Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A one-sided argument on the occasion of an Italian basketball league using blackface to protest racism
"Italian basketball players to protest against racism by painting faces black"
Locker room. Shortly before game time.
Hey... everybody? Look, I know we already all agreed and that Abiola's cool with it and that it seems like doing the right thing, and yeah, some of the fans are getting really into the idea, but doesn't this strike anyone as a bit off? You know, kind of racist?
No, I'm not saying you're racist. I didn't say that. I'm not calling any of you racists. I'm saying structurally racist. You know what I mean. You know, black face... Minstrel shows... Al Jolson, the use of white actors in exaggerated black make-up. Birth of a Nation. Anyone?
What? You're asking me if it would be wrong if a team of black players had one white player who was taunted and they all painted their faces white in protest? Wait, you're saying... That is what you're saying. Jesus. No, that's not the same thing... Because a white player wouldn't be taunted here, because the situation is fundamentally different, because of a long history of...
What if a woman was playing on a men's team and the men all wore fake breasts and wigs, and the fans too, to show support? Is that the "same thing"? Or if a man was secretly playing in a woman's... OK, stop. You're actually now just recounting the plot of Juwanna Mann. Yes, you are. You are. I know because I watched it, OK?
No one else here feels that this might be the wrong way to go about "protesting racism"? You're telling me I'm the only one about to go play a game in blackface, in front of fans in blackface, who is feeling a slight hesitation? The rest of you just said, oh, normal day, time to go put on blackface and play professional sports, nothing abhorrently wrong about that.
No, I don't think it does matter if she's OK with it. Because it's not just her choice. You get that, right, that the whole thing has problems? No, you don't get that?
Anyone here remember that thing with Ted Danson? And Whoopi Goldberg? Remember that? Remember... Um, sure, I remember Sister Act.... Yes, I remember that the second one was awful. Wasn't Lauryn Hill in that? And what about what? Corrina, Corrina? Do I think... do I think that Ray Liotta's performance shows deft emotional subtlety and admirable range from a man better known for his work in Goodfellas, confirming him as one of America's most underrated character actors and too infrequent leading men? Well...
Wait, we're not talking about Ray fucking Liotta. We're... I mean... So really, no one else has any problems with this? Not one of you? Really?
Oh fucking hell. Hand me that face paint.