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Black Pete - Controversial Christmastime Tradition?
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Posted 11/15/14 , edited 11/15/14

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


moonhawk81 wrote:

I agree that it is ridiculously egotistical to leave your culture, settle into another, and then expect your new home to change to accommodate your worldview. Societies are influenced by their immigrants over time--expectations of immediate change inspire resentment (and, often, oppressive/restrictive legislation).


I like to think that if there were truly a reason for them to be offended I would hopefully think that the Danes would change their ways. I don't think it's that egotistical on some issues (Racism), I think the main problem here is misplaced offense.


Racism is wrong, period. Unfortunately, like countless other biases, it continues. However, the example around which this thread is built is not racism. (I helped clean my grandparents' chimney as a boy, and was pretty much a walking bit of soot afterwards.) I stand by my statement, though, that it is egotistical to expect a culture into which you relocate to change just to accommodate your views. True and lasting change in attitudes comes only with time--or extermination.
Posted 11/15/14

serifsansserif wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:


serifsansserif wrote:

"black" as in african descent is not the same as black skin tone.

this is overreacting.


Blackface offends everyone of dark color.
Or should. If you're not, I don't know what to say.
Not that this is blackface. This is....chimney face.

Then again, blackface is by nature only offensive due to its connotations, right?


Then I want every hindu to publicly apologize for the mockery of the black woman by having their goddess Kali being depicted as black. Not only that, but she's also a goddess of death and very violent. I take offense at the connotation of black inferring violence and death. Also because their artwork uses swastikas, and it is the home to the Aryan race, I want them to also apologize to all peoples of jewish decent and immediately remove the offending symbol from all of their artwork and ban its usage henceforth.

Of course I'm being tongue in cheek here, and the danes ARE racist, but you get my point. black as a skin tone in mythology is NOT uncommon and has nothing to do with the overt offensiveness of blackface, which is incredibly offensive and derrogatory to those who do it.

HOWEVER, culturally, there are these bits and pieces everywhere and if you want sensitivity, you also have to be willing to be sensitive, snf more importantly put things into CONTEXT. The protesters are not considering CONTEXT and are overreacting at something that has nothing to do with them


Your post inferred (I think it inferred, did not honestly read the entire news article) that only African would take offense to blackface and not dark skinned people in general. Believe me, racists don't care to differentiate between blacks, it's all the same color.
As for my post on connotation, I never found RDJ's portrayal of Kirk lazarus portraying Lincoln Osiris offensive, I found it funny as hell. (Okay, it was a bit offensive, but the best humor in general is a bit offensive.)
To reiterate, no, I am not saying it is blackface, I am merely saying everyone of dark skinned has a right to be offended in cases of offensive blackface.
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Posted 11/15/14 , edited 11/15/14
Ok.. just needed some clarity.
Posted 11/15/14 , edited 11/15/14

moonhawk81 wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:


moonhawk81 wrote:

I agree that it is ridiculously egotistical to leave your culture, settle into another, and then expect your new home to change to accommodate your worldview. Societies are influenced by their immigrants over time--expectations of immediate change inspire resentment (and, often, oppressive/restrictive legislation).


I like to think that if there were truly a reason for them to be offended I would hopefully think that the Danes would change their ways. I don't think it's that egotistical on some issues (Racism), I think the main problem here is misplaced offense.


Racism is wrong, period. Unfortunately, like countless other biases, it continues. However, the example around which this thread is built is not racism. (I helped clean my grandparents' chimney as a boy, and was pretty much a walking bit of soot afterwards.) I stand by my statement, though, that it is egotistical to expect a culture into which you relocate to change just to accommodate your views. True and lasting change in attitudes comes only with time--or extermination.


I used the wrong wording. I don't think it is not egotistical, I just don't believe it is wrong for people to encourage others to change their ways if it so offends them. (Edit If it is for a good reason. I don't think this is offensive. Derp, there goes my wording again.)
Posted 11/15/14 , edited 11/15/14

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Does black face only encompass those which seek to offend, or all forms? For example, it it blackface for Robert Downey Junior to play a white guy playing as a black guy in tropic thunder?



That's my question here. I added my edit about connotations only due to some instances of people portraying people of darker skintone in a non offensive light, therefore leading me to infer that blackface may not be inherently offensive but only offensive due to its inheritance.


Tropic Thunder was an outrageous comedy/parody - I see nothing offensive in RD's role, especially in the fact that his character on-purpose pigmented his skin just so he could play in the movie featured in the movie TT. The whole thing was a really funny joke poking fun at stereotypes (TD's character himself refused to not speak in stereotypical ghetto-English for his role in the movie-in-the-movie). Almost like a deconstruction or a funny poke at typecasting or something of that sort.

For me, Black Face is when you paint your face to emphasize black features in a rude/demeaning way JUST to racially make fun of blacks.

When you darken OR lighten your skin to look more like a character/someone without being racially motivated, I don't see anything offensive about that whatsoever.

It only becomes offensive when you go the minstrel way, and seek to negatively and racially make fun of a person's race by emphasizing their features in a racist way (like,making exaggerated red lips, or making eyes into non-existent lines... etc.)

