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You gotta' be kidding. This is black face??

by Steven Haninger / February 25, 2013 5:07 AM PST
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I'm familiar with that assemblyman
by Josh K / February 25, 2013 5:26 AM PST

He's generally considered a good guy, but this was a really stupid idea. His own account is that he was dressing up as a black basketball player.

It may not be "blackface" in the traditional way one thinks of that, but that may only be because he didn't do a good job with his costume.

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Black face and his costume
by TONI H / February 25, 2013 5:36 AM PST

Are you really saying that he didn't do a good job with his costume and that's why his blackface isn't traditional? Have you SEEN Al Jolson's original blackface? It isn't even CLOSE.

The next time you watch Tootsie, make sure you come back here and scream how Dustin Hoffman is sexist or Robin Williams from Mrs. Doubtfire. Or any actor who plays a gay part (Robin Williams did that, too) is committing a hate crime.

The PC crowd are too far over the top with their crap anymore.

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I love it...
by Josh K / February 25, 2013 5:50 AM PST

.....when white people insist that black people should not be offended by something that they say they find offensive. And you know fully well that "Tootsie" is not the same thing. Dustin Hoffman wasn't doing an insulting caricature of a woman in that movie; in fact it was quite the opposite.

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I think he looks quite respectable
by Steven Haninger / February 25, 2013 5:43 AM PST

and I think I saw a similar wig on Elizabeth Taylor. Whoever is making an issue over this needs to take a long walk and keep on going.

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RE: I think he looks quite respectable
by JP Bill / February 25, 2013 5:52 AM PST

You do?

Ever see anybody in church looking like that?

IF you did...would you sit next to them?

Can we expect to see a pic of you "looking quite respectable"?

...I've never really appreciated your sense of humour. Even when you put a smiley face. Don't feel bad, there are lots of comics on Comedy Central that I don't laugh at.

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Certainly I'd sit next to him in church
by Steven Haninger / February 25, 2013 6:33 AM PST

and I wasn't trying to be humorous so don't know where that remark came from. So I use smileys occasionally and you use angry faces. I'd rather find humor than hostility any day, any time.

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Be real, Josh
by Diana Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 7:55 AM PST

Are you saying that we can't dress up for parties, like Halloween, etc., because it might offend someone? The girl might offend Satanist.


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It's not really the same thing
by Josh K / February 25, 2013 8:45 AM PST
In reply to: Be real, Josh

I agree that some people take the PC thing too far, and that some people will act mortified over something just to make a stink about it, but there's a long history in our country of minstrel shows, people mocking stereotypical behavior and looks, etc. Black Americans have been the butt of some pretty racist "entertainment" over the course of American history and I think it's understandable that they might be more sensitive to seeing something like that than you or I might be.

Even watching Al Jolson do "Mammy," as significant as that was in the history of film, is uncomfortable to watch because that kind of racism was simply accepted in those days. My daughter got interested in Shirley Temple awhile back and it wasn't easy finding films of hers that didn't have portrayals of black Americans that we would find horrifying today.

The afro in that costume looked like something out of the 1970s. No current basketball player looks like that.

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The afro that that costume looked nothing
by Steven Haninger / February 25, 2013 9:15 AM PST

like the makeup used in those minstrel shows you seem to be so concerned about either. The most famous afro was probably that of Angela Davis as it was worn in the '60s. Granted I'd not have guessed the man was trying to look like a basketball player but I'd never think minstrel from his costume. Rather I think he looks more like LaWanda Page as Aunt Esther on Sanford and Son. But really, whatever happened to the expression that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? He's out having fun and not I don't think it's meant to be at anyone's expense. We've got to get over this feeling of need to walk on eggshells for fear of offending someone.

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It certainly isn't a white face.
by JP Bill / February 25, 2013 5:57 AM PST

What say you?

I didn't think you saw colours/made judgments.

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Here. Pick on her for black face too
by Steven Haninger / February 25, 2013 6:13 AM PST
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I'll agree that the reaction is unfortunate
by Roger NC / February 25, 2013 9:01 AM PST

and maybe too many are too sensitive.

