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Clown World Alert : Digital Blackface

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
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One prominent problematic example of this is the use of digital blackface in GIFs. While using GIFs is not nearly as extreme as taking on a whole fake online identity, it represents a much more subversive way that cross-cultural blending from the internet can reinforce negative stereotypes and make us less empathetic when it comes to other races.

Depending on whom you ask, digital blackface either refers to non-Black folks claiming Black identities online or to non-Black folks using Black people in GIFs or memes to convey their own thoughts or emotions.

Digital blackface takes its name from real-life blackface. The origins of this harmful tradition lie in mid-19th-century minstrel shows in which white performers darkened their faces and exaggerated their features in an attempt to look stereotypically “Black” while mimicking enslaved Africans in shows performed for primarily white audiences. This trend of putting on Black appearances and acting out insulting stereotypes went a long way toward cementing the damaging white vs. Black narrative that much of the United States is built on.

Digital blackface, while less obviously and intentionally harmful than 19th-century blackface, bears many similarities in the way it reduces Black people to stereotypes and enables non-Black people to use these stereotypes for their own amusement.
And in 10 years when there are no "black" memes online this "writer" will whine about the lack of digital diversity. I wonder if blacks are allowed to use white/asian/mexican memes or should we segregate all the memes like its Jim Crow meme era?
 

badblue

Member
Nov 25, 2012
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There are some comments in the comment section that I think sum the over all reaction to this by rational people.
How things like this get published I will never understand.

As a black person, if you want black people to be taken seriously, perhaps focusing on real issues impacting the black community such as black-on-black violence or the declining literacy rates of black students in schools instead of this faux “digital blackface” crisis would help. Sharing funny reaction GIFs of black people isn’t the problem, articles like this are.
I get the reductionist argument and it’s painful for me to read that you’ve been emotionally impacted by it. However, GIFs are inherently reductionist no matter who or what they’re representing. Through a facial expression, phrase, or even dance move, by nature they bypass the essence of anything else the subject represents.

I think that Sweet Brown’s “no time for that" statement became so viral because it resonated with people and had a “funny because it’s true" type of visceral connotation. Yes, it was extreme and maybe odd to basically say “I don’t have time for this house fire,” but haven’t we all sort of felt that way when faced with a fiasco, or even a tragedy? Life is so chaotic and messy and hard to keep up with, so when something ugly rears it’s head to make it feel even more impossible, don’t we really just want to throw up our hands and say, “ain’t no one got time for this?” It’s not a race-based sentiment, but a human sentiment.

So I think most of the time when people express an emotion by way of a GIF, the intent is not to reduce the person represented in the GIF. The point is: “Here’s a condensed depiction of what I’m thinking or feeling right now, and this person’s expression summarizes it perfectly.”
Hey, why not just take this absurd crying to the end. How about we not watch movies or television that have black actors, not buy music made by African American people, not visit black owned businesses, not read medium articles, just do not engage with black people at all unless you are black. Supporting black people and culture is racist. Surely you would be better off not taking money printed by the white man, not taking white people as customers, hell, why not just all move to one area that way you will not have to look at other races. Separate bathrooms, your own area in the bus. What else? It is so mind numbingly stupid seeing extremists demand this separate but equal nonsense people like MLK fought against.
 
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Gashtronomy

Member
Apr 19, 2019
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They tried this a few years before.

Are these money-sucking scumbags rehashing ideas that didn't take off the first time?
 
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DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2013
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Looks like some old hag trying to stir drama from something that trended 2 years ago. Nothing to see here.

5 year google trends timeline:

I remember it from Facebook groups ragging on it back then, shit was hilarious.
 

Airola

Member
Jun 25, 2015
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Yeah this was discussed here a bit before the exodus happened and even then a lot of people, even those who left to Era, thought it was bullshit.

Just like with the impeachment, gotta try again!
 

Shaqazooloo

Gold Member
Nov 3, 2018
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Damn, starting the year off pretty strong with the clown world material.

This has got to be satire, I can't believe someone would write this with a straight face.
 
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Greedings

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May 23, 2016
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Wasn’t this a thing ages ago? I remember watching a BBC video where an over privileged, oxbridge educated, black woman lectured me on how I’m not allowed to use gifs.
 

Grinchy

Gold Member
Aug 3, 2010
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a cave outside of Whoville.
Wasn’t this a thing ages ago? I remember watching a BBC video where an over privileged, oxbridge educated, black woman lectured me on how I’m not allowed to use gifs.
It was even a thing here on this site.

It's a very fun stroll down memory lane. This was just a few months before the forum purge and look at people apologizing for using black gifs or for joking about doing it. It's a pretty good example of how different things were back then.

Well, shit, I am certainly guilty of this. I think primarily because White people reactions look so fuckin' dorky.

I'll try to do better
:messenger_tears_of_joy: :messenger_tears_of_joy: We have Likes now, but back then, we had only yikes.
 
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matt404au

Cyberbully
Apr 25, 2009
18,777
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It was even a thing here on this site.

It's a very fun stroll down memory lane. This was just a few months before the forum purge and look at people apologizing for using black gifs or for joking about doing it. It's a pretty good example of how different things were back then.
I’m so glad those retards aren’t here anymore. Pretty funny that so many of them still browse without posting though. The OP of that thread, Aizo, had one post after the split calling a thread about fake hate crimes (ft. Juicy Smolyay) disgusting then requested a perm. He’s still browsing here though and was last seen Nov 2019. Pathetic 😂
 

Ballthyrm

Member
Jun 21, 2013
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Are you trying to tell me an afrofuturist is stuck in the past...
I don't think people should be allowed to write their own description.

As for the digital Black Face, it feels like more procrastination, more idle chatter to hide the real work that still need to be done.
The sad part is that they probably think it is helping, instead what's actually happening, slowing things down.
 

Teletraan1

Member
May 17, 2012
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This is just digital segregation. Black culture has incredibly iconic stories, people. fictional characters, comedy, phrases, etc. Can we go back to the 70s. 80s, 90s, 2000s, early 2010s where nobody gave a shit about this garbage and everything was pretty diverse. I have been watching a lot of older TV and movies and it is just as racially diverse then as it is now minus the press releases touting how diverse it is and articles talking about how it is so nice that we finally have [insert race] characters.
 
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Ailynn

Faith - Hope - Love
Jan 1, 2017
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cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
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I guess GAF really is an alt-right WHYTE supremacist website, look at all this digital blackface. Its like Virginia and Canada up in this bitch.
 
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Boss Mog

Member
Dec 12, 2013
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Just to be serious here for a second. There's literally not one black gif or meme that has anything to do with being black specifically. They would all work if the person was white, it just happened that some of the people with the gif that best fits a certain meme or message happen to be black. I can't see anybody with an IQ over 100 actually taking this "digital blackface" bullshit seriously.
 
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