So earlier this week I shared a story about a Missouri female football team playing in black face on my personal Facebook page. Mainly, I shared it because the people involved trying to say it was an innocent mistake.
These girls weren’t five year olds. They are older teenagers. Anyway, the story was that they always paint their faces to intimidate their opponents but when the girls all gathered their supplies they only had black paint. So they proceeded to paint their entire face black. Not just a design or half a face (Braveheart style) but they went full blackface.
Anyhoo, one of my FB friends who is white responded with this comment: Not trying to take away from this incredulous act but racism is kept alive by both sides the ones creating it and the ones bothered by it in any form they were wrong to do that but instead of outrage shouldn’t the world laugh at their ignorance there by condemning the ignorant as being ignorant instead giving credence to their inequity and bringing attention to this despicable creation and giving it life to be aprocreated in another ignorant mind held by a sheeple?
Here was my response: There is a time and a place for outrage. If you laugh at these incidents of racism then racism itself becomes a laughing matter and therefore acceptable. No black person should be made to feel like what these young women did was acceptable. The girls themselves shouldn’t feel that it was acceptable. Outrage doesn’t give it credence. Having them play an entire game with not one adult telling them to take that shit off gives it credence. Them feeling comfortable to take pictures and post it on social media gives it credence. Outrage got the facepaint banned from future games so that ignorance won’t happen again.
I have a brother who is in his early twenties that once told me because he grew up with people of all races, racism doesn’t exist. I damn near slapped the blackness off him (Not really but I wanted to shake some sense into him) Just because the black people before you fought and protested and rallied and were beaten and intimated and killed so that we can all be counted as equal doesn’t mean that the bigoted ideology that is racism somehow magically floated away. We have progressed. And that is always a good thing but I’m sorry my good people racism is still a thing.
I’m so glad that my FB friend is thinking about how to fix the problem but getting rid of the outrage is not the way. Otherwise, when egregious acts of racism happen people will just accept it and move on and nothing changes. Outrage brings attention. Attention brings discussion. Discussion brings a plan. And a plan can bring change.
Outrage does not mean violence, although, violence can be a result of it. We have to follow up the outrage with something meaningful.
On the bright side–Me being able to have this conversation with my friend and then sharing it with my rainbow coalition of peeps shows just how far we’ve come. But these girls thinking it was okay to play a football game in blackface shows just how far we have to go.
It’s just my two cents…
If you were interested in the story that inspired this blog….Here it is.