Blackface Insult

A blogger has created an image that shows CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer in blackface. I’m no fan of Blitzer, and think he’s a bit of a pawn, but I wouldn’t create an image like this of my worst enemy. Here is the same blogger’s response to people’s criticism of him.

The guy makes valid, “He who is without sin cast the first stone”-esque points, but I don’t think that this excuses the act or the criticism of it. I do not understand why people do resort to racist imagery when they don’t like someone or someone’s stance(s) on issue(s). The only way I can understand it is that they must want people to get all hot-and-bothered about it. But how far should one be willing to go to get attention? Does this bother you, or is it no big deal? Does it bother you less because Wolf Blitzer is not Black?

One Love. One II.

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Race

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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

2 responses to “Blackface Insult”

  1. sunrunner says :

    Think about what a Blackface Minstrel portrays. It is the visual equivalent of using the n-word. It is saying that (in this case) Blitzer is akin to a White Supremacist’s view’s of a Black man is/should be: servile, groveling, dumb, weak, etc, etc, etc.

    Now, I would not call Billmon a racist with a capital “T” — but I would venture to guess that a little bit of his own unconscious conditioning was leaking out.

  2. Garlin II says :

    sunrunner, thanks for the response. It is that unconscious conditioning, which I refer to as racist indifference, that is not only damaging to those who harbor such ideology, but also to those it is directed towards (in this case, Wolf Blitzer). Though it may not be capital R racism, I agree that it is careless (not necessarily unintentional) pedaling of White supremacist imagery.

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