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March 17, 2013
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Rant. Huge rant.

I hate it when people tell me I should be offended by something due to my sex, race, whatever.

Enter a thing, I shall not link, pertaining to blackface floating around on tumblr. People sincerely believe I should be offended because I'm black. And a few noted me this link expecting me to be offended which is what offended me....

As most of you know, I could give a flying fuck about racist jokes that are done with the obvious intent of humor, regardless if it's politically correct or grim in nature. Why? Because it's just someone's opinion. Sure, one could argue that opinion could spread in an unintended or wrong way, but what opinion often doesn't? Just look at DA and tumblr, two places where people go batshit about something they misrepresented, blowing the entire thing out of proportion only to calm the fuck down a few days later and realizing, "oops, I over reacted." (even if they won't admit it outright)

So the post boiled down to the author saying and others saying "fuck you if you defend blackface." Well I'd have to say "fuck you for boiling down the intent of someone painting their skin as inherently racist." I should say, "fuck you for thinking that I should be inherently offended because I'm black." The author mentioned that regardless of the intention, blackface is inherently offensive and racist. Umm yea? Someone's going to be offended by something, just sayin'. Is saying "nigger" inherently offensive and is it racist? Not really, why?

Intent, purpose, meaning. When some sects of blacks call each other that term it's similar to how some homosexuals use the word "fag" it's either in satire of its original meaning or a sincere snarky yet affectionate gesture.

Ok, for a more solid relationship here. Why should I be offended if a white person paints their skin darker to look like another person?  Why should this offend me? media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9ubak… Why should this offend me? 3.bp.blogspot.com/-kqwXVDOVWJo… I saw both and was offended by neither. But this is mostly because I understood the gestures as different from racism. With the Kanye thing, he's only dressing up. With Downey, it was a satire on cinema's treatment of blacks among other things.

If the person's trying to be accurate with skin color, why should it matter? I would consider this more racist than the above, api.ning.com/files/fiYzkPXujKK… and this white face could be considered racist as well. zhiphopcleveland.com/1811321/w…  Because they both have a clearer emphasis on racial stereotypes more than the proceeding two costumes which were arguably at least trying to be accurate to skin hue.  

Maybe I'm just "not black enough" or another "house negro" but if a black person painted themselves white (which I've seen many do for cosplay) then ok! If a white person paints themselves black for cosplay, ok!" If ___ race paints themselves as ___ race, ok! As long as it tries to be an accurate caricature of the person depicted, who the fuck should care?

The author then goes on to say this...

"No. You are wrong. It does NOT matter what the intent of it was. What Colton did was blackface. By darkening his skin for a costume, he's saying that Kanye West's skin tone IS A COSTUME. If you darken your skin for Halloween or cosplay or something of that sort, you are saying that PoC's skin tone is nothing more than a costume."

So, if someone puts in contacts, changes their hair, or some other natural physical aspect of a human being are 100% automatically saying that element is nothing more than a costume? Hair and eyes are often used as stereotypes as a person's skin to define mental capacity and social habits. If someone dresses as a blonde person are they automatically saying blonds are all dumb? What if someone put on a black wig and acted evil (as black hair is often associated with evil) are they saying all people with black hair are evil?

And while we're on the above quote, who says that making yourself look like someone down to the skin color is saying that it's nothing more than a costume besides the author? I can see how this can be taken as such, but that doesn't mean it is such. And in some regard it can be seen to someone as being an important element of that person or fictionalized character when they're trying to portray them accurately.

I personally have friends who will often go as their original skin color within a cosplay, sometimes they will paint themselves up. They just do what they feel like and don't put all this social political correctness into the process of doing so. Why? Because my groups of friends understand why it's being done and we're not so easily offended. I've had white friends darken their skin to appear more asiatic or black, black friends who've lightened their skin to appear more white or asiatic, and asian friends darken their skin to appear more black depending on who they're trying to portray. These friends tend to be super detailed about their cosplays mind you. When asked why they do it, it's because they want to portray the character as accurately as possible because they like and admire ___ aspect of that character down to the skin color.

They're not making fun of it, they're not seeing it as a costume, they're seeing it as a part of the person or character they feel should be just as accurate in depiction as the rest of their highly detailed cosplays. Personally, I just go as myself in terms of skin color. I don't see either side being wrong in this scenario.

And they don't just slap on brown or white paint... the take the time to mix the colors to match the slight variants of colors seen in black, white, and asiatic skin to the point that most of the outcomes look accurate to that race and pretty damn flawless.

So yea, there's my two cents... But you know, everything is racist and everyone should be offended regardless of intent or context and if you're not then you're an idiot.

Also, if I saw either of these,  i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee… 24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbq…  www.chobitsdreams.altervista.o… 25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6a… I would say fuck yes. Doesn't matter what skin color the character is that you're portraying. Go as your original skin color, or paint that shit up, I don't give a fuck - go out there, have fun.

