Okay, so I guess it needs to be said: Blackface is never okay. Not ever. Under any circumstances.
Furthermore, it’s also not okay (even if the original intent might be good) to use blackface to pretend to be black in order to get Brigham Young University students to look foolishly racist on camera for kicks. This is what Comedian Dave Ackerman did he decided to quiz BYU students about Black History Month. Predictably, they knew very little and the entire video turns into a mirage of black stereotypes. Fun times.
What’s most disturbing to me is not the students
ignorance lack of knowledge of the subject of Black History, but the fact that this comedian felt it necessary to paint his face black in order to illicit the responses. I’m sorry but I’m just not seeing how the face paint is helping him here?
And while the lack of knowledge about black history — which really is all of our history — is alarming, the casual nature in which the students make fun of black culture is pretty disturbing. Towards the end of the video when the students are pretending to talk and walk like black people I found myself perplexed considering how few actual black people they must be exposed to in the middle of Utah.
Ackerman has said he made the video to “fight ignorance with ignorance,” and he’s right about one thing: blackface and everyone in this video look really ignorant.