Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Big Racism Debate

After some incidents on Twitter over the past weekend I want to write on a bit more serious topic today. Something that doesn't necessarily has anything to do with gaming, but I feel the need to speak my opinion of it.

The series of events that sparked this post were simple. Someone I followed on Twitter posted a picture of a friend. They had been dressed up as a group from a movie, it slips my mind which one, and one person in that group in the movie happened to be black. Because the guy who dressed up as him was white, and they didn't necessarily wanted to ruin the whole idea, he painted his face black so people would know who he was. That particular picture, of the guy with the black painted face, got posted on Twitter on an account that has a relatively big amount of followers. So guess what happend? Yup.

Queue shitstorm.

I didn't get most of the drama but apparently "blackfacing" is a thing that is very offensive in the US. Now before you start judging me, I didn't even know what blackfacing was. I had to look it up, like the person who posted the picture in the first place. For those of you who still don't know what it is (thank you urban dictionary): When white actors would paint their faces black to resemble black people. Accompanied by a performance stereotyping them as buffoons. 

I can't speak for the rest of Europe, but here in the Netherlands and Belgium it's not a big issue to paint your face black if you're dressing up/cosplaying as a black person. We view it as something that is part of the costume. Vice versa we don't frown at darker colored people making their skin lighter for the same purpose. If you want to paint your face, you paint your face in any damn color you want.
Apparently this is not the same in the US. Seeing the absolute amount of shit this person got targeted at him, calling him racist and more, I kind of got mad. He did aswell as first reaction, calling Americans butthurt about this issue. Although I don't really agree with his choice of words, I do agree with the sentiment. Especially seeing as it's mostly WHITE people who feel the need to be offended by this.

Now I know that racism is a delicate thing. I know that certain groups of people have been oppressed for a long time and that slavery was a horrible thing. You will not hear me deny that. It was also horrible that non-white people were considered lower beings up untill the 1950's. I will not excuse that either.
BUT. I am done with tolerating that every little thing you say can get torn out of context and get the racism stamp. I feel that as white person you can't say anything anymore without someone twisting it to racism.
If you call someone out for being rude to you or for cutting in line and that person happens to be a different skincolor than you? Racism!
If I paint my face dark because I'm dressing up as a dark person? Racism!
If I help a white person before I help a black person (because that white person asked for help first)? Racism.
Everything you say or do lately is racism. The word has lost it's meaning. It's something people hide behind and throw around freely without realizing the implications. And the worst part is? You can't complain about that either because well, that makes you a racist! It's living in insanity really. And it very much has to stop. Because it's only fueling certain types of fire that you do not want fueled.

I love all human beings, aslong as they have a good heart and good intentions. But I'm starting to despise a certain group in our population. These are people that hide behind racism to avoid being critiziced and getting away with it too.
If you step on my foot and I say something about it, it's because you stepped on my foot and not because your black. It does not make me racist. And the fact that you immediatly call me one only makes me think less of you... Or is that racist?

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