A handy guide.
photo credit: nitot
OSSESS a modicum of historical awareness regarding race in America.
With your modicumyea, even smidgenof historical awareness, you will automatically be astounded that anyone would so much as suggest donning blackface. You will conclude that such an individual is utterly devoid of historical awareness regarding race in America, and you will pity them.
Bring your intelligence to bear.
You may be intelligent enough to become, say, a doctor. But if you do not bring your intelligence to bear on the question of whether to wear blackface, you may as well be an amoeba darting aimlessly in a test tube. You may alsobecause you tend not to bring your intelligence to bear on thingssuck as a doctor.
Even if you possess zero historical awareness regarding race in America, or are as dumb as a stump, you can still rely on good old empathy to prevent you from wearing blackface for any reason whatsoever.
It only takes enough empathy to imagine yourself on the receiving end of blackface. Before you know it, you will feel the heat of humiliation. You will find yourself saying things like, "What the hell was I thinking?" or, "How could I have ever considered wearing blackface, even for a moment?" Put empathy to work for you.
Remember that you are an adult.
Adults are the ones who set examples for children on right and wrong behavior. Once you remind yourself that you are an adult, you will have no trouble grasping that wearing blackface sets a truly miserable example.
You might hear some people arguing that itís okay to wear blackface to a party, because itís all in fun, and anyway, sometimes you just have to let the kid in you out every now and then. If the kid in you turns out to be little George Wallace, maybe you should stay home.
When all else fails, use common sense.
Letís say you lack all historical awareness, are almost too stupid to live, have never attained maturity, and possess zero empathy. There is one more thing you can call forth to ensure that you never, under any circumstances, wear blackface. Itís our old friend, common sense.
Common sense will tell you that we live in the modern age. Modern humans no longer do things their forebears once did. They donít burn people as witches. They donít sacrifice animals to angry gods. And they donít wear blackface. All of these behaviors are, as common sense will tell you, hopelessly antiquated.
By the way, common sense usually comes preloaded with common courtesy. Your common courtesy will signal loud and clear how thoroughly awful it would be to dress in blackface.
Isnít it great that most humans have one or more of these helpful attributes at our disposal? However, if you possess nary a smidgen of historical awareness, can bring little intelligence to bear, have a quiver empty of empathy, maturity, or common sense, you may well become susceptible to the wearing of blackface. Because you may be kind of a dick.
© 2.8.19 Kate Heidel