Yes, Nick Cannon Can Do Whiteface. No, You Can’t Do Blackface.

Nick Cannon did whiteface, and that's okay.

Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

America’s Got Talent host and permanent Nickelodeon star (in my brain, at least) Nick Cannon is in hot water after he posted some photos on his Instagram that made a bunch of people throw a fit. Was he promoting violence? Nay. Objectifying women? Nope. So what could it possibly have been?

He wore whiteface.

Nick Cannon wore whiteface.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Okay, so here’s the rundown: Nick Cannon presumably had a makeup artist put a bunch of makeup on his face, making him effectively look like a 19-year-old white kid whom he’s called “Connor Smallnut.” This was in order to promote his album “White People Party Music.” The photos are mildly terrifying.

Nick Cannon did whiteface, and that's okay.

Photo: Instagram

The caption:

It’s official… I’m White!!! #WHITEPEOPLEPARTYMUSIC#Wppm in stores April 1st!!!!!!Dude Go Get It!!!Join The Party!!!! #GoodCredit #DogKissing #BeerPong#FarmersMarkets #FistPumping #CreamCheeseEating#RacialDraft “Bro I got drafted!!”

Okay, so it’s obnoxious–but guys, it’s not racist, even though people are absolutely freaking out over it. A sampling of tweets:



You get the gist. Basically, white people are freaking out over the “double standards” involved in whiteface versus blackface, and crying about how Julianne Hough was criticized after she wore blackface for Halloween. But hey! Everyone deserves an explanation. Here’s why it’s different, as per the RacismSchool Tumblr:

  • Blackface evolved in a time when people of color were considered literally less than human. It originated when white people were still allowed to own black people.
  • Blackface was used by white people to entertain other white people, the dominant and privileged group.
  • Racism was ingrained in our legal system at the time when blackface was most popular.
  • Blackface was done as a caricature of black people. It influenced how audiences saw people of color at the time; whiteface hasn’t had an extremely detrimental effect on how the world sees white people. White blonde women didn’t suffer an image crisis after White Chicks.

Nick Cannon wasn’t being racist when he did whiteface. Yes, he was (and is) being stupid, because this was a stupid means by which to publicize an album and also why the eff is Nick Cannon making another album?, but that’s besides the point. You cannot ignore the history behind blackface or claim “reverse racism” because tada! Reverse racism doesn’t exist. (Of course, if you are a time traveler and choose to use your powers to swap out white people as the dominant group, then yes, you’ll be reversing racism, sort of.)

When you remove imperialism, colonialism, slavery, segregation, privilege, and institutionalized inequality from the equation, then yes, it looks like there’s a double standard, but remind me of a time when white people–as a whole–were subjected to centuries upon centuries legally permissible, socially accepted racism. We still live in a country where people find it offensive to see a mixed race couple and their child, where Twitter users lose their minds if somebody sings “America The Beautiful” in anything other than English, where brands would rather paint a white model black than use a black model to represent their products. Sororities think it’s hilarious to dress up as Latino caricatures, who are all apparently illegal, lazy and stoned (and just on a personal note, the number of emails and comments I got calling me a “spic drug dealer” after I wrote this article last year was borderline absurd). Black actresses are infrequently recognized for work that doesn’t pertain to race or racism–because they’re rarely given the opportunity to act in huge films that don’t have a racial component to their story lines. Stores like Macy’s still detain black shoppers under suspicions of shoplifting after they purchased items in the store. The list goes on.

See, there’s a difference between this…

Nick Cannon did whiteface, and that's okay.

Image: Wikipedia

…and this:

Nick Cannon did whiteface, and that's okay.

White Chicks (2004)

And this…

Nick Cannon did whiteface, and that's okay.

Image: Wikipedia

…versus this.

Nick Cannon did whiteface, and that's okay.

Photo: Tyra Banks

Cannon pulled a dumb move in an attempt to snag publicity. “Connor Smallnut” looks unreasonably creepy and has the creamy pinkish complexion of a Pepto Bismal bottle, and that’s weird. And doing Instagram captions with that many lengthy hashtags is a crime in itself. Basically, he’s just trying to get a bunch of attention for his album and that’s…fine. Whatever. That said, he’s not being racist; he’s just being stupid.

Share This Post:
    • Lindsey Conklin

      whoa, I didn’t even recognize him! kinda looks like shaun white

      • Kaitlin Reilly

        HE DOES! He totally does!

    • Kaitlin Reilly

      Yes yes yes to the reverse racism comment. And why oh why is Nick Cannon making a new album?!

    • Kaitlin Reilly

      also, what is the Tyra photo supposed to say, exactly? Is she supposed to look like she has lighter skin? Is she trying to be Cara?