Just don't do this unless you're being mr. popo. www.nachtkabarett.com/ihvh/img… Or this brucepoinsette.files.wordpress… (which people don't have their pants in a bunch about because, white people)
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:icontoxique-waste:
Toxique-Waste Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
I totally agree with you man. People now are just finding ANY excuse to look down on people and say fucking ANYTHING said person does makes them 'oh a worthless racist piece of shit'. Cosplaying is- GEE I DON'T KNOW? DRESSING UP AS A CHARACTER. Some people only go as far as wearing an outfit, some people go as far as binding their chest, tamper with their real hair, shaving their facial hair , and all kinds of other shit to look as accurate as possible...so what the hell is wrong with making sure your SKIN colour is accurate to said character? There is nothing wrong with doing it or not doing it, as long as you know...you're not doing it TO make fun of the character for being of said race. But uh yeah...what percent of people actually do that to get negative attention? I don't know the answer myself since I've had no experiences at cons- but if you see someone doing that don't give the attention they want, and for the love of God stop assuming EVERY FUCKING PERSON is doing it to 'offend people' when only a select few jack asses actually do that.

I don't even want to look at any god awful tumblr posts trying to police people. Gurl next thing you know is anyone who bluefaces is gonna get jumped for offending anyone who happens to be an Osmosis Jones otherkin ^~^
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:iconjfdp13:
Jfdp13 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh, the acquired retardness...
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:iconkapieren:
kapieren Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Boosh.
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:iconjfdp13:
Jfdp13 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Student General Artist
What is "boosh"? xD
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:iconvekke:
Vekke Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
On the same note I think people are allowed to voice their offense and ask people not to do it? I mean, yeah, some people don't care and I can't make anyone care, but a lot of people do, and I think that's valid. I don't think it's a bad thing to be sensitive though, so, there's that.

Personally, I think blackface, yellowface, redface etc is complicated by a lot of ugly history and it's not so clear-cut to say that everyone should just forget about that and stop being offended. Asking people to do so is kind of in the same category as being "colourblind" in that it's asking them to forget that history.

people should cosplay who they want, I agree, but it's a little insensitive to say they can do something which, in the eyes of many, is the equivalent of a racist symbol. Or like, a symbol of snatching away employment in the form of actually... hiring actors who are people of colour. It's kind of similar to someone drawing swastikas I guess: no it doesn't always mean something bad; their intentions might be flawless, but is it kind of a dick move to draw them on walls, given the symbol's recent history? I'd say so.
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:iconkapieren:
kapieren Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
I don't think it's invalid to care about anything.

In this case, I can see some validity of concern for what this model, actor... whatever he was did when he dressed up as Kanye, but on the same token I think they're exaggerating the situation and are putting false or unknown attributes to his costume in question. They also want to equate costumes or cosplay (that try to be accurate to who they're depicting) as automatic blackface and "inherently wrong." Those are my two main beefs with their critique on this man and what is / isn't blackface in general. They're generalizing the situation to what they see without seeing that there are variables as to what constitutes as racist and not racist.

I do agree that it is a complicated issue, but in all honesty what isn't complicated when it comes to any accurate or satirical portrayal of a group of people? And I'm not necessarily talking about race.

As to wether or not someone cosplaying as something they see as insensitive doesn't that depend on the situation or interpretation of the costume, and isn't that a matter of personal taste? I see your argument but don't entirely agree with it.

My thing is if enough people at a particular con have a legitimate reason to be offended by a particular costume or dress then hold that to a vote and improve upon refining what is and isn't allowed at cons after the fact and/or dismiss the individual who either directly or indirectly created the offense.

As for swastkas I can kind of see your argument. But I have a strong argument for the display of certain swastikas. If you're drawing the variants created by Hitler then that is a no no due to it's obvious symbolic meaning that Hitler himself used to signify hif movement. But when people get bent out of shape over other swastikas [link] and then ban or criticize people who use them, then they are just acting out in a knee jerk uneducated manner imo. Similar to how many people on the tumblr thread seemed to or did react in a knee jerk manner over something that was obviously intended to be a costume or a satire on kanye and not a satire on black culture.

Long story short, for me it depends on the purpose and situation. :nod:
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:iconkotego:
Kotego Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist
This whole social justice crap is annoying. I don't understand why people can't cosplay as a character (especially fictional characters) without some tight-ass screeching about "cultural appropriation" or "racism" at the top of their lungs; what, no one's allowed to cosplay as certain characters if they don't match their race/gender/culture/etc.? (Or, as some hypocrites insinuate, white people can't do this because apparently they can't do anything without being assholes.) Maybe SJWs are satisfied with such a closed-minded concept, but personally I think it's wonderful to embrace other cultures and the like.
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:iconkapieren:
kapieren Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
My favorite totally is, "white people can't paint their skin to trying and accurately portray someone of color because it's inherently racist!"

But no one gave a flying shit at the white or asian faced depictions blacks through this decade alone have done. Why? Because when black people do it it's "clever satire." :lol:
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:iconkotego:
Kotego Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist
But it's okay for black people to do it! They were slaves at one point, unlike white people! They're allowed double-standards!
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:iconohsadface:
OhSadface Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
THANK YOU!

I remember going to a college Drag show and a freind who was Mc'ing, was super offended because one of the better drag queens was darkening her skin because she was performing Beyonce' and the Mc wanted her kicked from the show or wash all her makeup off. Meanwhile i'm like "ummmm they are already men dressing as women...why is a Hispanic guy darkening his skin any different?" my friend also wanted to introduce them as Al Jolsen...I didn't find it funny, i found them being more offensive then the queen doing a tribute :/
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