Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That Old Blackface Magic


A couple of years back, I was a racist.

Well, not really...But a highly publicized work of mine trafficked in racist imagery, and by doing so utterly devalued a larger point that I was attempting to make. For that error in judgement, I alone am responsible.

At the time, this circumstance sufficed to provoke some whose agendas I agreed with (and some with whom I did not) into a heated discussion of my character and motivations.

Most of this dialog was as accurate as any conjecture could be regarding an individual cloaked in the anonymity of the Internet, yet although some words that were 'intended to wound' indeed left their mark I eventually healed up and moved on, resolving to learn from the experience and avoid a repetition of the same lack of sensitivity toward others.

Since that time, I have noticed that in spite of the publicity surrounding that event (a brief, but rather loud ballyhooing not only within the then-limited confines of the blogosphere, but also within numerous organs of the mainstream media), others continue to insist on using that same imagery replete with its historically negative connotations whenever they wish to disparage something or someone whom they disagree with.

One could draw a simplistic conclusion from this, I suppose - that, given a chance not to dabble in exponentially hurtful material, some insist on their right to be ignorant, racist fucks regardless of the consequences.

I find it a somewhat discomfiting fact in the West that some of the so-called 'visual pundit' class appear all too willing to continually use 'blackface' (and this time,on a black man) as a marginalization stratagem toward denigrating an individual's well-reasoned philosophical choice - and when pressed on it, find themselves completely unable to justify said usage. Qu'elle surprise!

To imply that one is a traitor, and purblindedly ethnocentric, merely for casting their own lot between two starkly opposed alternatives, shows a philosophy distinctly bereft of the critical thinking skills needed to survive the oncoming hard times brought about by years of deliberately malfeasant Right wing governance.

Good luck with that evolutionary strategy, assholes.