      • Samantha Escobar

        Yes, she’s dressed as Cara Delevingne. Just like with Cannon, the makeup is kinda “meh,” but that’s the only issue I have of it.

      • Kaitlin Reilly

        Love how the only way you can tell is by her eyebrows!

    • CMJ
    • Nicole Hernandez Froio

      I feel like it could be offensive to a lot of people but definitely not racist.

    • JLH1986

      I find Nick Cannon making an album offensive, not his whiteface, which is his attempt to drum up publicity for this “album”. I’m really not sure why he continues to say he’s famous. Mariah despite not being relevant anymore had a helluva long and stellar career so she gets to stay famous. Cannon cannot say the same…by a long shot.

    • Sharon (BehindGreenEyes)

      He’s not white, he’s pink. Or maybe peach. Anyway, I think it’s stupid, this man has little kids. Seriously man. You’re someone’s Dad.

    • J_Doe5686

      I’m actually intrigued rather than offended or in other words I don’t see how can he be offensive. I just wanna know about the makeup and the process.

    • charlotte

      he looks kind of creepy

    • Guest

      I respectfully disagree.

    • Cromarties_Innumerous_Basterds

      The author is absolutely correct: there is no such thing as “reverse racism”; there is merely racism.

      And Nick Cannon is a racist fool.

      • Corrine

        I guess you were never a white girl in a 73% black high school. Pretty sure reverse racism happened to me all the time. Nick Cannon is totally racist. But it’s cool to make fun of whites because he’s black.

      • Cromarties_Innumerous_Basterds

        Corinne, you completely misunderstood my statement.

        There is no such thing as “reverse racism”; there is only racism.

        Assuming that what you state is true, what you experienced was, in fact, racism (i.e., you were the victim of racist behavior perpetrated by black individuals against you, a white person).

        It would be the height of folly to presume that non-white persons could not be racists, just as it would be ridiculous to assume that non-white persons could not be astronauts, physicians, or even serve as President of the United States.

      • logical

        So in your definition of racism, it’s only supposed to go one way and when it doesn’t that reverse racism, right? Am I getting you?

      • vegamaximus

        No, you are missing his point entirely, he is clarifying that the term doesn’t exist to anyone but, uneducated people. Racism is racism, it’s never reverse-racism.

      • RacistAsian

        What about asian racism? Don’t they get a say in this?

    • Celia

      Its still offensive. So was the movie white chicks, which is a caricature of white women.

      • NYCNanny

        Ok but where does one draw the line? Many people say Tyler Perry’s movies are racist and offensive. Others love him.
        Many people say White Chicks was offensive because it was made by black men, pretending to be white. Others loved it.

      • Celia

        Perhaps we should just not glorify stereotypes of entire races, especially by those who are not part of that race. Caricatures of any race by another is offensive and unnecessary.

      • NYCNanny

        “especially by those who are not part of that race…” THAT logic is the problem. Again, where does one draw the line? Am I allowed to wear a japanese style dress, or is that offensive? (I’m white, btw.) Am I allowed to make fun of white people, but not black…? Where does one draw the line? Personally I think our generation is becoming too overly sensitive, all races/genders/religions included. Does it really matter in the long run? No. Are you REALLY actually offended? No. Is this REALLY, actually putting you in a depressed state? No. (At least I hope not.)

      • Celia

        I’m offended that people find it acceptable that he can do this, but if it was done to him suddenly its wrong. Caricatures of a race is wrong, no matter who is doing them. However, it is understandable that people like to highlight parts of their own experiences and turn that into humor. So if a white person is making jokes about white experiences he’s had sure, I get it. Same for any other race. But to simply mock a race for the sake of humor when its something you know nothing about is wrong.

        If you wear a Japanese style dress because you find it beautiful, or you have a high regard for the culture then no, its not offensive in my opinion. If you wear it to evoke a stereotype or to mock that culture then yes, you should be ashamed of yourself.

      • NYCNanny

        Agree 100%.

      • NYCNanny

        In addition… Am I allowed to PRAISE another race for their food/clothing/culture/whatever? Am I allowed to QUESTION another race’s food/culture/whatever…? What are the “rules” and why are they there?

      • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

        I have the same issue. What are the rules. I grew up in a place where I did not see a lot of racism, but we also did not have a lot of different cultures. I was isolated. Racism was something that I was told about on TV, books and in history class.

        I didn’t know black face was racist until I saw somebody being criticized in the tabloids for wearing it as a Halloween costume. I didn’t understand why until seeing the old adds displayed in this article. I still don’t understand why a black guy using white face is any different. That seems a bit weird to me although I am not offended by it myself.

