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CNN Publishes Cringe Piece on “Digital Blackface,” Gets Relentlessly Mocked

CNN Publishes Cringe Piece on “Digital Blackface,” Gets Relentlessly Mocked

“But critics say digital blackface is wrong because it’s a modern-day repackaging of minstrel shows, a racist form of entertainment popular in the 19th century.”

Some woke social justice warrior has penned an absolutely absurd piece for CNN claiming that sharing images (GIFs, memes, etc.) of black people online is “digital blackface.”

The whole thing is complete cringe to read; it’s poorly written, ill-considered, and poorly supported–apparently, a freshman at UC Berkeley wrote about it, and that’s the “academic paper” the person who penned this drivel cites.

In a nutshell: you can’t post memes about black people because it’s just like (JUST LIKE) minstrel shows from the past. Minstrel shows have been deemed racist and have been banned by the lily white woke left. It doesn’t matter that there hasn’t been one in well over a hundred years. Instead, this portion of American cultural history is being dug up, dusted off, and used as a cudgel to beat contemporary Americans over the head with our supposed “systemic racism.”

From CNN (archive link):

Maybe you shared that viral video of Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins telling a reporter after narrowly escaping an apartment fire, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Perhaps you posted that meme of supermodel Tyra Banks exploding in anger on “America’s Next Top Model” (“I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!”). Or maybe you’ve simply posted popular GIFs, such as the one of NBA great Michael Jordan crying, or of drag queen RuPaul declaring, “Guuuurl…”

If you’re Black and you’ve shared such images online, you get a pass. But if you’re White, you may have inadvertently perpetuated one of the most insidious forms of contemporary racism.

You may be wearing “digital blackface.”

. . . . Many White people choose images of Black people when it comes to expressing exaggerated emotions on social media – a burden that Black people didn’t ask for, she says.

“We are your sass, your nonchalance, your fury, your delight, your annoyance, your happy dance, your diva, your shade, your ‘yaas’ moments,” Jackson writes. “The weight of reaction GIFing, period, rests on our shoulders.”

. . . . But critics say digital blackface is wrong because it’s a modern-day repackaging of minstrel shows, a racist form of entertainment popular in the 19th century. That’s when White actors, faces darkened with burnt cork, entertained audiences by playing Black characters as bumbling, happy-go-lucky simpletons. That practice continued in the 20th century on hit radio shows such as “Amos ‘n’ Andy.”

. . . . “Historical blackface has never truly ended, and Americans have yet to actively confront their racist past to this day,” Erinn Wong writes in an academic paper on the topic.

“In fact, minstrel blackface has emerged into even more subtle forms of racism that are now glorified all over the Internet.”

Wong is the “academic” who penned that paper when she was a freshman at UC Berkeley (archive link). You can’t make this stuff up.

According to CNN, it’s only “digital blackface” if white people do it, and apparently, it’s only “digital blackface” if the ‘wrong’ white people do it (i.e. anyone not woke). If the ‘right’ white people, their “allies,” do it, it’s okay, especially if they tweet long struggle sessions of their awokening and then grovel appropriately for forgiveness from the woke high council.  This woke high council appears to consist of woke Twitter and other social media mobs, the legacy media, and—increasingly, as we’ve learned from the Twitter Files—the federal government.

And yet even with that definition, it’s hard to figure out exactly what is and isn’t digital blackface.

This is the challenge that Elizabeth Halford faces.

Halford, a [white] brand designer, wrote an apologetic essay in 2020 about how she made a meme out of Wilkins’ “Ain’t nobody got time for that” catchphrase and sent someone a GIF of the singer Beyonce repeating, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.”

“I’ve engaged in digital blackface,” Halford wrote.” I’ve laughed at people of color on the news facing horrifying crime and disaster and loss. I’ve appropriated Black trauma as punchlines and peeled their faces off to put on my own and say what I can’t say, to make you laugh, or just because it went viral.”

It’s stupid and exhausting–I would call it “sophomoric,” but that’s apparently, giving it more credit than it’s due. The radical left is desperate to find some way to justify their imposition of a new systemic racism that punishes white people for the perceived racism of the past, and you can’t do that if we, as a country and people, have (had) actually moved past that racism and into a more colorblind society.

The first step, of course, was to claim that “colorblind” is itself racist, then to dig up evidence of racism (real or imagined), then to find something contemporary that is not remotely similar but that can be claimed as such. This “evidence” is then used to further divide Americans by race, set up the new segregation we see occurring among the woke (from graduations, to hiring, to the treatment of patients), and establish a new racial order with white people as the bottom caste. Presumably, the white “allies” of this divisive, destructive ideology will be at the top of the bottom caste. Yay!?

