Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it always insulting for a white person to portray a black person?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42254points) October 28th, 2015

This story. White guy dressed up as Kanye West, and his wife dressed as Kim Kardasian. She stuck a pillow in the butt of her pants.

Some people were upset over the portrayal of Kanye by a white man. I really don’t understand why.

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10 Answers

josie's avatar

There is not a pillow big enough…
Having said it…
No more insulting than men dressing as women and women dressing as men.
But it also depends on who is complaining.
Some people are more passionate complainers than others.
And some people are regarded, for some reason, as being more justified than others for complaining.
Oh well.

Haleth's avatar

It’s definitely insulting if you wear blackface. Blackface recalls minstrelry, where white actors portrayed black people as racist caricatures to entertain white audiences. It’s, like, deeply shameful that people continue to do this in the 21st century.

Ellen Degeneres as Nicki Minaj is an example of how to do it without being offensive. It’s hilarious and it’s clearly Nicki.

josie's avatar

@Haleth
So it isn’t what somebody does, it’s who does it?

Seek's avatar

More like how they do it.

I could cosplay Storm from the X-Men without painting my skin brown. Yes, she is invariably a black woman in the comics, but that is not her most distinguishing feature by far.

Blackberry's avatar

What a shit, unnecessary story.

It’s a costume.

Not everything a white person does involving a black person is racist.

I really admired Pitt in fight club, I could have gone white face with my shirt off lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Except he wasn’t wearing blackface in that way, @Haleth. Not like the minstrel plays. He wasn’t wearing just blackface. He had every exposed part of his skin covered, and he was wearing it because his wife could pass for Kim Kardashian, if she stuck a pillow in her butt (I guess. I’m not even sure who she is,) and he could go as her boyfriend. I just don’t find it the least bit insulting. Like @Blackberry said, it was a costume. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t think it was automatically an insult.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Blackface is typically not okay at all, in my opinion, simply because of the horrible and negative history related to it.

In this case, because he was attempting to portray a specific person, and not attempting to turn an entire race into a Halloween costume, it’s not quite the same as just being a black person for Halloween.

I think he didn’t have bad intentions, but if people weren’t paying attention to the fact that he was was trying to be Kanye, they probably automatically bristled and thought it was racist – which, I think, is understandable. It’s a trigger automatically for a lot of people when they see a white person doing blackface.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If they were wearing blackface, or you had a white person portraying a black person in a film or play, then yes, I think that would be offensive always. There’s no reason for it.

Dressing up as a caricature of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian for a fancy dress party seems fair enough. A person’s skin tone shouldn’t exclude them from satirical representations.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Parody is always going to insult somebody.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’d say his wife’s butt was an insult, far more than changing the color of his skin for a while.

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