        I didn’t realize wearing Indian, geisha, etc costumes were racist until I read some articles about it. I’m still not sure where I stand on that issue, because I am Caucasian and I guess I don’t really get to have an opinion on it. My kids have never asked to dress up as those things so we have never needed to deal with that issue.

        Then I hear about cultural appropriation like Miley Cyrus. If I do the salsa am I appropriating Latin culture, or is that OK? I’m pretty sure Latinos experience racism. I don’t really enjoy watching the twerking, but I don’t understand why white girls are not allowed to do it. Doesn’t that just perpetuate stereo types. Only black girls are allowed to ‘act black’? I would think it would be a compliment, or is it because she didn’t bring credit to the culture.

        Somebody please tell me what the rules are. I find it all hard to keep straight. I always thought racism was something you felt in your heart, not something you could unintentionally do. You can unintentionally offend somebody due to miscommunication of what is in your heart. If you honestly believe that all people are equal, and you do your best to try and make sure all people are loved, accepted and given the same opportunities, shouldn’t that be enough?

      • FemelleChevalier

        The problem with blackface and cultural appropriation (Native Americans) is that there’s a history of black slavery and land-grabbing from the natives. This is why Americans are overly sensitive to these two issues, no matter what the context of the issue is.

        When it comes to others, there’s no problem if you try to sample their culture as long as the intent is not malicious. For example, wearing geisha costumes is never racist. BUT if you act cartoonish while wearing it (like associating it with a common prostitute), it’ll be wrong and disrespectful. That goes to any Asian culture.

      • Celia

        You can’t categorize all white people as being from a culture or background that was involved in land grabbing or slavery. My grandparents (on both sides, I’m 100%), for example, came from Sicily in the early 1900s. No one in my family owned slaves, nor were they around when Indians were being mistreated and abused. In fact, sicilians were treated horribly as well, the largest lynching in American history is of Italians, and were not considered white especially in the south. They were also subject to many of the Jim Crowe laws as well as treated with suspicion and malice during and after WWII.

        The reason I mention all of this is because many races were subjected to hatred and mistreatment. One race should not have the ability to mock the other just because of a history of oppression. America is overly sensitive to just one portion of that history. Blacks were not the only people who had a difficult past, nor were Native Americans.

      • FemelleChevalier


        There’s nothing in my comment that says ALL white people are from a HOMOGENEOUS culture that involves slavery and land-grabbing. I said the country in itself has a history, NOT the people. There’s a big differences, seeing that America is a melting pot of different ethnicities.

        The commenter is confused, I supplied an answer. And it is a fact that Americans are overly sensitive to those particular two. It is not an opinion but a fact.

        Please don’t interpret my comment as something more.

      • Celia

        But the sensitivity is only against one race within that country. The only people who are viewed as racist if they do anything that ‘takes from’ one of those two cultures (such as in this article: is white people.

        Its ridiculous how this site, and this author in particular thinks its acceptable for other races to do just about anything to “white” (this is also a ridiculous term that, as you put it well, makes all fair-skinned people a homogeneous culture) people. But god forbid one woman dress up as a character for a show, with no malice or disrespect intended, and they freak out over it. No, Samantha, Nick Cannon cannot do whiteface.

      • FemelleChevalier

        Personally, I don’t really get it, but it’s partly because I’m not really “white” (Asian). But in my experience, people in the West—of every race—can be a tad ignorant, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them racist unless their intent is malicious. (Although the Asian jokes and ridiculous stereotypes can be tiring to hear)

        From my observation, Americans tend to be overly sensitive towards blacks and Native American culture. It’s reasonable to a point, but sometimes it can be too much that logic flows out of the window in their attempt to portray racial and cultural sensitivity. (Although I wish that THAT much sensitivity is extended to other racial minorities as well.)

        The point is, the country is biased due to their own history, e.g. the writer’s reasoning. And from an outsider’s point of view, is it righteous? Absolutely. But is it ALSO self-righteous? Sometimes, depending on the issue at hand.

    • guest

      This is incredibly offensive, considering all the factors. He named his “character’ Connor Smallnut. That last name right off the bat is insulting and obviously insinuating. The title of his album is White People Party Music. As if white people listen to certain music that no other race can or should partake in. He furthers this by added a bunch of stereotypical hashtags.

      Definition of racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities

      • NYCNanny

        Exactly. And Hough painted her face to dress up as a character she likes. That wasn’t racist…that was dressing up. Nick’s face painting is more “racist” than Hough’s.

      • guest

        Absolutely agree! Hough wasn’t doing it to caricature, or insult a race. She was dressing up as a character in a show that she enjoys. Cannon is simply being insulting for the sake of being an asshole.