CNN continues:

But no digital behavior exists in a deracialized vacuum, she says. A White person can spread digital blackface without malicious intent.

“Digital blackface does not describe intent, but an act — the act of inhabiting a black persona,” she adds. “Employing digital technology to co-opt a perceived cache or black cool, too, involves playacting blackness in a minstrel-like tradition.

“No matter how brief the performance or playful the intent, summoning black images to play types means pirouetting on over 150 years of American blackface tradition.”

Purposefully creating systemic racism is somehow the “remedy” for past systemic racism . . . if you buy into the racist anti-racism rantings of Ibram Kendi that the “only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” Because actual racism is hard to find, they have to invent crazy theories to insist that it still permeates our society. It doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep trying (including, of course, the countless race hoaxes from Jussie Smollett to the “fake noose” about NASCAR).

CNN’s woke nonsense is typical woke nonsense, and it garnered the response you would expect from typical woke nonsense.

Some people hilariously used “digital blackface” to mock this disastrously stupid CNN take:


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There’s nothing wrong with blackface in the first place.

Sorry bro, your Race Card has been denied (again).

I’ll continue to judge people by the content of their character, and the hilarity of their memes.

I’d love to tour the Southland /
In a traveling minstrel show /
Yes, I’d love to tour the Southland /
In a traveling minstrel show /
Yes, I’m dying to be a star /
And make them laugh /
Sound just like a record on a phonograph /
Those days are gone forever /
Over a long time ago, oh yeah /

Of course, they wrote that before the Internet; now things have changed!

They need to do a story accusing trannies and drag-queens of “woman-face”

Whatever happened to “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”?

E Howard Hunt | March 27, 2023 at 8:46 pm

I’d walk a million miles
for one of your smiles,
my Mammy!

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to E Howard Hunt. | March 28, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Even before it was mandated, that performance made me cringe.

      Vaudeville performances really don’t translate well to film. They required really exaggerated performance to carry to the back row and the highest balcony. Bringing that performance to film just put it right in your face like you were sitting on the stage with them.

      The song itself is no more cringeworthy than any of a number of modern lyrics.

      Not arguing with your comment, just extending comment on it. (I didn’t do the downvote.)

I can’t create memes, but if I did, it’d be from the waitress in “What’s Happening….”

“:If you can dig it, I can shovel it.”

Aw, hell naw!!!

So, it’s gonna be like that, huh?

George_Kaplan | March 27, 2023 at 10:09 pm

If the wrong people using Black content is forbidden blackface, I guess that means Black content should be removed from the internet and public media. Only approved users should be permitted access and only approved sites or systems allowed that content. Jim Crow 3.0 coming to you soon?

Or we could just accept Black or White everyone’s human? Nah that’d be too simple! Why folk might come to think they were equal and shared common ancestors!!! We absolutely can’t have that!!!!! X_X

The Gentle Grizzly | March 27, 2023 at 10:10 pm

I’ll feel my white guilt next time I sing along with my Billy Eckstine cover of On Green Dolphin Street.

Do the leftists really think our memories are so short? Or that they have successfully scrubbed the internet of all unhandy examples of their hypocrisy?


I’ll keep this in mind the next time I see a black woman with super-thick lashes and platinum blonde “bouncin’ and behavin” hair (H/T Whoopi Goldberg)

Oh FFS… 🙄

First, Fuzzy, you couldn’t fit the “As They Should Be” onto the end of that headline? It’s already two lines in my browser. 😉

Second, has anyone yet done a meme of the black woman in that article’s pic? C’mon, people, get on the ball!

Third, this is just stupid. “Cringe” doesn’t even do it justice. This is “Tommy, please stop being a clown, it’s annoying the rest of the class” level of stupid. But, these people live in a bubble and won’t even be embarrassed by this. Our whole country needs an intervention, and these people need to be sat in the hall for the duration of class.

What would the Kingfish have to say?

How about Obama’s reference to having “rhythm” ? I suppose that was OK because he’s half-black, and blacks are allowed to commit “digital blackface” themselves. But perhaps since he’s half-black, then it’s only half-allowed when he does it? This is fast becoming too complicated for my sense of logic to comprehend…….

“I’ve laughed at people of color on the news facing horrifying crime and disaster and loss.”

This is sounds like a personal problem with this writer not with everyone else. They are guilty of projecting their own horrors onto the public at large to spread some of their guilt and feel contrite.

The memes of “sweet brown” are hilarious not because of any racial slight but because she was reacting in the moment, unfiltered just giving a hot take. People say the darndest things under pressure and off the cuff