On Blackface

I've been reading a few of these pieces on recent blackface incidents, the latest one occuring in Australia and implicated a mother who dressed her child up "as Nic Natanui," not stopping at the wig and affectations but going whole hog to the face paint also.

When the outrage ensues over one of these incidents I get puzzled over the technicality of all the reasons not to do blackface + complicated reasons why it is racist.

Bottomline: I don't need critical race theory to understand blackface is often taken with offense.

Consequently, I don't do blackface. One word is all it takes: respect

All of the legalese behind how blackface is a legacy of systematic, two-tiered media representations, and how racism is institutionalised, and how these are microaggressions, are fine as explanations. 

But these little historiography lessons doused critical theory don't move the needle at all. In fact, I think for most average observers, and those who are not POC, they are flatly unconvincing. Think of it this way: you telling me I can't do the right thing vis a vis race relations 'cause I don't understand the "structures," the "systems" of oppression and how they work in predictable ways is codswallop exactly in the same way a Christian telling an atheist he can't be moral because he doesn't know Jesus is bogus.

Don't do blackface simply because it is disrespectful. If POC convince white people of that, I suggest POC should accept that win and move on. I don't think it is wise to foreclose the "face-saving" way out for white people, which is the plausible deniability (and it may be true or not true) that they had no idea indeed precisely how much offense they have caused, and therefore how much disrespect they are on the hook for.