When it comes to blackface, it’s going to take more than a little black shoe polish to rile up the staff at The Root. We’ve seen them all: the racist tributes to sports heroes, the racist tributes to actresses, singers and anyone else famous. We’ve seen the racist attempts at just plain racism. We’ve seen the frat dudes who think it’s funny to paint their skin black because they were having a frat party. We’ve seen the white sorority girls who thought it was cute to paint their skin black because, well, secretly they want to be black. We’ve seen little kids in blackface for a school program.
We’ve even put together a handy video for those who still don’t know when and/or if it’s appropriate to don blackface. (Hint: It’s never appropriate.)
We’ve written about these habitual line steppers over and over and over again. So when the news broke that a candidate for the Kershaw County (S.C.) Council had once posed in blackface, the staff at The Root could barely elicit a collective yawn. What used to rile up our racism spidey senses has just fallen flat, and not because we don’t find the painting of your skin black offensive; it’s just that we’re convinced that some white people are never going to get it.
And we’re tired. Tired of the ignorance and the lame apologies that are sure to follow, and tired because it’s 2018 and white people are still doing this shit.
So, like our great forefathers did to pass the time during slavery, we make jokes.
We’ve now begun critiquing the blackface contestants in “Are We Still Fucking Doing This?”
Let’s meet our newest contestant, Brant Tomlison.
According to WACH-TV, Tomlinson claims that the photo was unearthed by a jealous rival who doesn’t want to see him win the coveted seat on the Kershaw County Council. Tomlinson claims that the photo was taken in 2008 at a Halloween party. Tomlinson adds that he and three friends were merely dressed in racist face paint as a tribute to their favorite movie, Cool Runnings.
In addition to having horrible, shitty taste in movies, Tomlinson didn’t apologize for his obliviousness to the historically racist roots of painting one’s skin black, but merely pointed out how disgusted he is that local candidates found an actual photo of him dressed in blackface and posted it to social media.
Now let’s take a closer look at the photo and Tomlinson’s use of color:
“I feel like if you’re gonna go through the trouble of doing blackface, which you KNOW is gonna get you clocked, you might as well make it worth your while,” The Root’s news editor, Breanna Edwards, explained. “His neck don’t even match his face.”
Edwards also noted that he needed a beauty blender, to which Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton exclaimed, “Lazy blackface is just lazy.”
Managing Editor Genetta Adams noted, “Fenty is bringing all the colors of the black rainbow and they still doing burnt cork. GTFOH.”
To which Edwards summed up all the feelings for The Root staff: “Just patchy, sloppy work. Not worth the outrage, zero stars.”
He didn’t even paint his ears. And if Tomlinson’s pedestrian, lackluster effort at
racism his tribute to Cool Runnings is any indication, then I think we already know what kind of county council member he’s going to be. That and he didn’t even apologize for it.
The Root is willing to let white allies be outraged by Tomlinson, but we are tired.