It’s Time To Have A Blackface Detox

Image for post
Image for post

Why Blackface Revelations Are Necessary

Plainly put, we need to know what your intentions are. Black people need to know if you are a self-narcissist seeking to grab power at our expense with no real intention of helping us improve our lots in life. We need to be able to see you understand how harmful and racist your actions are. Your lack of self-awareness back then causes us to question your self-awareness today, especially if you don’t have a track record of being down with us or looking out for our interests.

Ways To Redeem Yourselves After Blackface Revelation

If you have blackface in your background, here’s some advice on how to handle it.

  1. Don’t ask us for forgiveness — Many Black people are sick and tired of forgiving White people — who go on after the bad-bad to benefit from their misdeeds with little or no punishment. You blackface wearer asking Black folks to forgive you is not really sincere. It’s like asking a rape victim to forgive you immediately after you’ve raped her/her. It’s simply not rational. Put yourself in our shoes. Your reveal is all about you and not about us — so don’t ask. You need to stew in your stupidity and learn what humiliation feels like. We wear humiliation every day as the least liked and least respected population in the nation.
  2. Go to a Black church — The Black church will forgive and welcome you. You will have to look at some mean mugs in the congregation who won’t be having any of your shit — but you gotta work through your shit. It’s a consequence of being a dumb ass. You made life hard for yourself, so deal with it.
  3. Get some Black friends — Get some Black friends. It’s going to be hard because we probably won’t be fucking with you that much after you reveal you wore blackface — but there are some people who believe in second chances. You need to go to there homes to break bread, yes eat at their tables. Hang out in their neighborhoods, learn about their families. Visit their places of worship. Immerse yourselves in the lives and communities of Black people. Learn their histories. See how White people have made life hard for your new found Black friends. Don’t forget to ask them to tell you the specific ways they’ve been harmed by Whiteness. I’m sure you’ll get an earful!
  4. Marinate in shame — You are (or you were) a racist. It was your little White peoples’ secret until you exposed yourself. You should be ashamed. Now you know how we feel when you mock our looks for no reason. You knew what you were doing was wrong, but you did it anyway. While blackface is not criminal, it is socially not acceptable, which is why you did it in secret. You don’t get a get-out-of-jail-free card for this. Your feelings are not as important as the people you hurt with your actions — your feelings are absolutely irrelevant. You did not care about the feelings of Black people when you did your blackface trope — the feeling is mutual when it comes to your shame. Stew in it.
  5. Apologize, but only if you’ve changed — Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. If you don’t have plans to change or if your apology is motivated by your future only — save it. We know a fake apology a mile away. Again, we are tired of your apology for racism. After 400 years, you should know better and understand why it’s wrong (which I why I call the White people who do it STUPID). Your apology should come only after much reflection and understanding how that old racist trope hurts us and not because you feel bad. If your apology is given because you feel bad and not because you made us feel bad — then save it for another time. Again, we know bullshit apologies. Your people give them to us all the time (i.e. Rep. Steve King).
  6. Stay out of our faces for a while — When you tell us about your blackface debacle, can you go hide out for a few weeks/months? Take a leave of absence. Resign. Go to racist rehab. Do what rich folks do when they are trying to escape trouble. Get out of our faces. Out of sight, out of mind. We have so much trauma — we really need several Black trauma holidays. I know you won’t understand, but trust me — the sooner you leave, the sooner the healing can begin and we can reconcile faster. If you are smug and being an asshole narcissist thinking you’re entitled to your position and the power you falsely secured — well, we are going to have problems. Get out of our faces, just leave us be.
  7. Get some Black history in your White life — I know you likely went to White schools, studied Whitewashed Black history (if you studied it at all) lived in White communities, went to the White churches, and did all the White stuff in your sanitized little White world. You need to get some Black history in your life. Visit Black history museums to learn about our history. Buy books written by Black authors, get a different perspective, attend local Black history events — there is a lot to learn in your own communities, and study the awful, derogatory history of blackface. Singing about how good a slave’s life is — is bullshit!
  8. Burn your blackface photos — treat those things like the naked pics you sent to your ex and you’d like to recall. Burn them, delete them, buy them off your friends, scrub the internet for old blackface pics, have someone do a scrub of your history, and get rid of your pics after you disclose your dumb deed. You deserve to clean start. Hope the internet doesn’t hold any grudges.
  9. Seek racism training — You need to discover biases you don’t have. Make sure it’s taught by White and Black people so that you can get taught by people you respect more (Whites) with the context that can only be given by the people you likely have harmed with your covert bias (Blacks). Register today — don’t forget to tell us about it. It goes toward your proof of repentance.

In Closing

There is never going to be a good time to let the cat out of the bag. Whenever you tell us about those Blackface pics, we’re going to have a problem. But as long as you’re willing to do the work and pay penance for your sins, we can possibly forgive you. Now you should note — we are never forgetting it, no matter how nice you treat us and no matter how many Black history programs you attend. The cloud of suspicion will always hang over your head.

I write intelligent, unvarnished thoughts on anti-Blackness, racism, politics, Black people, and White Supremacy. |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store