The topic of racism hit the world news in October 2009, with a TV show comprising 6 people of different nationality backgrounds repeating a TV program skit from about 20 years ago, on a re-union special TV program in Australia called “Hey hey it’s Saturday”.
Reading the world news immediately after, we saw many reports saying words like: “skit with five white men in blackface performing as the Jackson 5”.
What I found rather odd was the assumption by the people who where pilloring the skit was that the performers were WHITE.
No mention of the fact that the sixth man was a black man in whiteface.
The leader of the group, Dr Anand Deva, has told us that the group, although now Australian, comprised:
One Sri Lankan,
Although they are being called racist for re-enacting the 20 year old Skit, they have replied by saying: “We’re not so naive that we didn’t think it would be a little bit controversial to paint our faces black. We discussed it before the show.
But to be honest, we thought that we didn’t get any complaints 20 years ago, and we didn’t get any complaints two months ago at the Med Revue, so we figured it was probably all in good fun.”
Maybe because Dr Deva has not experienced racism in Australia himself, according to his own words, he didn’t expect it to be taken in a racist way, and it wasn’t intended in that way.
Dr Deva also said: “I am an Indian, and five of the six of us are from multicultural backgrounds and to be called a racist … I don’t think I have ever been called that ever in my life before,”
This leads to the question: What is racism exactly ?
It is racist to call a school chalk board a Blackboard ?
This event has opened up a talking point, and a chance for some people to maybe find out what type of things are classed as racist.
It certainly surprised some people that a black person in Blackface, and a black person in Whiteface can be called racists. Even though the assumption was they they were all white !
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