Oct 292013
Julianne Hough blackface

Julianne Hough’s blackface causes backlash. Photo by Daniel Arevalo/Creative Commons

If a man dresses as a woman for Halloween, does that make him a sexist? If a white person dresses in a blackface, does that make her racist?

Recently, Julianne Hough was ostracized for donning an innocuous costume for Halloween as a black person’s character named Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) in the Netflex series “Orange is the New Black.” Her dancing brother, Derek also chimed in and offered his opinion with the statement; “it wasn’t her brightest moment,” according to the Daily News.

Blackface apology

Julianne Hough released an apology for anyone who was offended shortly after the incident caught the attention of the media.

Years ago, it was considered in poor judgment to dress as an African-American (black) being a Caucasian (white) person. The ugly history of racial discrimination promoted an intolerance to mimicking any black person as it was done with offensive intentions. This persistent mentality of distinguishing the different races is demeaning those of black heritage.

This isn’t the first time (and apparently not going to be the last time) society points fingers and cries ‘racism’ during activities that involve costumes. But wouldn’t it be considered racist to cry racist? Is it the focus on the blackface costume reverting back to the racist history and the connotations thereof?

Society is ‘stuck’ on the negativity of being black by not accepting accolades for impersonating a black person.

In 2012, a second grader wanted to honor his idol by dressing in character for a school project. His idol just so happened to be Martin Luther King, Jr. The boy dressed in character complete with a blackface only to be reprimanded by the school’s principal. His costume was “offensive and distracting.”

What did that teach the boy? It is wrong to be a black person? Isn’t that encouraging covert racism?

I believe the very action of calling ‘racism’ in regards to blackface costumes is actually racism. It is promoting the mentality of race-negativity by not accepting a blackface in costume.

Julianne Hough’s innocent blackface costume was praising the Netflex series, specifically the actress who happens to be black. If Hough was black, would that make it acceptable?

Let’s move on … let’s honor all people regardless of race.