On the left, there is a white man dressed as a member of the KKK holding a rope that is tied as a noose around the neck of another white man dressed in blackface.
The most horrifying part is that these two men won the costume contest at the Royal Canadian Legion in Cambellford, Ontario, a small predominantly white town not far from Toronto.
They meant it as a joke... they found it funny. I don't think that we can (or should) get to a point where murder, slavery, and racism are funny.
On CTV News tonight, the son of one of these men said "no, he's not racist or anything. Obviously not" and then said something about how it is ok because people dress like serial killers every day. How can I argue with that logic?
Last year, when a group of white students dressed as the cast of Cool Runnings at the University of Toronto, there was a forum where students and faculty were invited to discuss the issue of blackface and whether it is appropriate... keep in mind that these students were trying to portray people that they admired in a movie they enjoyed, not showing a violent scene as a joke. One thing that came out of this forum was an article that presented various sides to the issue, and stated that
one look at the deeply rooted and violent history of racism and blackface iconography is all that it takes to understand that a white person painting themselves to depict a black person shouldn't
I tend to agree with this statement. Blackface is never ok. And blackface that depicts this level of hatred can never be funny. At very least, it appears as though there will be a thorough investigation.