Celebrating Miami Heat’s Win in Blackface: Insult or Admiration?
The day that the Miami Heat were playing their final championship game I was shocked (and I can’t stress the word shocked enough) when I opened Facebook and there, right on my timeline were two pictures of an acquaintance’s husband in blackface wearing a Miami Heat shirt. The reason? They were cheering Wade and Lebron. This was his way of celebrating his basketball idols.
Did I not get the memo? I thought blackface was one of the most deeply offensives gestures one can do in regards to African-Americans. And yet, here was a person obviously trying to show their love for their heroes who happen to be black. Just a few months ago this also happened to be one of the hot topics on one particular daytime talkshow. The ladies were discussing how during an 80’s college party, 4 white kids showed up dressed as The Cosbys, an iconic TV family of the 80’s. These kids were trying to honor what was a groundbreaking program and through their actions, ended up being reprimanded by university officials. The two black women on the panel argued back and forth regarding the appropriateness of this. One for it, one against it.
So, I am asking everyone for their opinion. Can we as society say we have progressed to the point that white or Hispanics can wear blackface in order to show their love for black leaders or heroes or does it still stand as insulting?
Have people been scarred so deeply by the past meaning of blackface that we can’t accept it as admiration? Does it hurt more than help that we tell people of other races not to dress or Iook like another when all they are trying to do is uphold a positive image of that group? I would love to hear what you think and how would you react if you see someone putting on blackface in order to celebrate African-Americans that they admire.
Image via www.lebronjames.com