      • NYCNanny

        Yep. It doesn’t matter WHO is painting their face WHAT color… the reasoning is all that matters. If you’re dressing up or imitating a race or gender out of respect and admiration, fine!! If you’re doing it out of ignorance, hatred, or stupidity… not so fine.

        That being said, people are WAYYYYY too sensitive. Nick’s face paint and CD is really not offending anyone, let’s be honest. If you’re seriously offended and hurt by his antics, you’re a bit of a baby.

      • Elle Squared

        But she could have dressed up as Suzanne without doing black face. People would still know who she was, and if they didn’t, she could just explain. Not hard.

        That said, I don’t think she was doing it to be INTENTIONALLY offensive. I think she really didn’t see a problem with it, which just goes to show you how ingrained racism is. And when she was called out, she still didn’t get it, and went for the “I’m sorry you were offended” non-apology.

      • NYCNanny

        Correct, she could have, but why should she have to omit part of the costume because some people took offense to it? Seriously… I will NEVER understand how people took offense to that comment. PLEASE, tell me how a girl dressing up as a loved character is offensive. Do people even know what the word “offensive” means anymore?

      • logical

        Yes. Because wearing a tank top and jeans is totally comparable to wearing blackface.

      • Elle Squared

        But you’re not assuming a different cultural and racial identity when you get dressed in the morning.

      • guest

        Maybe the blackface was unnecessary, but it wasn’t done with malice or to be offensive. Nick Cannon had absolutely no reason or excuse to put on white face. He did it simply to be racist and to insult white people. The fact that people like the author think this is acceptable show how ignorant she is.

      • Connor Bignut

        Could it be that that wasn’t an example of engrained racism, but an example of true, non-discriminatory acceptance? Perhaps she didn’t view dressing up as a person of another race as being an issue because there actually was no divide in her mind. She was simply paying homage to someone she admired. I like to entertain the idea that she was so ‘not’ racist that we are missing the point; the observation of skin color aside, she didn’t see the difference between portraying someone of her own race vs. someone of a different race. Rightfully so, because there is no difference. Maybe this naivety and ignorance regarding the offensive nature of blackface’s past is an inclination of a truly accepting future. Something real and legitimate, not just based on political correctness.

      • D

        She did nothing wrong, it’s the ignorant whiny ass people like you who are the problem, stop crying about something so stupid when you didn’t even mention the pussy who did it to intentionally be racist and Dave chappelle did it to. So you should probably whine about something that us actually offensive, not something al sharptons mentally challenged ass whined about. This is ridiculous and you idiots really think you’re right to. Obviously your the racist one who needs to pick apart what white people do to make yourself feel better about yourself. Childish as shit

      • D

        And the funny thing is the media didn’t care at all about nicks racist remarks, but her liking a black girl and wanting to dress up like her was wrong. This is America the same place that allows it’s peace officers to harass and kill whoever they please, also the same place that wants to keep as many people in jail so they can keep collecting as much as possible. This is our home and it’s getting worse

    • NYCNanny

      Here’s the thing… Hough painted her face for Halloween… to portray a TV character she likes. Cannon painted his face to make fun of white people, promote his album, and make millions.

      Personally, I don’t care about either.. none of that was offensive to me and I think it’s ridiculous this is getting so much attention.

    • vic ory

      Blah Blah past blah blah privilege blah blah double standards blah blah I’m right you’re wrong so its okay.

      That’s all I hear.

    • Rachel-catherine Foley

      While reading the main article I didn’t understand your point nor did I completely agree, but when you put the pictures there, it made much more sense why black-face is inappropriate. The Aamer Rahman speech also further helped me understand why reverse racism isn’t a thing. However, my question to you is that if a group of black teenagers throw rocks at a car with a with a white person driving it, because there is a white person driving it, and cause damage to the vehicle, is that not racism? I don’t care about the teasing and the funny little hash-tags like #whitegirl and whatnot, but damaging someones car while they rest at a stop light because of they’re white? How is that not racism?

      • CMJ

        Did this actually happen? How do you know they did it just because she was white? I am so confused.

      • Rachel-catherine Foley

        Yes, it did happen. A tech I know that was coming back from a delivery and was the only driver those boys threw rocks at, and they yelled things like,”Get your white-a## outta here.” My point was, while making fun of white-cultutre is one thing, becoming violent is quite another. From Alabaster to Hazelnut to Espresso, it is never and should never be excusable to act cruel to someone because of their skin color. Its ludacris.

