Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama Costumes: The Blackface Question

I wasn't surprised at all to see tons of photos of people dressed as Sarah Palin for Halloween, and I wasn't surprised to see relatively few people dressed as Obama. I think several reasons factored in:

a) it reflects the disproportional interest in Sarah Palin in this election
b) more women than men dress up for Halloween because women are creative and interesting and men are boring and lazy
c) the sticky situation for white people of how to dress up as a black person without crossing the offensive line into blackface

Sure, there's a big difference between using makeup to achieve a verisimilitude to famous and respected African-American person and the incredible racist connotations of classic minstrel blackface. But yet... it does still feel weird, right? I assume that along the road of having our first black president, there will be many moments where issues of race will have to be faced and resolved. One of these first ones is going to be "is it ok to wear black makeup to imitate our president?" Imitating our president is an inalienable American right and revered tradition, and a cornerstone of our national comedy. In order to move on as a country, the black makeup issue has to be resolved once and for all.

Here's a few brave souls who were willing to test the waters in this new frontier. Trailblazers holding an olive branch, or provocateurs who deserve a punch in the face?




This one is clever, but skirts the issue:


F.Y.I. this last photo is titled "Negro Muggers for Obama" and has "scary negro" as one of the tags. I guess we still have a long way to go. Sigh...

If you sinking into a deep depression over that last photo, please just stare at this insane cuteness below, and you'll instantly feel better. Obama and a Unicorn:

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that the "scary negro mugger" is actually in reference to the story of the crazed McCain supporter who claimed to have been attacked by Obama supporters, but really did it to herself. It's actually a pretty clever costume to dress up as the fictitious mugger dreamed up by the crazy girl.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think the second to last one was supposed to be Obama. He was supposed to be the "mugger" that attacked that McCain Aide (notice the backward B on his shirt?). Obviously, the entire mugger story was made up and this guy was mocking it. Might have been well done without the blackface.

Bomb said...

Barack Obama with the girls from Robert Palmer's 'Addicted to Love'? I can check that off my 'things I've always wanted to see' checklist.

Will said...

The 2nd is the offensive one. Hardcore blackface, and his shirt "The Messiah BHO" makes it seem like he's a mocking conservative, not just a supporter who couldn't find lighter makeup.

Kendal said...

yes. number two gets a punch in the face.

The Honorable Mayor of Bethville said...

#2...

1. Standing in front of a photograph of several arranged teddy bears.

2. Did the lettering on the front of his shirt with his wife's craft paints.

kranks said...

I was at that first party... Those were MY robert palmer girls. I left them at that party for a few minutes and they go hang out with some dick in blackface. Can't trust the robert palmer girls.

Anonymous said...

It is never appropriate to dress in black face, never. Therefore, I will have to give this blog post and it's supporter a big fuck you and yours. That is all. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, Blackface wore by whites is still RACIST, BF was invented for the sole purpose of hate and to persecute Blacks, thus when it is done today, it reminds us of the original HATEFUL intent.