However, if EVERYONE is stereotyped that is a different thing as well, considering that it is EVERYONE who is getting made fun of...Like Seinfeld.
Posted 11/15/14

SoldierSangria wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Does black face only encompass those which seek to offend, or all forms? For example, it it blackface for Robert Downey Junior to play a white guy playing as a black guy in tropic thunder?



That's my question here. I added my edit about connotations only due to some instances of people portraying people of darker skintone in a non offensive light, therefore leading me to infer that blackface may not be inherently offensive but only offensive due to its inheritance.


Tropic Thunder was an outrageous comedy/parody - I see nothing offensive in RD's role, especially in the fact that his character on-purpose pigmented his skin just so he could play in the movie featured in the movie TT. The whole thing was a really funny joke poking fun at stereotypes (TD's character himself refused to not speak in stereotypical ghetto-English for his role in the movie-in-the-movie). Almost like a deconstruction or a funny poke at typecasting or something of that sort.

For me, Black Face is when you paint your face to emphasize black features in a rude/demeaning way JUST to racially make fun of blacks.

When you darken OR lighten your skin to look more like a character/someone without being racially motivated, I don't see anything offensive about that whatsoever.

It only becomes offensive when you go the minstrel way, and seek to negatively and racially make fun of a person's race by emphasizing their features in a racist way (like,making exaggerated red lips, or making eyes into non-existent lines... etc.)

However, if EVERYONE is stereotyped that is a different thing as well, considering that it is EVERYONE who is getting made fun of...Like Seinfeld.


So it's not blackface? Interesting. Will have to research that more in depth later.
Posted 11/15/14
santa always has 6-8 black men with him..how else are you gonna keep the kids in line.
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Posted 11/15/14
this has been going on for eons now if the black immigrants dont like it GTFO shut youre hole and leave its that simple
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Posted 11/15/14
So let me get this straight. A recent immigrant population thinks that a tradition that is almost 200 years old is directed at them in a discriminatory manner? How conceited can they be?
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Posted 11/15/14
TL:DR
dont care.
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Posted 11/15/14
All those black people and they couldn't get one to play Black Pete? I mean, I'm not saying it's blackface (they didn't use the makeup to exaggerate any features) and I also don't know the origin of this character, but there has been a lot of non-chalant racism in old european culture
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Posted 11/15/14
From what I have looked up, apparently there's two variations on the story behind this black pete character. This is what someone has already posted about the background:

Black Pete is the helper of 'Sinterklaas' or Saint Niclaas. That's the base. The story has different origins. Some say he saved a shipload of (child/young) black people that were meant to be shipped as slaves, they were free to go but decided to stick with him to help him out. Others say that Black Pete is black due to his travel through the chimney to put tiny gifts into the shoes of kids they leave at night at the door/chimney/window with food for Sint Niclaas his horse and a drawing and their wish list.

It's an old tradition that used to have more disturbing sides to it but those have been taken out over the last decade. Pete used to be the enforcer to punish bad kids (by hitting them with a bunch of twigs) or to (the worst!) take them back to Spain in the empty presents bag to work in the factory. They also praise and give candy to kids that were good that year. Still kids were terrified of the Bag or the Twigs so they eliminated those elements of the tradition. In todays story Sint Niclaas is more often the old and confused man where the Pete's help him out together, every year something happens so they almost don't arrive on time for the festival. This year the Saint was sleeping deeply and the Head-Pete couldn't wake him. So Pete always saves the day to find a solution to the problems.

Of course a lot of people (like, all of them) in the Netherlands have grown up with Pete and many have very fond memories of him. But it has now come to a point where we as a nation can not legitimate the image of Black Pete anymore. Especially with media and everything where the whole world sees this and sees it from a different cultural perspective. Therefor Dutch TV and supermarkets are taking a stand to regulate the image of Black Pete, only saying Pete or using different colors as face paint.

Due to several socio-economic problems in the Netherlands people use Pro-Black Pete opinions as a legit reason to attack Anti-Black Pete people... that's what has happened today, a lot of kids saw and that's really sad. Because it isn't Black Pete that is the problem in this, changing the image isn't a big deal (for a lot of people & kids). The big deals are the bigger underlying problems of racism, extreme right movements and trouble with the economy in the Netherlands.

Once again, this is what someone else has written not me! It's from the article that was posted.

It seems there's two stories behind Black Pete that apparently no one can agree which is the original one. But if it's the first one about the black slaves, then yes I can sort of see why the black immigrants would have a problem with this. And also why lighter skin originals of the Netherlands(most since apparently some do think it's racist as well) wouldn't think it's racist.

Honestly in my opinion I agree with everyone who is saying a country shouldn't have to change their traditions to suit newcomers. But at the same time, if that tradition is racist(especially if the backstory is a little questionable), then maybe you should think it over a little more before using it. Think about it this way, if you have an all white(or all whatever) country and the tradition for years and years, yet come modern day and you realize that maybe that tradition is offending other races, you'd want to change that wouldn't you? Or at least try to make it more appropriate for other races to also enjoy those traditions.

Every country started out the same way, full of their own specific races, but then everyone started mixing and traveling. Some countries had to change a few things because they did offend the lather, it took time and some protests just like this one. Eventually it changed for the better, there are some countries now-a-days that are still fighting racism even if other countries have gotten over that stuff. Hell, America is still fighting racism in certain parts.
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Posted 11/15/14
haha Black Pete may be the lamest side kick of all time
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