    • Cracker Jack

      Racism is defined as one person’s ability to do something that another cannot based on ONLY race or skin color.
      I can eat here because I am white – You CAN’T eat here because you’re black – RACIST
      I can drink from this water fountain because I am white – You CAN’T because you are black – RACIST
      I can sit at the front of the bus because I am white – You CAN’T because you’re black – RACIST
      I can do Whiteface because I am black – You CANNOT do Blackface because you are white – - STILL RACIST
      I can cite events in society and culture from 200 years ago as justification for current racism – ALSO RACIST

      • Carole

        When schools weren’t fully desegregated until the 1970s and an entire generation of minorities did not receive the same education as you or your parents did so the opportunities that white and blacks had were and to this day are vastly different, yes, context matters in the discussion of racism. These events didn’t stop 200 years ago. Black people couldn’t get loans to buy houses after the New Deal because of racism. This wasn’t 200 years ago. This was your parents generation and it greatly affected the quality of life for their kids and subsequent generations. Stop being ignorant and learn your history.

    • Cracker Jack

      Racism is defined as one person’s ability to do something that another cannot based on ONLY race or skin color.
      I can eat here because I am white – You CAN’T eat here because you’re black – RACIST
      I can drink from this water fountain because I am white – You CAN’T because you are black – RACIST
      I can sit at the front of the bus because I am white – You CAN’T because you’re black – RACIST
      I can do Whiteface because I am black – You CANNOT do Blackface because you are white – - STILL RACIST
      I can cite events in society and culture from 200 years ago as justification for current racism – ALSO RACIST

    • wahoosam

      I have no problem with what Nick Cannon did. I think our society is way too sensitive. Speaking of which, I think Escobar draws a false conclusion with her guilt-by-assocation argument against Julianne Hough.

    • John

      Fuck you Samantha Escobar, you dirtbag. Whiteface is not ok. And it’s not your call as to what offends white people you piece of trash.

    • Daniel Bren

      This is one of the poorest argued articles I’ve read. You use the most offensive Sambo pictures of blackface, instead of modern uses where the white person paints his face black. He gets in trouble. Whereas Nick Cannon doesnt, a clear double standard. And the author is Hispanic. I’m sorry but your opinion is of little to no value. It’s like a white guy’s opinion on whether thr N word is offensive. Whiteface is offensive, it’s not ok and black people should know that this isnt gonna fly. I don’t care what Samantha Escobar tells me.

    • Noel

      A more apt comparison would be to include Julianne Hough’s picture next to those blackface posters rather than a modern whiteface. Because what Julianne Hough did is *not* “blackface”. It’s hilarious that the author of this article accurately spells out what blackface is, but the obvious of how far the definition is from blackface to what Hough did is lost on her.

      Blackface was always a caricature of blacks. Not a black character — a representation of blacks as a whole. Along with grotesque features came a buffoon personality and ignorance. It was a racist statement about all blacks. This is the historical context the author used to condemn Hough, but this is precisely what justifies Hough in the end. Because what she did was *not* BLACKFACE. She did not have the popping, grotesque eyes, the exaggerated lips, the illiterate speech, the buffoonery, and she was not making a statement about the black race. She was represented, and honoring, a black character from a show. There is a HUGE difference.

      As historically aware as the author is, I’m sure she is unaware of the racist history of clowns. Blackface was simply a black clown, but the clowns as we known them were caricatures of Irish people. A shock of red hair, pale skin, a bulbous red nose from drinking too much whiskey, idiocy, clumsiness from drunkeness… Clowns were once the caricatures of the Irish. But would the author argue that clowns are equally racist based solely on their historical context? No.

      Because there comes a certain point to where something no longer has the same meaning it used to, and we move on.

      It is important to remember the past, but for how long to we live by it? Are we destined to be basing our social rights and wrongs in 3000 based on what happened in 1900? Are we to forever have one set of rules for whites and a completely different and less strict set of rules for blacks in the year 3000 based on what happened in the year 1900?

      At some point, we have to get passed it and realize that equality will *NEVER* come if we demand that all future generations of races live by completely different standards based on the racism of the past.

      If what Hough did is wrong, then what Cannon did is wrong. That is only fairness. Only a fool convinces themselves otherwise.

      One of the greatest tools of empowerment is to take a once racist concept, word, or image and turn it into something you own. This is why blacks use the word “nigger” as their own. This is why gays took the pink triangle used to mark homosexuals in Nazi Germany and used it as a symbol of their civil rights movement.

      Why should blackface be any different? Why is wrong for one woman to take that historically racist concept and turn it into something that pays respect to an amazing black character and actor?

      Get over it, people. The past is the past for a reason. Let’s focus on not repeating the atrocities of the past — not obsessing over images, concepts, and words that have long since lost their racist meaning and have, thank God, become something new and better.

