White People Using GIFs of Black People Are Now Guilty of ‘Digital Blackface’

Just when you think the Racism Police can’t possibly dig up any new White behaviors to complain about…

An article on One Zero has now informed dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers Whites that using reaction GIFs of Black people—when you are not yourself black—makes you guilty of using “Digital Blackface.”

Seriously, go read the article and marvel at the fact that it was not published by the Babylon Bee.

Digital Blackface, which the article defines as “non-Black folks using Black people in GIFs or memes to convey their own thoughts or emotions,” while “less obviously and intentionally harmful than 19th-century blackface” (whew!), nonetheless “bears many similarities in the way it reduces Black people to stereotypes and enables non-Black people to use these stereotypes for their own amusement.”

This would include the popular “Ain’t nobody got time for that” GIFs and memes using the image and words of Sweet Brown from a brief but wildly popular appearance on a local newscast in 2012.

“Digital blackface in GIFs helps reinforce an insidious dehumanization of Black people by adding a visual component to the concept of the single story” said Naomi Day, writer of the article.

And what is the “single story?” This means to be “guilty of reducing [people you] don’t know to single stories based on incomplete narratives.”

In other words, it means assuming that all Sweet Brown does is run around saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” and has no other dimensions to her life.

Well, that does hit home, in a way. I for one have a hard time imagining that Taylor Armstrong ever does anything but scream at a white cat.

I think Day suspects that some may have a hard time buying her thesis, because she attempts to justify her article on this wise: “Digital blackface on its own doesn’t seem like a huge deal….”

She is quick to add, however, “but it is part of a much larger trend currently sweeping the United States that dehumanizes Black folks….”

“Dehumanizing Black folks” is a trend “currently sweeping the United States”? Currently?

Obviously, without a narrative where racism never does anything but expand, anti-racist writers would have nothing to write about, so it’s important to keep digging up ever more instances of microagressions, offensive tweets, and cultural appropriation.

But give the Devil her due. In a rare but helpful display of cultural consistency, Naomi Day also explained that Black folks need to give up using the Most Interesting Man in the World and Woman Screaming at Cat and One Does Not Simply memes because these will encourage an unwitting “Whiteface” racism and a temptation to reduce White people to a “single story.”

Nah, I’m just kidding, it was all about Bad Whitey Behavior, of course.

How Should We Then Tweet? Francis Schaeffer might have asked. What is a Christian response to all this frippery made flesh?

It’s simple. If you’re the type to post memes and GIFs, keep using them without regard to whether they are feature Black or White people. When called on the carpet about it, simply say, “I don’t care.”

Because if you care, they have won.

But undergird your actions with this Christian principle: Only God gets to define sin.

Personally (though I recognize this may be controversial), I think it would be most helpful for Christians to stop using the words “racist” and “racism” at all, except to describe the most important card in the Critical Race/Cultural Marxist/Social Justice deck.

“Racism,” while popularly used in many ways, is most consistently defined by cultural elites in a way that necessarily includes all whites and excludes all non-whites.

In short, if you’re white, you’re a racist and can’t change that. If you’re non-white, you’re not a racist and can’t change that.

But here’s an uncomfortable fact: The Bible condemns the mistreatment of people for any reason, but it does not specifically condemn anything that might be called “racism.”

If one man mistreats another man because he’s black, and someone else mistreats another fellow human being because he was born into a rich family, who has committed the worse sin?

That’s right: neither, for both sins are equal.

But if you say that, you’re a (can you guess?), Racist!

The Christian church has no interest in helping perpetuate such folly. So stop perpetuating it, already.



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