Waverly High School in Upstate New York is in the midst of some controversy due to a skit performed by three students at a pep rally. The skit re-enacted Chris Brown beating up Rihanna in 2009. Not only that, the students performed their “act” in blackface.
*Takes a deep breath*
Already, people are divided on the issue. Some people thought that it was deplorable to reconstruct a horrific beating for the sake of a few yuks. However, you also have those who can’t understand what the big deal is:
“Are you kidding me? This (is) clearly not a type of racism. The ones being
ignorent ignorant are the people trying to twist this harmless pep rally into a racist dispute. They were simply trying to have fun and make people laugh. Not Make making fun of African Americans in anyway any way, shape or form. Speaking from a person who was a spectator at this event is truly sick to my stomach reading this.”
The response from a Waverly student was written as it was on the CNN website, minus the errors which I’ve corrected. But aside from the fact that this person misspelled ignorant, this person believed that what took place was funny, harmless and non-racist – but mostly funny.
If you’ve noticed that in similar cases of racist celebrations planned and participated by whites, the overall attitude is to have fun at the expense of other groups of people. Who can forget the uproar from the “ghetto” themed parties happening in college campuses across the nation a while back? White students would dress up as black stereotypes one would likely see in rap videos. Guys would wear blackface, fake dreadlocks and dress like gangster rappers with fake gold teeth and chains with their pants sagging. Girls would stuff the bottom of their pants to simulate a black woman’s butt as well as dress up like gangster rappers themselves. They would take pictures of their tomfoolery throwing up signs because, apparently, that’s what black folks do all the time, every time. And to add insult to injury, many of these parties took place on Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Overprivileged white people, including the not-so-rich ones, have a habit of making fun of people of color at their expense. Instead of learning and honoring their cultures, they make a mockery of their cultures by parading around as stereotypical images of those people. Some believe they are truly celebrating another group’s culture when the truth is they are making fun of it.
The overprivileged do not have to educate themselves on nonwhites because it is never a requirement for them to do so. Most of the time, they get their information from the media and rely on that to them who “those” people are. No doubt, the Waverly students, who come from a mostly white school, got their idea from the media. Since they know too little about black people and what racism consists of, they could care less if this was offensive racially. They also didn’t seem to mind that they turned an incident that highlighted this nation’s pathology of violence against women into a comedy routine. So, what they’ve done was also misogynistic. And what does the Chris Brown-Rihanna incident have to do with team spirit anyway?
Privileged white people are so lost to realize what’s right and what’s wrong. The students who participated in the skit as well as those who thought it was entertaining have demonstrated their lack of reality and warped since of morality and intelligence regarding the black community. We will never forget that horrific beating mostly because of the picture of Rihanna’s battered face that surfaced in the media thereafter. Some of us will not support or forgive Chris Brown as this and other moments where his rage surfaced when he should’ve got some help, put his career on hold and shown some damn concern and remorse. None of us with any sense thought it was entertaining, and there is no reason why anyone should think so.