In the interests of not turning a blind eye to when a hero does something questionable I feel obliged to say that Ruud Van Nistelrooy should probably have found a polite way to turn down being part of this traditional Spanish (Marbella more specifically) Christmas festival.
He’s Balthazar – of course he is, it’s his face being black that tells you that isn’t it?
It was brought to my attention by my eyes seeing it on my Twitter timeline, having been posted by the journalist Christian Machowski. Machowski later tweeted that he had received some replies questioning what RVN was upto blacking up like this. Machowski said there was nothing wrong with it and it is a Christmas tradition. Well something being a tradition doesn’t negate it as potentially offensive does it?
Someone referred to Zwarte Piet in conversation with CM saying about how traditions make this kind of thing OK. There was general agreement that this was fine and that people objecting were being over-sensitive. My question is: if these people are putting on make-up because a black person (from tradition) is being represented then why can’t a black person do it? (I believe there ARE black people left in the world).
There seems to be this ridiculous argument that it is OK if people are wearing make-up to look like a black person as long as they aren’t jumping about making disrespectful noises while doing it. Also, some say, what are these people supposed to do? NOT WEAR the make-up while portraying the black person? How disrespectful would that be. See, the thing is you can’t have the argument that this kind of thing is OK and think it is necessary for people to have to wear make-up to look like someone of another race as part of some tribute/tradition.
I am in no way accusing Christian Machowski or Ruud Van Nistelrooy of being racist. I just think it is better that this kind of thing isn’t done anymore and they think it is fine. I assume Ruud thinks it is fine, he could have been doing it under duress.
I promise that this is the last blog of January 2013 about people blackfacing.