CNN Causes Stir With “Digital Blackface” Analysis

CNN Accuses White People of

( – There’s been an increasing trend in pushing “woke” wars. This time, gifs, the animated video files, are at the center of controversy. But it’s not all of them — only those that include black people — and the reasoning has caused quite the stir.

CNN’s John Blake published the piece on March 26, highlighting many activists who have said pictures, GIFS, and video clips depicting black people in funny or emotionally-charged contexts are racist. Black people themselves, who are apparently allowed to share memes featuring people of all races, get a pass. Everyone else, according to activists, should be ashamed of themselves.

Many people felt Blake went too far in his analysis, creating more division than unity in his attempts to appear “woke.” He cites an essay published in Teen Vogue where author Lauren Michele Jackson compares digital blackface to minstrel performance.

Green Greenwald called the analysis the work of “modern-day segregationists,” noting that such stances did nothing but create roadblocks between common citizens and culturally diverse experiences.

Blackface first became popular in the United States in 1930, when stage actor Thomas Dartmouth Rice created a black character named “Jim Crow.” He and others parodied stereotypes by painting themselves “black” using shoe polish or soot and depicting lazy, unintelligent, cowardly characters who engaged in lewd and criminal acts.

Because of the outlandish nature of the makeup style and characterizations, some Conservatives brought up comparisons between blackface characters and drag queens, who also tend to exaggerate their features and behaviors in ways that create more caricature than character. These critics question the motivations of anyone who would celebrate one gaudy act but condemn another — especially in the case of sharing memes, where either comparison is a massive stretch.

Others would simply like to know why CNN is wasting its time on such a non-topic when there are so many other important issues to cover.

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