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Thread: Brown Face?

  1. #1

    Default Brown Face?

    In 2001, Justin Trudeau went to an Arabian Nights themed costume party dressed as Aladdin, wearing brown makeup. Now he's a racist??? Seriously? How is this in any way like wearing black-face makeup specifically to show disrespect for black Americans? Am I wrong on this? Is it actually a legitimate measure of being a racist simply anyone who has applied makeup to darken their skin in whatever context?

    Andrew Scheer, the Conservative leader and Mr. Trudeau’s main challenger in the Oct. 21 vote, said the photograph reflected “someone with a complete lack of judgment and integrity, and someone who is not fit to govern this country.”
    Oh, ffs. Has this guy ever met a US Republican politician? Integrity indeed.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/w...gtype=Homepage
    Last edited by EyeKhan; 09-19-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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  2. #2
    Trudeau is a prat and I hope he loses the election but not because of antics 18 years ago he's apologised for.

    Still amusing to see him squirm, but I agree with you overall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    How is this in any way like wearing black-face makeup specifically to show disrespect for black Americans? Am I wrong on this? Is it actually a legitimate measure of being a racist simply anyone who has applied makeup to darken their skin in whatever context?
    Generally speaking state side, the answer is yes altering your natural skin color or appearance to appear as another race is considered racist. I live in a conservative state and the cosplay community is near universally opposed to any sort of race facing. Either darkening skin or slanting your eyes artificially will all get you branded a racist.

    Example: https://www.mysanantonio.com/enterta...s-13343318.php

    All that said I doubt Trudeau was aware of it and pulling something from two decades ago seems absurd however I get a feeling if the shoe was on a conservative's foot the media reaction would be quite different. Hell the fact that the picture only now surfaced just kind of shows how the media will not publish embarrassing things about people they support.

    Example: https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/...damaging-info/

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    ...I get a feeling if the shoe was on a conservative's foot the media reaction would be quite different. Hell the fact that the picture only now surfaced just kind of shows how the media will not publish embarrassing things about people they support.
    The only media I've seen is the NYT article I referenced, and there isn't any pro-Trudeau bias in it. The article talks about who found the pic and made it public, and where they found it, in case you're interested if your speculation of bias holds water.
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  5. #5
    I was listening to a discussion on this on the BBC [a small discussion when not discussing Brexit etc] and they were saying the context of this is interesting because Trudeau's Liberal Party has been trying to dig up dirt and publish dirt on stuff the Conservative leader said and did in the past. That's often the case with this sort of thing, when you start peering under rocks for someone else your own foibles come to light too.

    A third picture has now emerged apparently. Even 20 years ago I doubt I or anyone I know would have done something like this three times. I've never even done it once.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  6. #6
    My understanding is the taboo against putting on make-up to change skin color comes from black-face entertainers in the US who used to imitate black people in extremely demeaning and humiliating ways. So in the US, any costume involving skin-darkening makeup is just not acceptable. One recent prominent example is the Virginia governor's college yearbook photo which not only shows him (allegedly) in black face, but posing with someone in a KKK ghost costume. That's clearly offensive. But Canada doesn't have the same racist history as the US and the costume itself was not designed to be offensive. I just don't get how anyone can straight faced call him a racist on that alone.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    My understanding is the taboo against putting on make-up to change skin color comes from black-face entertainers in the US who used to imitate black people in extremely demeaning and humiliating ways. So in the US, any costume involving skin-darkening makeup is just not acceptable. One recent prominent example is the Virginia governor's college yearbook photo which not only shows him (allegedly) in black face, but posing with someone in a KKK ghost costume. That's clearly offensive. But Canada doesn't have the same racist history as the US and the costume itself was not designed to be offensive. I just don't get how anyone can straight faced call him a racist on that alone.
    Like with many things liberals often get into purity battles as they continue to escalate. Another example: https://nerdreactor.com/2017/01/15/k...atchs-mexican/

    Interesting to note on the Democratic governor of Virginia example you cited, it caused a stir but it was quickly glossed over and buried. Why? Because bias.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    My understanding is the taboo against putting on make-up to change skin color comes from black-face entertainers in the US who used to imitate black people in extremely demeaning and humiliating ways. So in the US, any costume involving skin-darkening makeup is just not acceptable. One recent prominent example is the Virginia governor's college yearbook photo which not only shows him (allegedly) in black face, but posing with someone in a KKK ghost costume. That's clearly offensive. But Canada doesn't have the same racist history as the US and the costume itself was not designed to be offensive. I just don't get how anyone can straight faced call him a racist on that alone.
    There's no need to overcomplicate this. What you're doing in these situations is dressing up as a racist caricature of a minority for the short-lived entertainment of your usually white friends, at the expense of a usually marginalized minority group who has to live through the consequences of being eg. black every day. The caricature itself is racist, even if you may feel like you—as a person—aren't. The US has a history of racism but also a history of reckoning with racism, so it's more clear in the US that this sort of thing is unacceptable—and yet people still do it.

    Now, I dunno if Trudeau also pretended to have multiple wives or brought along a Bengali slave or something, but it was a callous and inherently racist act, albeit one that has until recently been seen as an acceptable and fun way for white dudes to show how chill they are. This is easily neutralized with a decent apology, and won't move the needle either way. Canadian conservatives are nearly as gross as their British counterparts.
    Last edited by Aimless; 09-19-2019 at 06:51 PM.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Canadian conservatives are nearly as gross as their British counterparts.
    What countries conservatives do you view as a beacon of "non-gross"

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    What countries conservatives do you view as a beacon of "non-gross"
    Germany, for one. Conservatism in most of the west is no longer principled, and has become increasingly dominated by authoritarianism, xenophobia and the impulse to troll—or by desperate pandering to those elements of their respective electorates that are drawn to such things. I think Germany has withstood that development better than most.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    There's no need to overcomplicate this. What you're doing in these situations is dressing up as a racist caricature of a minority for the short-lived entertainment of your usually white friends, at the expense of a usually marginalized minority group who has to live through the consequences of being eg. black every day. The caricature itself is racist, even if you may feel like you—as a person—aren't. The US has a history of racism but also a history of reckoning with racism, so it's more clear in the US that this sort of thing is unacceptable—and yet people still do it.

    Now, I dunno if Trudeau also pretended to have multiple wives or brought along a Bengali slave or something, but it was a callous and inherently racist act, albeit one that has until recently been seen as an acceptable and fun way for white dudes to show how chill they are. This is easily neutralized with a decent apology, and won't move the needle either way. Canadian conservatives are nearly as gross as their British counterparts.
    Aladdin is a racist caricature? It was my favourite Disney movie growing up and I never thought I was racist for enjoying it, nor have I ever thought that buying my daughter a Princess Jasmine outfit was racist. For the record I've never darkened my or my daughter's skin for a costume - though I did use green spraypaint once for a space-themed fancy dress party. Was that speciesist? My daughter like my wife and I has dark hair and her favourite princess is Rapunzel, she has costumes for most of the Disney princesses but especially Cinderella and Rapunzel and has a very long blonde wig to go with her Rapunzel outfit. Considering that she's got dark hair naturally is it wrong for her to dress up with a blonde wig?

    Blackface sure is a racist caricature which is why it is frowned upon, but Aladdin isn't. I don't recall Bengali slaves or multiple wives in any version of Aladdin I watched or read. Its a shame that vile racists make everything seem racist, I don't often defend Trudeau I don't like the guy at all, but I do not think a young Trudeau considered Arabian Nights to be at all racist or meant offence by it.

    EDIT: Ouch, just read an article about it and Trudeau was a teacher there at the time! I assumed he was a student. That makes it much worse IMO. Students make stupid mistakes, even in 2001 [when I was a student] I would have felt that was wrong though it was less of an issue than now, but for a teacher to do it - yikes that's bad!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  12. #12
    If you watch Aladdin again, pay attention to how the incompetent and evil characters look vs the heroes. I enjoyed the film when it came out and will let my kids watch it if they want to but some aspects of it are pretty bad.
    Some people are too dense to bother with

  13. #13
    Iago is a bird.

    Jafah is cool and looks suave, he's my all-time favourite villain along with Jeremy Irons* as Scar. Disney Villains can be the best characters, my wife's favourites are Ursula and Maleficient.

    So I assume you mean the Guards who are comic relief and look like cartoony guards. Am I missing something?

    * A man with a voice for villains if there ever was one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Am I missing something?
    I think that's beyond doubt now lewk.
    Some people are too dense to bother with

  15. #15
    What are you talking about?

    Maybe I'm being too innocent about this but I don't see anything majorly shocking here?


    Jafar looks like a suave and smooth villain. Aladdin looks like a young innocent man. Complexion isn't the issue you're hinting at, they're all a very similar complexion but if anything Jasmine and the Sultan are both darker than Jafar. The only one who looks absurd is the Sultan being overly fat but that looks more like a Father Christmas rotund stereotype than a racial one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  16. #16
    You are entitled to your point of view. Goodbye.
    Some people are too dense to bother with

  17. #17
    You too. There's nothing racially odd about the way Jafar is drawn compared to either the good characters or compared to other villains.



    If you have something to say then you should spit it out and say it, not beat about the bush expecting others to by psychic mindreaders.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  18. #18
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    I think there's a lot of grey to be applied in any discussion about Aladdin. The source material is Arabic which makes it ridiculous to say that the characters are racist stereotypes per se. The story has a hero and a villain and both of them are Arab. The Disney rendition is simplistic, verging on the silly. But so far I still have to meet an Arab outside of a western setting who thinks of it as racist.
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  19. #19
    Well indeed. Its cartoony, but then its a cartoon. Its also a bit dated, but then its not new either.

    If the point being made was that the villain was Arabic but the heroes were white then that'd be racist. And also jarring for an Arabic story but its not the case. Aladdin, Jasmine and the Sultan are all Arabic and all have the same skin colour as the villains.

    Genie is blue. He's different. Jafar-as-genie is red. Maybe that's what he's referring to? Being biased in favour of blue skin instead of red?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Unheard Of View Post
    If you watch Aladdin again, pay attention to how the incompetent and evil characters look vs the heroes. I enjoyed the film when it came out and will let my kids watch it if they want to but some aspects of it are pretty bad.
    I'm with Rand, I'm struggling to see any conclusions that can be drawn from the colour of the characters - heroes & villains - in Disney's Aladdin.

    They're all Arabian in colouring.

    Or are you more referring to the fact that the hero characters are American in look (disregarding the skin colour), westernised, with American accents - whilst the villains are more Arabian in look, and with Arabian accents? Certainly true, and very typical of Hollywood. Hollywood heroes are typically American, and villains typically foreign. Look how many villains in Hollywood movies have British accents for example.

    Indeed, the characterisation of good = western bad = foreign is not good, if that is what you were referring to.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 09-20-2019 at 08:09 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  21. #21
    Aladdin and Jasmine were portrayed as much more western than the guards, merchants, regular citizens etc, who were conceived of as generic swarthy Arab caricatures with shall we say middle-eastern noses. The movie was full of Orientalist stereotypes. I like the original movie and the show, but it is a great example of white people simply not giving a fuck about the cultures they exploit for their entertainment. As for the current controversy, Trudeau's costume was ambitious, but he didn't need to paint his face dark brown to make it work. He basically already looks like Disney's Aladdin a couple of months after the beach season.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  22. #22
    Think your response was at the same time as my edit - we mention the same thing ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  23. #23
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    Is anybody else getting bored with this whole debate on the basis of identity politics? I mean, orientalism was mentioned a few posts up like it was something tantamount to the selling of slaves. Totally ignoring that actual orientalism (of the kind that we see in Western culture) consists of admiration and fear for the Ottomans and a pinch of awe for the quality of goods imported from China and Japan. Or just watch one of those bloody Bollywood movies with song and dance and try to find the differences with the remake of Aladdin. As for that matter, it's about time Chinese and Indians stop acting as if they are an oppressed minority in this world.
    Last edited by Hazir; 09-20-2019 at 10:22 AM.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    I'm with Rand, I'm struggling to see any conclusions that can be drawn from the colour of the characters - heroes & villains - in Disney's Aladdin.

    They're all Arabian in colouring.

    Or are you more referring to the fact that the hero characters are American in look (disregarding the skin colour), westernised, with American accents - whilst the villains are more Arabian in look, and with Arabian accents? Certainly true, and very typical of Hollywood. Hollywood heroes are typically American, and villains typically foreign. Look how many villains in Hollywood movies have British accents for example.

    Indeed, the characterisation of good = western bad = foreign is not good, if that is what you were referring to.
    Accents are not looks. If Unheard Of had written pay particular attention to how the characters sound then that would be different, but the characters all look Arabian.

    Jafar doesn't particular look any more Arabian than Aladdin or Jasmine to me. He has a more pronounced and square jawline etc but then that's standard for how they portray villains, not Arabs. On the villains image I shared all but one of the male villains either has a very fat face, or a very lined face with pronounced jaws, or both, not slim round faces like Aladdin - He also seems to have the same nose as the Sultan so that doesn't seem a good/villain split to me either.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying Hollywood portrays "good = western bad = foreign", it perhaps portrays "good = American bad = foreign" - Brits are western and as you said if you hear a British accent in an American movie it has very frequently been the villain not the hero. Like Scar which I mentioned earlier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  25. #25
    I'm just glad to see the slow death of this idea of Canadian race-relations exceptionalism. At the cultural level, Canada and the US share many race relation challenges. And there is a history of problematic minstrel blackface in Canada.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...ckface/598468/

    Minstrelsy took hold in Canada, just as it did in the United States, and just as in the United States, black people objected. As early as 1843, according to Cheryl Thompson, a scholar of communications at Ryerson University, black residents of Toronto petitioned the city government in vain to ban minstrel shows. Howard reports that “minstrelsy was very common throughout Canada into the 1970s,” long after minstrel shows had become socially taboo—not to say extinct—in the United States. (Bashir Mohamed rounds up a few examples of 20th-century shows in Canada.)

    Some scholars and journalists argue that Canada whitewashes its history on race, from its mistreatment of indigenous peoples to slavery to later racism like these minstrel shows, adopting an image of moving past race that stands (supposedly) in contrast to its uncouth southern neighbor. “Canadian postracialism is characterized by its roots in a national claim to egalitarianism that is partly forged through an ostensible contrast to American racism,” Howard writes.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I'm just glad to see the slow death of this idea of Canadian race-relations exceptionalism. At the cultural level, Canada and the US share many race relation challenges. And there is a history of problematic minstrel blackface in Canada.
    Huh, I didn't know about the minstrel blackface in Canada, though it's not surprising since Canada is basically the US light. I know anecdotally there is racism against Native Americans in Canada that I have not encountered in the US. I don't know how widespread it is, but I've heard otherwise normal Canadians say some pretty racist shit about the natives.
    The Rules
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  27. #27
    Indeed. I think the modern-era stereotype of Canadians in the US partially comes from things like Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine".

  28. #28
    You mean the high gun ownership/ low gun violence? I think that's based on actual data, though I know the whole facts/ truth thing doesn't matter much to conservatives these days, so...
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