced models. After a public outcry, the ads were removed, but the unrelenting question always is – why?

 Or better yet, how are people living in an integrated society ignorant that these resurrected images are still as offensive as they were almost 200-years ago?

Just before Halloween pictures of various Trayvon Martin themed parties began appearing on the internet.

Students from Florida faced a backlash and manhunt after appearing as a blackfaced Trayvon, replete with blood splattered hoodie, Skittles and Snapple. Another smiling, white student dressed as Zimmerman, with a neighborhood watch shirt and gun.

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 Just days after the party in Florida, former Dancing with the Stars participant Julianne Hough bumped her damn head and paid homage to Netflix drama, “Orange is the New Black” by portraying her favorite character, “Crazy Eyes.”

Hough somehow missed out on the fact that blackface was offensive, despite her love for the popular show. She apologized on Twitter by stating: “It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.”

I guess it all seemed like a hoot when she was smearing the makeup on her face and rounding up her crew. Sometimes apologies are just not enough.

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After the dancing fool apologized, the citing of whites in black face seemed to spike on social media and in the news. There were white folks dressed as Tupac, Karl Malone and the Jamaican bobsled team, to name a few, all defiantly covered in black or brown face.

Following all of the apologies by shamed Americans, the most egregious image came from Milan, Italy where fashion designer Giampaolo Sgura hosted a Hallowood 2013 “Disco Africa” party.

Sgura and organizers of the party of course were remorseful once the world pointed out that they were  a bunch of racists buttholes. The apology was posted on Instagram.

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It was never our intention to do so. We had named the party “Disco Africa” to reflect the growing influence of Africa in the design and fashion world, not only as a growing market but also as the source of creative ideas. In retrospect, we clearly failed to think through the possible negative consequences and interpretations that might have resulted and appeared in both traditional and social media.

Again, why the ignorance?

Why the phony apologies?

Forget playing the Race Card, it looks like it may be time to start straightening this mess out mono a’ mono.

More confounding is the faux desire to be Black on any level and why don’t African-Americans hold the same desire to don whiteface?

Now we understand the premise of Halloween and we are of course aware of Beyonce’s 2012 photo shoot for L’Officiel Paris where she appeared in blackface.

However, the recent spike in inappropriate, racist and callous pictures of young people celebrating the unfortunate death of a Florida teen makes a larger statement about how far we have not come as a society.

Is it me?

Or do these smiling shots in the face of obvious tragedy remind us all of those horrible shots from the turn of the last century when amusing picnic shot were taken and distributed by similar looking people posing next to corpses swinging from a nearby tree?

They always looked so proud in those shots. They seemed to be saying, usually as they clutched their young son or daughter, looky here – I got me one! Whoo hoo!

Now a lynching is certainly a lot different than a party, except if that lynching actually is held during a party or picnic. But what is always so disturbing is the glee that is portrayed at what is obviously a repulsive act. The openly racist idiots look just as proud of the shot next to the corpse as these kids do standing next to a white friend, who is dressed in black face.

I guess the apple really doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

 At the end of the day, we at Boom Bap Radio firmly cast our first Race Card and in doing so collectively say: “Yo! Non-black folks, stop pretending to be black for sport! It’s not funny and obviously racist!!!!!!!!”

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Masta Talka

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