Friday, March 6, 2015

#Blackout

EDIT: I've been told that it actually is okay for white people to reblog selfies, just don't post in the #Blackout tag or any variations and don't leave a comment on the reblog. Fill up everyone's dashboards with black faces!


Today, the online black community is having a #Blackout (also known as #BlackOutDay or #BlackOutFriday) in which they're posting selfies of themselves under said hashtag to promote the fact that black people are beautiful and counter the idea that light skin = beauty. As demonstrated by those tweets from yesterday's Representation Matters post, black people have to grow up witnessing a sea of white faces on TV, in movies and magazines and ads, and everywhere else that those who are considered beautiful by the mainstream reside. Kids do pick up on this shit, and they easily come to the conclusion that they're ugly because their skin is dark. This is especially true for dark skinned black kids, as even the few black supermodels are definitely more light skinned than many other black people.

To learn more, Google "colorism" or read this about page by Nadra Kareem Nittle, Race Relations Expert.

For us white people, our role in this is to pretty much keep quiet. This is absolutely not a time to post our own selfies. It's also inappropriate to share, reblog, retweet or whatever black selfies under the tag without permission. This is a day for black people to celebrate themselves in a world that tells them they're undesirable.

What we can do is call out people for the inevitable racist bullshit that comes along any time black people try to celebrate themselves. Yes, there are people calling for a #Whiteout tag, woefully ignorant as they are about systemic racism and somehow unaware of the fact that if you want a whiteout, you can just turn on the TV or, in many areas of the US, go outside.

There are also trolls from 4chan who have organized to post triggering imagery in the #Blackout tag on Tumblr and likely other social media sites. You can help by reporting any accounts that are doing this, but be aware that these images are likely to include gore and sexual assault. If you aren't triggered by much of anything, you can do a lot of good today by reporting this shit as well as spreading awareness of this troll behavior so that maybe people will start taking it seriously and stop telling people to ignore shit that is impossible to ignore.

Because seriously, this is what a substantial group of people chooses to do with their spare time when an oppressed population tries to do something positive to uplift themselves.

Racism abounds. But at least we all get to look at a lot of awesome selfies today. I've already seen so many amazing photos.

I believe the blog that spearheaded the #Blackout is What Whites Will Never Know. Great blog.

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