April 3, 2014 by gregrabidoux2013
Let’s face it, painting your face black if you are white, or white if you are black does not equal uproarious laughter. Maybe I just don’t get “it” but my racist radar immediately gets activated. Why, I ask, would someone, translation, an entertainer, a celebrity, go this risky route? Because the pay-off is almost always never worth the backlash. Okay, never.
Ted Danson of Cheers and now CSI fame, painted his white face black and did a “soft shoe” routine at an awards dinner a few years back. At the time he was dating comedienne/actress Whoopi Goldberg (The View) who as you may know is African-American. Brave. Bold. Daring? Nope. Ted’s moment as an old time Black minstrel entertainer bombed. He’s lucky he got off the stage in one piece.
Many years ago, singer Al Jolson, a Caucasian, used to paint his face black and wow his white crowds on stages and nightclubs. You may be thinking why? What is the point in “pretending” to be black?
Well, in the late 1800s and early 1900s our nation was in the racist and discriminatory throes of what was called the “Jim Crow Laws.” The name is from old time vaudeville shows where (you guessed it) white entertainers would paint their face black (apparently, like a black crow) and dance and sign more in the style of black entertainers. Because the “Jim Crow” laws were simply a sobriquet for segregation based on color, blacks were simply not permitted to entertain in white venues and vice-versa.
So, at the very bottom-line of what is already a practice scraping the bottom, when any celebrity pulls out the old face-painting gimmick it comes with a whole lot of racist and segregationist baggage.
In Mariah Carey’s boy-toy of a husband’s case, Nick claims the whole adventure was merely an ironic twist to promote his new album. Entitled “White People Party Music,” it is supposedly an anti-rap-rap album. The “America’s Got Talent” host, also claims that if you listen to the album his alter-ego (Connor Smallnut, a typical white guy) disdains cuss words and too-loud music. You know, just like every white guy and gal.
Besides the inherently bad taste and simmering racism of such a stunt (regardless of who pulls it) the real irony here is that it is predominantly white not black consumers who continue to support the largely black rap music industry with their hard-earned dollars. For every legitimate White rapper like Eminem (no, sorry not you Vanilla Ice) there are about 1,000 legitimate Black rappers. Music sales run counter.
Mr. Cannon now asserts that only those with no sense of humor and closet-racists don’t support his white-face schtick.
Well, I am neither of those and the only face-painting I support is the type found at carnivals and fairs for consumers under age 10.
Adults of all colors or non-colors really should know better by now.
Besides, if I want to buy any music from the Cannon-Carey household it will be Mariah who indeed “has talent” and who, to my knowledge, has never had to resort to face-painting gimmicks to sell her albums.
Maybe Nick’s new album should just be put on Ice, Ice, Baby.