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Black History Month (participation)

February 16, 2012

Lets just talk about this video


From → Participation

  1. Carolina Salazar permalink

    I must say I didn’t really find this video to be surprising but disturbing. First off, at the very end where it says that only three people said anything about him not being black. Really? I think that was just wrong, but I think it goes back to that one time in class when Professor Leonard said something about a student wanting to write something based on two movies. I think one was called “Boys in the Hood”, and the student said there were houses so it must mean that the ones in the movie lived in the suburbs. Same thing with the ending of this video. My guess is that most people just saw him black and thought that “well he must be black”. Also, it didn’t really surprise me to see that people preferred a black guy that acts like a white guy because in our society I guess mostly “whiteness” or acting “classy” (as the girl in the video put it) is preferred over the, dare I say it, stereotype of “ghetto blackness”.

  2. Tucker Creek permalink

    Going off what Carolina was saying I didn’t find this video very surprising because this is going on at BYU which is a very strong Mormon school along with Utah. Not many people of color are in that area, and you can tell when he goes around asking the students you would know a black guy when you see one and they all say yes shows that. I guess it would be awkward however to question a guy if he is really black based on his skin complexion with the makeup being all blotchy on his face. What I find more shocking is that most students didn’t even know when Black History Month is which is shocking, in every grade growing up during February our teachers would tell us that this is Black History Month and is time to reflect and appreciate everything they have fought for and done themselves. I think this is a prime example of why ethnic studies needs to be supported and taught throughout all schools because if students can only name 3 or 4 prominent black figures in history there is a problem with that.

    • Why is it comforting to isolate this to Utah? Do we really think this video couldn’t be in Los Angeles or Pullman? And how does the blackface conversation relate to our conversation yesterday about parties where blackface has happened, which happen throughout the country. Take a look at the following –

  3. Alex Clark permalink

    The reactions seem normal, being as the majority of the people that were interviewed were white and went to a predominately Caucasian school. Not sure why only 3 individuals questions his skin color, as it seemed very obvious to me. But then again, it is very unsettling to discuss the race topic with someone face to face. Definitely a very interesting video, I would enjoy watching more.

  4. I was actually really surprised by this video. Maybe it is just where I grew up but we always did something special every year for black history month so everyone knew when it was. Also I think specially anymore we have all taken enough history classes we should know more than just one historical black figure.

  5. Alexandra Wilson permalink

    Watching this video was a big realization for me. I can see why many would find this video offensive from its many stereotypical and racist remarks that were presented. However if I put myself in the shoes of the BYU students who were interviewed many of my answers would have been the same. When asked of someone in black history I would think Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. However if I was asked to name those whom are white I could sadly discuss many more. In the American public school system I feel as though there are chapters in which we discuss black history in order to make sure there is no discrimination. I feel as though it was unfair to only interview BYU students since Utah is more culturally sheltered unfortunately. Which may sound like another stereotypically remark, which leads me to conclude we live in a society where you can escape stereotypes.

  6. Madison McKenzie permalink

    I also don’t find this video very surprising. I do find myself feeling embarressed for some of the people featured in this video though. For example, the guy who couldn’t remember Rosa Park’s name or what she did, I would believe that she would be one of the first significant people in black history listed along with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. I do agree that it is unsettling to discuss race with people face to face, especially if these students were caught off-guard on campus. I just can’t believe that only 3 people said something about the interviewers skin color.

  7. Rachael Gorrie permalink

    This video is unbelievable. However, this kind of ignorance is to be expected, especially at a predominately white school like BYU. There are several disturbing issues that need to be addressed here: first, the fact that no one mentioned his “dressing” up like a black person, as if there is any one way to dress like a black person, using stereotypical clothing like a hood up and looser fitting clothes is dancing on the line, however, the fact that only 3 people mentioned him painting himself with make up is disgusting.This kind of blatant mockery should be stopped in it’s tracks. Next, his “accent” and the participant’s impressions engendered feelings of pity, they seem so ignorant at this point and look so stupid doing their impressions its sad. What comes into question with this whole thing is that the white students may not have said anything because they knew he was joking and knew that when asked to give an impression they were supposed to be stereotypical. If the situation was reversed, I believe that the same stereotypical impression would occur whether it be blacks impersonating whites, whites impersonating Asians, Hispanics or Arabs etc. not many today would be bold enough to initially question the interviewer and simply reply that there is no one that fits into a mold of likeness based on racial categorization. He investigates the amount of ignorance at his school very well though, demonstrating their lack of knowledge about black history and ideas about African Americans. Unfortunately, if you asked anyone at that college about white history, or as they would probably refer to it, history, they would be able to respond much better, however, I do believe that the fact that they were young people in general being interviewed played a part in their overall ignorance because even the black people interviewed weren’t quite as well informed as we might expect. Another aspect that should be addressed is the majority of the participants views of the relationships, this really aggravated me and when asked about being with a black guy that acts white, the girl described that as being “classy”…. my response is just seeing a reaffirmation that whiteness continues to be seen as best and is normalized. Black people are praised and considered more classy when they succumb to whiteness.

    • Do you really think the answer would be different in other places? Why? Jimmy Kimmel did a similar thing in LA and not much different!

  8. Kyla Chappell permalink

    I feel like the amount of ignorance shown by these students is to be expecting at a prominently white school like BYU. Even so, there is no excuse as to why the one guy couldn’t remember Rosa Parks name or what she did in history. That was very shocking and sad. And I don’t know if it was cause I knew the guy was actually white, but I really think I could have recognized him as not being black, even if I was caught off guard, or at least I would like to think so. Overall I didn’t find this video very shocking, but very disturbing.

  9. Post this again from above b/c I don’t know if answers would be so different in other locations.

    Why is it comforting to isolate this to Utah? Do we really think this video couldn’t be in Los Angeles or Pullman? And how does the blackface conversation relate to our conversation yesterday about parties where blackface has happened, which happen throughout the country. Take a look at the following –

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