I know there is a difference since John Galliano had been know to be anti-semitic in the past, as related in the link, but it's a bit ironic he opened his self to such a criticism so shortly after complaining about Galliano had to be making fun of someone dressed as "Hasid with a long jacket and curly sidelocks".

I never heard of either before this link.

I don't doubt some will exploit his error for their own purposes. You would have thought as a politician though he would have recognized the possibly misinterpretation, intentional or otherwise. Even though I often get tired of PC extremism, I would have thought his outfit in exceeding bad taste even at a custome party if I had run into someone dressed like that.

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by Pepe7 / February 25, 2013 11:04 AM PST

We are talking about improving relations between the Jewish & Afro-American communities in Brooklyn/NYC (and elsewhere, as needed). Any small gesture (e.g. prominent persons in society avoiding dressing up in "blackface" or similar caricature) is probably a good thing. Sheesh. It's not rocket science, nor is it about the act being acceptable because it was not an 'authentic' and/or historically accurate blackface portrayal.

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And so an African American citizen shouldn't
by Steven Haninger / February 25, 2013 6:05 PM PST
In reply to: Guys....

dress up as George Washington or wear what's called a "jewfro"? I'd think that unless a person doesn't act in mocking manner or one that's otherwise insulting, we should learn to get over it. Why can't we try to understand a person's intentions rather than rely on visual sightings? It's the visuals that we decry as that which shouldn't elicit prejudice and bigotry...content of character rather than color? Until we learn to follow that teaching we spin our wheels in the mud.

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Pepe7 raises a point that goes to another aspect of this
by Josh K / February 25, 2013 10:05 PM PST

There has been a lot of racial tension between the Jewish and black communities in his district, which includes the areas that saw rioting in 1989. For that reason alone it was a bad idea.

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Maybe the real problem are cities
by James Denison / February 25, 2013 10:09 PM PST

Are they an archaic concept? They started out for mutual defense, both against animal and human predators. They expanded then into becoming centers of trade and innovation. Now they seem to have devolved into "melting pots".

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It doesn't help
by TONI H / February 25, 2013 10:31 PM PST

the tension when you have vast numbers of people who don't assimilate as Americans anymore....that type of thinking and attitudes aren't there anymore.

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Are you referring to Hasidim?
by Josh K / February 25, 2013 11:17 PM PST
In reply to: It doesn't help

Most of them are as American as you are. They just happen to observe different religious customs than you do.

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I'm referring to 'groups'
by TONI H / February 26, 2013 12:59 AM PST

Mexican, Cuban, Indian (from India), Jewish, Blacks, Irish, Polish, etc. who only congregate and stick with 'their own', especially as new immigrants. They don't assimilate into the country as they used to anymore, even to refusing to learn the English language. I'm not talking about religious customs at all.......I'm talking about how they deliberately isolate themselves rather than actually become part of the 'melting pot' we used to be. Now it's getting like we are separate countries within one.

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by Pepe7 / February 26, 2013 3:06 AM PST

Your information is outdated.

The situation is no different than when previous groups of immigrants arrived in the U.S. They still generally start out in enclaves, but once the first generation is born and marry, things change. Since you gave Polish as an example, you can use that as one to validate my point. Here in Chicago there is a significant expansion away from areas formerly considered 'Polish'. in the city. The concentration isn't nearly as pronounced. The amount of residents in statistical surveys indicating that they speak Polish as a first language has decreased quite a bit from forty-fifty years ago when it was probably highest (don't have the decade off hand.)

Besides intermarriage, there is also mobility away from the areas where such ethnic concentrations started out. It's a lot less common for generations born here to not know English since they are in either English only or (obviously less common) bi-lingual American schools. There's no way for the children to succeed and find jobs otherwise, and the parents know it. Past a certain age, it's true, a certain percentage of the parents/early arrivals will generally never know English very well, and a portion of the older arrivals might not learn it at all. There's still a bad assumption by mono-lingual American English speakers that becasue someone has a thick foreign accent that they are either deaf, or can't possibly understand the English language completely (LOL).

