Here’s a question: Why in the year 2023 are we even still talking about blackface?
How many politicians have to spend their careers apologizing for the time they photographed themselves wearing blackface, calling it a past “mistake” as if they slipped and fell face-first into a bowl of black shoe polish they thought resembled Black skin? How many students have to get themselves kicked out of school for posting racist blackface videos because even at a young age, they’ve learned the American tradition of anti-Black resentment?
How many white comedians have to constantly be confronted with their past blackface-capades they thought were so funny at the time they performed them? How many white people have to risk their jobs because they just can’t imagine dressing up as a Black figure without dumping their faces in brown paint, despite the fact that Black kids have dressed up as white characters every Halloween for generations without painting their faces white?
And why in the world are schools still coming under fire because “educators” think blackface activities are appropriate for Black History Month? According to the Miami Herald, a preschool teacher at Studio Kids’ Little River location in Miami, Florida, had at least three toddlers wearing blackface in order to teach a BHM lesson—again, in the year 2023.
Imagine being a 2 year old or a 3 year old and your first interactive lesson on race in America comes in the form of your “teacher” smearing your face with something brown and icky and saying: This is what being a Black person is like! I mean, can you even imagine all the outlawed critical race theory it’s going to take to correct these children in the future—in Florida of all places? (BTW, I’m sure Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently promoting legislation to protect Black people from anguish and discomfort now that a Florida school has shown its anti-Black divisiveness, right?)
“You should know better as an educator,” Courtney Politis, a Black parent of a child who attends the school told the Herald in regard to the incident. “What else are you teaching our children?”
In fact, Politis said she showed photos of the children in blackface to the director of Studio Kids, who, in 2023, acted like she didn’t understand the problem.
From the Herald:
As the photos began circulating in a parents’ group chat, Politis sent a text to Studio Kids director Patricia Vitale that said “This is racist,” according to a screenshot of the conversation. Vitale responded, “I’m sorry?” to which Politis replied, “A lot of moms are very concerned.” Vitale said she didn’t understand, asked “What is racist?” and subsequently sent out a message to all the parents.
“We have not intended to offend anyone, and we are very sorry about any inconvenience,” Vitale’s message read, according to screenshots. “The parents that know us, know that we have never had a bad intention in our institution.”
Studio Kids, the website of which touts its “environment rich in warmth, love, learning, and play,” has three locations in Miami-Dade: two in Little River, one of which is a Montessori school, and another in Buena Vista. The preschool serves both infants and toddlers and can cost up to $1,500 per month.
“The issue is resolved already; 80 percent of the families are okay,” Vitale told the Miami Herald. She then said any further questions should be directed toward her lawyer.
Even if Vitale didn’t pull that “80%” figure straight out of her hind parts, it would be worth mentioning that Black students are a minority at the Miami Studio Kids location. In fact, parents told the Herald the school is primarily Latino, as is the teacher who was responsible for the blackface lesson, according to Politis.
“One of the arguments Latin Americans make in defense of their anti-blackness is that it’s cultural or that racism doesn’t exist, that it’s a problem in the U.S. where there was Jim Crow segregation and not the same interracial nation-building projects,” Andrea Queeley, a professor of anthropology at FIU who studies Cuba, the African diaspora and race, told the Herald. “It is of course complicated but the historical, social, cultural and economic realities of Afro-Latin Americans suggest otherwise.”
Yeeeah, racist traditions are still racist when practiced by non-white or non-American cultures, people. All blackface being a cultural tradition means is said cultures have included racism for a long time.
Just stop doing it, people. Or we’ll be having this same conversation again in 2024.
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