      • NYCNanny

        Holy s, your comment was the best thing I’ve read all week. I wish I was as eloquent and historically knowledgable. A+.

      • Celia

        Thank you for so eloquently explaining why Nick Cannon is in the wrong. I appreciate all the information that I was unaware of, this is a great response.

      • JustKatie

        I have so many times on this site wanted to point out the difference between “blackface” and “makeup designed to make a white person appear to be a black person” but figured it would just be wasted effort. You did it more eloquently, anyway.

      • Carole

        Well, seeing as Irish people would be categorized as “white” I don’t see how it’s racist. It’s certainly prejudiced and incredibly discriminatory to portray Irish people as clowns, but racist would imply all white people are being caracatured in that manner, and they are not. This is an issue specific to the Irish, whom are a group, but not a racial group.

      • lancesackless

        Thank you. Someone that gets it!

    • Guest

      whoa I’d never seen that Tyra Banks photo before. She looks like Cara Delevigne.

    • Snowdown

      You just plagiarized an article that you linked. You said:

      “When you remove imperialism, colonization, slavery, privilege, and institutionalized inequality from the equation…”

      You basically copied that from the article that you linked in the very next sentence:

      “In just a few minutes he covers issues like colonization, imperialism,
      slavery, inequality, privilege…”

      You truly seem clueless. Your
      article is one long attempt to justify racism against this generation of
      white people for the past white generation’s mistakes. Stop justifying
      your own racism and realize that yes, black people can offend white
      people too and they can in fact be demeaning and degrading. For Nick
      Cannon to call his character Connor Smallnut? And all those hashtags?
      Lol if Julianne Hough had called herself Jamal Crime-doer and put
      hashtags throwing off common stereotypes of black culture you’d probably
      freak. For you to tell white people of this generation that they are
      never allowed to be offended is very ignorant of you.

      • k

        Best comment.

      • Carole

        No one is saying white people can’t be offended. You just cannot equate the offense. In a society that still benefits off the previous enslavement of a minority group and still perpetuates detrimental stereotypes that affect their employment, ability to walk freely into a space without being followed or deemed suspicious by the dominant group and a whole other host of day to day issues, you simply cannot say that you can be equally offended. You being offended by that doesn’t impact your ability to get a job or be seen as non threatening.

    • k

      As the author says, black face was a caricature of black people so it was racist. This is a caricature somewhat, and White Chicks was fully, but is not racist?? Hough dressed as a specific character from a show with other people emulating other characters, but they spoofed white people universally. Again, how is Hough the racist? Honestly.

      • k

        Hough was dumb, but they are racist.

    • McJavaPro

      I’m white, and I like Nick Cannon because he’s a very talented
      comedian … exceptional. And this IS funny. I’ll admit, there’s a part
      of me (the really white part of me) that is slightly bugged to see my
      race as the motivating factor in the comedy (and perhaps the prowess of my race … Smallnut? … LMAO) … But I have to be honest: It really think it
      IS funny. Is that wrong? I don’t know. I’m comfortable enough about
      myself AND my race to brush off the sting of irritation, the apparent
      double-standard, and really, genuinely laugh. … Think about it: it’s
      nothing new. Eddie Murphy has joked about virtually every race and
      sexual preference on the planet (and maybe a few that don’t even really
      exist) … If you have ever been to a comedy club, you SURELY have heard
      stand-up comedians walk every line of propriety that exists, INCLUDING
      race … And it IS funny. I’m a politically conservative white guy who
      stands his ground, often using comedy, in the midst of my
      intelligence-challenged liberal friends … As such I refuse to join the
      politically-correct crowd just to make sure others recognize the
      “unfairness” of the politically-correct issue … If it IS an issue … I
      don’t think it is … It’s just comedy. Racist comedy? Okay …
      Whatever … Racist comedy. It’s not the first time I’ve laughed at it,
      and it won’t be the last … BEWARE my liberal friends, the next time we
      go out I might have a few drinks, take out the shoe polish, and get
      myself NICK-FACED!

      • McJavaPro

        LMAO!!! Okay, are the “Biore” ads on this page placed coincidentally, or are they a clever, funny, and strategic swipe at the irony of this article? Look at them! The woman is “charcoal-faced,” and the marketing caption is, “don’t be dirty.”

        Just in case other users don’t see the same ad I’m seeing, here’s a version of what it looks like:

    • Naut Hap’Ning

      Crazy thought here, but why not take black face out of the racist deck of cards? No one approves of slavery, no one says black people cannot act. So why do we constrain ourselves to outmoded and old fashioned political correctness? We’re all adults, so let’s stop acting like babies when someone does something we find offensive.

    • McJavaPro

      Laugh, folks … Lighten-up … Nick Cannon did!!!

