The Saratoga Sun -

That's a high horse of a different color


I’m heading out to the stable and I’m on the lookout for my high horse.

In the darkness I fail to see my normally mottled mare because she has decided to paint herself black for halloween.

Her hero is Black Beauty, so I see no problem with her costume choice.

But I am about to find out my mare has become a nightmare…

During Halloween week the internet was inundated with articles about actress Julianne Hough. Apparently Julianne put on a lot of bronzer and went as “Crazy Eyes” Warren, a character from the racially diverse Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” which is set in a women’s prison.

Ms. