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  #101  
Old 27.05.2011, 15:52
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Re: Kids in blackface

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BTW, all those groans for the OP are pretty pathetic.
Criticizing her for what you assume to be her lack of cultural insight here while not taking HER cultural background into account is pretty ignorant me thinks.
Me thinks you are losing it and that statements like this one are well worth groaning:
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God forbid that the icky foreign value of respect for other cultures and races should 'swamp' Switzerland.
Looks like most simply picked the first post to express the feeling they got over the entire thread about the OP. That's why the number of groans slowly increased over the day as the discussion developed.

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So, you may as well groan yourselves for not taking her culture into account.
Ok, I take into account that the OP is Canadian. Does that allow her to say that Switzerland lacks respect?
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  #102  
Old 27.05.2011, 15:53
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Re: Kids in blackface

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I see it will be an uphill battle to raise sensitive, respectful, culturally-aware kids in this country, if these girls were allowed to leave their homes and go to school dressed in such an offensive manner.

Perhaps it's my North American political correctness, but given the degree of racism experienced by Africans here, not to mention the history of European colonialism in Africa, you'd think schools would be educating kids, not encouraging such a disgusting level of willful ignorance. Minus 1 million points for the Swiss school system!

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BTW, all those groans for the OP are pretty pathetic.
Criticizing her for what you assume to be her lack of cultural insight here while not taking HER cultural background into account is pretty ignorant me thinks. WE ALL go through stages of figuring out what parts of our "old" culture are things we wish to embrace or lose and plenty of those cultural reactions are so ingrained we simply don't think about them... until something (like kids dressing up in FULLY "authentic" costumes) comes along to shake us up and have a look at how our "old" culture differs from where we find ourselves now.

So, you may as well groan yourselves for not taking her culture into account.

I think is this end all be all "this sh1t is offensive" that gets the groans. and the swiss system encouraging.. etc etc etc"

I'm offended does not equal It's offensive

There's a mexican saying." el que en pan piensa, hambre tiene" "he who in bread thinks, it's hungry". If you see that in a harmless display of kids, well you have to look at yourself and what makes you so irritated.
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  #103  
Old 27.05.2011, 15:58
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Re: Kids in blackface

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... So, if a black person painted their face white would that cause the same reaction? Is "white" somehow superior to "black"?
It is when it comes to ability to create vitamin D in weaker sunlight.
  #104  
Old 27.05.2011, 15:59
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Re: Kids in blackface

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A distinction:

Blackening up your face for fancy dress - ok

Blackening up your face and acting like a chimp- offensive

Yup. This thread was resolved on the first page. It's the intention behind the act that counts.
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  #105  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:01
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Re: Kids in blackface

I grew up near Detroit, and that entire area is infamous for having extremely high racial tensions. I would put money on it that, if some white person walked down the street there with a "blackface," he or she would have the **** beaten out of them in no time (and perhaps rightly so, considering the amount of racism that African Americans have had to endure for so long and how hard they've had to fight for their freedom).

I suspect (or would at least hope) that the Swiss would be more sensitive to the "blackface" thing if there were more Africans here and especially if Switzerland had a history of racism against them, as the US does. (In fact, I myself am actually a bit amazed when I realize how often I do NOT see black people here).

Anyways, having grown up in such a racist environment, I have (thankfully) never managed to become de-sensitized to it. And, as a white person, I really do try to remain "racially sensitive" because I know that what may not offend one person may offend another.

I also would have felt like my integrity was a bit offended if I had seen those white girls walking down the street with "blackfaces." But at the same time, I'd need to step back and consider the context and intention.
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  #106  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:04
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Re: Kids in blackface

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There's a mexican saying." el que en pan piensa, hambre tiene" "he who in bread thinks, it's hungry".
  #107  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:06
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Re: Kids in blackface

Its only offensive because its easier for white kids to paint their complexion dark but for dark kids it would be quite difficult to do that, unless they go Michael Jackson.
  #108  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:09
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Re: Kids in blackface

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Looks like most simply picked the first post to express the feeling they got over the entire thread about the OP. That's why the number of groans slowly increased over the day as the discussion developed.
And that's what makes it ignorant and pathetic.

I know that I certainly didn't drop all the expectations and anticipations I'd developed "back home" as soon as I applied for my first permit, I'm sure no one else did either.

So, to groan at her for her "knee jerk" reaction just proves that "you" still have preconceived notions about what people should expect and anticipate from others as well. You're the same... groan yourself.
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  #109  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:12
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Re: Kids in blackface

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And that's what makes it ignorant and pathetic.

I know that I certainly didn't drop all the expectations and anticipations I'd developed "back home" as soon as I applied for my first permit, I'm sure no one else did either.

So, to groan at her for her "knee jerk" reaction just proves that "you" still have preconceived notions about what people should expect and anticipate from others as well. You're the same... groan yourself.
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  #110  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:15
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Re: Kids in blackface

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I even learned in an Anthropology class that they may be losing melatonin in their skin, through evolution, because of migrating to colder climates and no longer needing the higher levels of melatonin to protect them from African sun.
Is that really how evolution works?
  #111  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:15
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Re: Kids in blackface

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  #112  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:16
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Re: Kids in blackface

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Its only offensive because its easier for white kids to paint their complexion dark but for dark kids it would be quite difficult to do that, unless they go Michael Jackson.
I think Micheal Jackson really may have had that "disease," though (where his complexion is lightening in blotchy spots). I went to a college of about 3,000 people in the US and there were at least 10 black people there who had that "disease." It almost looked as if their skin was peeling off and I certainly couldn't blame anyone for wanting to conceal it. I even learned in an Anthropology class that they may be losing melatonin in their skin, through evolution, because of migrating to colder climates and no longer needing the higher levels of melatonin to protect them from African sun. Sorry that this is off topic.
  #113  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:16
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Re: Kids in blackface

Let's flip the script. What if 2 black students came to school dressed in stereotypical traditional Swiss attire. To make the costume authentic, they apply white face paint and put on blond wigs.

Would this be offensive or just a bad costume?
  #114  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:19
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Re: Kids in blackface

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Is that really how evolution works?
(Sorry I deleted my post before realizing you had quoted it, and then I re-posted).

But, yes -- I do believe that evolution works primarily according to "environmental necessity", and I suspect that Darwin would agree.
  #115  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:21
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Re: Kids in blackface

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Let's flip the script. What if 2 black students came to school dressed in stereotypical traditional Swiss attire. To make the costume authentic, they apply white face paint and put on blond wigs.

Would this be offensive or just a bad costume?
depends.. if they sat around with stony faces, eating fondu and putting on skis then this would be fine
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  #116  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:23
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Re: Kids in blackface

Frankly, I find the term "blackface" far more offensive than kids dressed as tribal africans with painted faces.
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  #117  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:24
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Re: Kids in blackface

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  #118  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:26
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Re: Kids in blackface

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(Sorry I deleted my post before realizing you had quoted it, and then I re-posted).

But, yes -- I do believe that evolution works primarily according to "environmental necessity", and I suspect that Darwin would agree.
So many things fundamentally wrong with this statement...

Please look it up... you don't just magically change to suit your environment, it's a very long process involving many many many generations.

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I help run an online Science job board
WTF!!!! how!!!
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  #119  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:27
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Re: Kids in blackface

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Let's flip the script. What if 2 black students came to school dressed in stereotypical traditional Swiss attire. To make the costume authentic, they apply white face paint and put on blond wigs.

Would this be offensive or just a bad costume?
Neither. It would be a great costume and I'd have a good laugh. That's what costumes, humour, carneval, dressing up is for - having a laugh at things and not taking things too seriously to defuse and make light of tensions in a society. There are many festivals like that all over the world, and they all seem to serve a very similar purpose. (What was that ancient Roman festival called again where slaves would celebrate as equals with their masters and even ridicule them?)

That said, it's great to be sensitive and considerate in daily life, but when it gets enforced through laws and customs it can easily become a very oppressive force. And it's a typical cultural trait of the Swiss to oppose such tendencies, hence the very un-PC culture here. We could endlessly discuss the relative advantages of hidden vs. open racism and prejudices but that's not the point. The OP herself was just so much more ignorant and culturally insensitive with her rant than those kids ever could be, hence the many, imho fully deserved groans.
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  #120  
Old 27.05.2011, 16:28
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Re: Kids in blackface

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Let's flip the script. What if 2 black students came to school dressed in stereotypical traditional Swiss attire. To make the costume authentic, they apply white face paint and put on blond wigs.

Would this be offensive or just a bad costume?

Chapelle did it in his show. I found it hilarious!
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