Successive generations most certainly do not 'refuse to learn English'. That's white trash talk. A lot of the changes to our ethnic communities happen very gradually, some more than others. It's still a melting pot with some amazing differences that we can acknowledge as a group. If you think that just because these folks are here and happen to not look like you or speak a language you do not understand, for a moment don't think that they do not appreciate having a roof over their heads, safe schools for their kids, and other trappings thought of highly by most American born U.S. citizens.

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Pepe7 is correct
by Josh K / February 26, 2013 3:39 AM PST

When people were coming in through Ellis Island in throngs a hundred years ago, they did pretty much the same thing. Some of those communities remain in place today, Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, for example.

I doubt many of today's immigrants are "refusing" to learn English.

Assimilation can take generations. It can take longer when you're being discriminated against. One of the things this country has always been about is welcoming people and being enriched by other cultures, not expecting everyone to be the same.

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We've gotten a bit off topic here but I will add
by Steven Haninger / February 26, 2013 4:00 AM PST
In reply to: Pepe7 is correct

to the sidetrack here that we have many in the US who came here more as refugees who had no desire to remain here but would to return to their native country if the opportunity presented. Of course the largest settlement of these refugees was south Florida. I happen to know those, or of those, who've never become US citizens. Some I know have died here.

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The Haitians and the Cubans?
by Pepe7 / February 26, 2013 5:25 AM PST

Ask both of those groups now if they would like to go home. Knowing those communities as I do <thinking of when I was accosted once by someone from the Mariel boatlift>, you might be surprised at how many are just fine living here but do not feel the need to go beyond living as permanent residents. It's not a huge issue as long as they keep paying taxes, as I see it.

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Many learn English
by TONI H / February 26, 2013 4:27 AM PST
In reply to: Pepe7 is correct

just enough to open a checking account and find a job (maybe)......to think that what I say is 'outdated' is ridiculous because I see it even within my own community here, Josh. Groups of the 'same' stay within their own society and very rarely socialize with the 'natives' as neighbors normally would. If there wasn't so much isolation, especially for Spanish speaking types, then why do you think we have had to change our ATM's, automated voice systems on telephone services, hospitals, doctors' offices, libraries, schools, etc. to accept Spanish as an 'option' when dealing with them? Do you have any idea how irritating it is to every single time have to press (1) for English on the telephone when I contact my bank, phone company, electric company, or even the department store?

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Well, then good thing.....
by Josh K / February 26, 2013 4:38 AM PST
In reply to: Many learn English

.....you don't live in San Antonio, Amarillo, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco or any of the other cities with Spanish names. The Spanish component of our country has a long history, Toni.

I can well appreciate how annoying and time-consuming pressing "1" on your phone must be.

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Then you must be a 'real' American
by Pepe7 / February 26, 2013 5:20 AM PST
In reply to: Many learn English

If the biggest issue you face on a daily basis is having to press '1' to get to the English menus, well, I feel for ya' (ROTFL).

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RE: Do you have any idea how irritating it is
by JP Bill / February 26, 2013 5:41 AM PST
In reply to: Many learn English

Do you have any idea how irritating it is to every single time have to press (1)

You think American businesses don't want to cater to their customers?

What about the poor clients that have to PRESS 5?.....YOU only have to PRESS 1.

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I didn't realize 'Americans' are all the same(?)
by Pepe7 / February 26, 2013 12:29 AM PST
In reply to: It doesn't help

Please explain (ROTFL). Oh wait, I get it. You were either asleep that day in elementary school (but they matriculated you anyway), or simply forgot that we are essentially one giant melting pot.

Back behind the mason-dixon line you go....

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We live ON the Mason Dixon line
by James Denison / February 26, 2013 1:39 AM PST

I'm from Florida, wife's from Maine, here we can be mutually happy or miserable in Maryland, based on the weather.

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