‘Tis the season when some are forced to explain the historically uninformed why dressing up in black face is something that just plain shouldn’t be done. Every year a few dozen purim celebrants miss the memo and join the fraternity of Halloween revelers ignorant of this sensitive issue. Of course the only difference being in the month of Adar is the added bonus of making Jews look like a**holes. This is especially so when the Yid in question is the most prominent Frum elected official in the city.
Normally, I would say that this is what happens when you have a population that largely went to private schools and had no black peers to tell them to knock it off, but of course ignorance knows no boundaries. Now, I know some of you are looking for an explanation as to why you shouldn’t do this.
Bottom line, that sh** ain’t cool.
Even as your stomach is grumbling in the waning minutes of the fast and it dawns upon you in a hunger crazed stupor that all you have is a Brooklyn Dodgers’ cap and a black marker, it would still be a poor time to honor Jackie Robinson. Go as Sandy Koufax instead.
Or perhaps you’re planning on going as Lebron and you’re wondering if people will figure it out. Well, if you’re wearing a number ‘6’ Heat jersey with his name on it, people will get the picture. What you should be asking yourself is will the the whole look be incomplete when your standing at 5’8–a full foot shorter than King James. Wear stilts. Drinking will have an added challenge this year.
Don’t wear blackface. That sh** aint cool. It’s super controversial; and don’t do it just to be controversial. Controversy without a message is just offensiveness without merit. And if you think you’re being edgy, you’re not. Blackface, for those of you too lazy to read the wikipedia article, is nearly 500 years old and reached its height of popularity in the ’30s. The thirties!! If I can’t appeal to your sense of decency then for sure your sense of timeliness. The day after whatever shallow, sleazy, gin, forty-dollars-a-head, bacchanal, the guy wearing his Austin Powers costume ten years running will be telling stories about how dated you were.
The most baffling aspect of this unfortunate tradition is that when one does dress up in blackface (and they will) and gets called out on it(and they will), the will immediately get defensive and invoke oppression at the hands of the ever-present political correctness police, as if when a black kid knocked on their door at Halloween dressed in long-nose and a yarmulke they wouldn’t be anticipating the next pogrom.
If still you plan on darkening your face as the coup de grace to the persona negra, consider that any passing African-American will be compelled to literally slap the black off of you; and I will offer no sympathy. You’ve been warned. Just don’t do it. That sh** ain’t cool.