People, as a general rule, are not so smart. There are some brilliant individuals in our society and some brilliant individuals from the societies before us, and they trick us into believing that mankind has shit on lock. But really, they’re just the gifted few among the purely stupid masses who keep humanity moving forward.
These kids from Arizona State are a perfect example of the aforementioned stupid masses. The school had a blackout game recently, which I thought sounded like my kind of football game: drinking so much you can’t remember it. Unfortunately, that’s not the actual definition in theory, though it may be in practice. In reality, it is just some football game where everyone wears black, because I guess it looks cool or something. Whatever. To celebrate, some number of students decided to paint their faces black to get into the spirit. They painted their faces black. Like black face. Like the black face that was used to humiliate African Americans in minstrel shows and represents hundreds of years of oppression. BAD MOVE, ASU.
Yada, yada, yada, the students didn’t mean to offend, blah, blah, blah, they did anyway, and so on, and so on. People are outraged by the face paint, and other people are outraged by the fact that people are outraged by it. Now here we are, and the school has discouraged students from using face paint of any kind. It’s probably the best move on the school’s part. We’re living in a time when people are finding reasons to get offended by everything, and whether that’s warranted or not doesn’t matter. The school’s official stance denouncing facepaint of any kind keeps it in the clear, but the institution, as of Thursday, had not made comment on whether or not students would be turned away from games or school-sanctioned events if they were wearing maroon or gold (the school’s colors) on their faces.
Honestly, no face paint is probably a good rule to follow. Sooner or later, it will probably get you in trouble. Tribal or “war” paint may be offensive to indigenous people. Red paint may be offensive to Native Americans. Yellow paint may be offensive to Asian Americans. And who knows? Maybe some day, white people can even claim that they’re offended by white face paint. Crazier things have happened. The school is just trying to look out. Unfortunately, some of Arizona State’s students do not understand the meaning of “discourage,” and they’re freaking out. Students told AZ Central:
“I’m trying to help clear up that this is not blackface,” Tim Schodt said. “This is taking face paint and putting it on your face. This is not a terrible misrepresentation of African-Americans. This is a simple football tradition.”
“I feel like ASU banning the use of face paint in the game is taking it too far. You almost kind of wonder if it’s just them saying, ‘You’re looking for a reason to be offended, so we’re going take it a step farther so that others become offended at you and then blame you for the issue we’re having,'” said Robert Nichols, a 20-year-old film-production student.
“Consider the fact that most people who go here probably have no idea what blackface is.”
“I mean, I get not painting your face black; that’s offensive,” said Krista Letz, an 18-year-old business communications major. “But I don’t think it’s fair to ban all face paint.”
Listen, guys. You will still be able to prove that you are drunken brutes WITHOUT face paint. It will be OKAY. I promise..
[via AZ Central]
Image via Arizona Daily Independent