      At the risk of throwing fuel onto open flame, I humbly post the following image only to demonstrate the plight of the frustrated white man … But know this: I (with a good number of other white folks) absolutely love comedy clubs (where race-oriented comedy is common), Eddie Murphy stand-up routines (where no race is off-limits), and most other forms of good (and sometimes tasteless) satirical comedy … Honestly … We just need to lighten up a bit. Satire will always offend those who want to be offended (and it effectively feeds the publicity machine). But remember, if I intend to offend you, and you take offense, you’re a fool … AND, if I DON’T intend to offend you, and you take offense, you’re also a fool. Those who can’t take this specific kind of comedy need to stay away from comedy clubs because their politically-correct, offense-hungry radar sensors will go haywire.

    • Nat Turner

      I just seen the stars for the movie “Gods of Egypt” and
      like others cant believe my eyes.
      They are all White, another perfect example of the
      African contribution to humanity being erased.
      Did they not do any research in making this film ?
      Did they really go to Egypt ?
      Had they consulted even the celebrated Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary by
      Sir E.A.Wallace Budge they’d have seen a section of the introduction entitled
      “Egyptian an African Language Fundamentally” where he goes on to say
      “The ancient Egyptians were Africans and they spoke an African language” he links them with the modern peoples of Africa and makes it clear other inflections in the language came much later with the arrivals from the desert.
      The greatest achievements of Egypt took place in it’s earliest days.
      Egyptians arrived from the south of the Nile with all the trappings of civilization already in place that included the art of building and reading and writing and
      of course the Gods.
      The most ancient of the Gods being ascribed an African origination.
      Osiris “Lord of the Perfect Black” stands out because it is now known that he represents the star system Orion and with it’s “belt” of 3 stars that has now been shown to be the blueprint of the layout of the Giza pyramid complex,
      which is a stunning memorial to the technological advancement
      of the African Egyptian of antiquity.
      I will post a “#godsofegypt ” hashtag with a picture of his totally
      African visage.for the world to see.
      Many modern “new age” lies are being concocted to denude Africans of our rightful place in world history,
      we must redouble our efforts in exposing them for the frauds which they are.

    • Anonymous

      >Using Tumblr as a source

      It’s like you WANT to have 0 credibility!


    • Diamond

      It wasn’t racist to me. It was a weak attempt to be funny. And Julianne Hough’s blackface wasn’t racist to me either. Her costume was black and she clearly isn’t black so she put on foundation in a black girl color. and wala now she’s racist apparently. The only “racist” part was the name of Nick Cannon’s character which was more so a stereotype than racism. I’m black and white and I know racism when I see it. Both these incidents, not racist at all.

    • vegamaximus

      That picture is from nearly hundred and fifty years ago, it is 2014, the minstrel theater was in 1869 and you buy into this crap, you are a drone, scared to have an opinion, get a back bone. Not one person from that era even exists anymore and they settled their issues long ago, they have a term for further consequence after a sentence has already been decided it’s called double jeopardy in the court system and it’s illegal. I myself certainly won’t stand for any crap over what someone who slightly shared my skin tones offense is, it wasn’t okay then and it shouldn’t be condoned now. Nick is barely funny, if at all, and is most successful with children, akin to a pedophile, he is angry and it shows, still bringing up eminem, saying if he’d done it, no one would say anything, meanwhile, even you are saying that isn’t so.

    • Greg Doherty

      i guess its ok because since my forefathers came from ireland and france in 1880s, OBVIOUSLY that means i should be minimized by white people stereotypes. My nephew’s name is connor and white people having small packages is offensive. BUT I GUESS A WHITE PERSON BEING OFFENDED ISNT AS VALUABLE AS A BLACK. BECAUSE MY FOREFATHERS NEVER OWNED ANYONE!

    • Greg Doherty

      i guess its ok because since my forefathers came from ireland and france in 1880s, OBVIOUSLY that means i should be minimized by white people stereotypes. My nephew’s name is connor and white people having small packages is offensive. BUT I GUESS A WHITE PERSON BEING OFFENDED ISNT AS VALUABLE AS A BLACK. BECAUSE MY FOREFATHERS NEVER OWNED ANYONE!

    • Slowlyhatingsociety

      This article is ridiculous. I am so tired of this inane argument stating that “non-whites can insult whites and it’s not racism, but when whites insult non-whites it’s racism because there and more whites and white people in the past were bad.” Why should I, or any other white, pay for the misdeeds of people in the past who were the same ethnicity as me? This makes absolutely no sense. I refuse accept these double standards because of the past. I ignore the past. I don’t care what some white guy did to some black guy in the past. It wasn’t me. The author of this article lacks logic and intelligence.. This is obvious: he or she is a journalist.

