Despite it’s devastating history, a third of Americans still believe blackface is totally acceptable during Halloween, creating more political and racial lines throughout the nation.
The study was done by Pew Research Center, just before the current conversation around blackface involving Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, as well as and Gucci’s latest design. When it comes to breaking out casual racism for the sake of likes during Halloween, 15 percent of participants felt like blackface is “always acceptable” with another 19 percent adding that it’s “sometimes acceptable.”
The general study also revealed 53 percent of Americans aren’t in favor of white people using it to embody an African-American character and 37 percent stated it is “never acceptable” in any capacity. The third comes in with one in three people (34 percent) who say blackface is always or sometimes acceptable.
The study conducted from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5, 2019, was completed in conjunction with a larger concentration on race, ethnicity and identity. Other topics discuss the definition of cultural appropriation and questions around wearing traditional garments from other countries as costumes.
Unsurprisingly, the study revealed white adults are about twice as likely than black adults to be okay with black face during Halloween A total of 19 percent of blacks people felt the same with Hispanics (28%) saying it is “always or sometimes acceptable.”
Recent madness has reflected the progression of blackface with actors like Ted Danson catching heat for wearing blackface to mock then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg during a roast in 1993, Julianne Hough wearing deeper shades than her own to dress up as actress Uzo Aduba’s Orange Is the New Black character Crazy Eyes for Halloween in 2013. Some claims of blackface have fallen in the gray area like Kylie Jenner’s neon look in 2015.
Despite think pieces, history lessons and even apologies from those who have committed the act, people are still want to be black without being black.
See the study and its other elements here.