Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blackface and Kanye: Too Comfortable with Hate

Transcending race. Being colorblind. These are all terms that I seem to hear often and after reading David Sirota's "Back to Our Future", I understand these are fairly new concepts introduced in the 1980's. That's why last month was so interesting to me.

Two things happened that showed the problem with this idea. The annual issue with folks dressing up in blackface and Kanye West adding the Confederate flag to his fashion at his shows. First the blackface.

The problem with blackface is that we have a couple of generations removed from the "racist past" who think it's cool to do it without realizing the consequences. They actually bristle at you when you dare tell them it's wrong and offensive instead of apologize and realize the error of their ways.

But today's youth has a unique situation. White kids grow up with a Black president, Black rappers being the biggest pop stars on the planet and White pop stars using Black influences (which isn't new). They're in a society where pop culture is more diverse than ever yet their understanding of individual cultures is limited.