    • drevulphd

      Stupid article, and why was everyone up on arms about Julianne Hough wearing a costume on Halloween in black-face imitating a character on a show everyone does it black kids imitate white characters. She was not being racist. This is still double standards, and yes White Chicks and Tyra Banks are making fun of Caucasian people and its only a movie and people should be able to laugh at themselves, even black people need to relax a little and laugh sometimes as not everything is racist!

    • D

      It’s funny because blacks were allowed to own slaves back than too, as a matter of fact blacks started the slave trade and the only reason they think it’s fair is because anytime anybody does anything blacks consider racist about 50% of they’re population needs to whine, but when whites see blacks doing racist shit only a few care enough to say anything and it’s obvious the media could care less about whites being discriminated against when it happens every day. That’s exactly why Juliana hough got bitched at for it but all the blacks that did it for tv is just funny. Shows how stupid and ignorant some people really are.

    • Dave

      I love how the argument is that Blackface used to be sinister in the past, I.E Jim Crow stereotypes etc, and that therefore it is racist.

      But because whiteface is not sinister it’s fine.
      However, Blackface doesn’t take the same form as it used to, in the same way whiteface doesn’t contribute to white people being lynched Blackface no longer has the same effect.

      Or to put it simply, Blackface and Whiteface aren’t racist. They’re funny, they’re exploiting stereotypes. That’s part of how comedy works.

    • Truth Teller

      I would hate to break it down to you in plain English, but the truth behind white face is systematic revenge for black face, and well revenge isn’t something good so know your facts first “These performances can be cheap shots, but they have a weird potency: It’s imitation as revenge.”… … i think we need to take a modern Dave Chapelle stance here….today its either all good or all not good. Just dont be a hypocrite.

    • Jonathan Sample

      Racism is racism. Fact. Any idea presented to excuse racist behavior or relabel it for easier proliferation and consumption is evidence of the awareness behind the racist behavior and therefore malicious.

      As a white man I find this offensive. As a human being I find this offensive. As someone who understands the value of historical knowledge and the meaning of progress I find this not only offensive but cancerous to any effort to move forward as a species.

      It’s time we all swallowed the hard pill of our collective past, pulled together, and started to walk hand-in-hand toward a better future. The lessons are there before us. We need to learn them, grow, and then make a conscious decision to take care of each other. We can’t apply something akin to bad parenting toward the operation of our society by being permissive toward a person’s desire to dig at other people. The idea of, “If they do something to you, then you do it right back” will leave everyone hurting. An eye for an eye does not work, and intelligent people should understand this.

      Also, communication and entertainment have changed since the original use of “Black face.” This Cannon stunt is the modern analogue of the acts of those bigots in make-up from years past. Just because he’s doing this on the internet doesn’t change the similarity of nature or intent. Today we value different forms of humor and presentation. This utilizes the simplest of them, just as the white racists of the past utilizes the most base methods of theater of their time to make horrific statements.

      We can’t expect progress if we’re going to let people make any kind of demonstration to denigrate another person or group of people. I don’t care if it’s race, religion, mannerisms, or whatever else, no one should be permitted to mock any group for any reason.

      If you’re dismissing any of this because I’m a white man then you can’t understand my point because you have a sickness. You are, I’m sorry to say, a bigot.

    • lillapoyka

      yup, and naming the dude “smallnut” was just coincidence

    • paxdonnaverde

      Most “blacks”, including Nick, have the option to “whiteface” because most African-Americans have some European blood in them due to slavery. Most “white” people have no African blood whatsoever. This is uncomfortable to “whites” but our discomfort is minor compared to the still existent legacies of slavery. These comments are uncomfortable but necessary in our journey to understand racism and move past it. Comedy can be a good tool. Nick is a good person to do this as he straddles the races and has few axes to grind; I love watching him on idol as he relates to any nervous contestant as another human being and child of God.

    • LiveFromATX

      I noticed that the word “was” and past tense verbs were used a lot in the 4 bullet points outlining why blackface is racist. Could the author provide examples of why it’s offensive currently?

    • Danny Gagnon

      To be honest, as a Caucasian person (métis to be more specific but I look more white so let’s go with that) I dind what he’s doing to be contradictory. You simply can not do this with any other race and get away with it. Regardless of history, Caucasian people are HUMAN. So are African Americans, First Nations, Asian, Middle Eastern or any other type of people. Bottom line is that if it’s not acceptable for one race it’s not acceptable for all. Therefore, an African American (or any other different race) don’t dress as a Caucasion person and Caucasian people (or any other type of race) don’t dress like an African American. It’s really that simple.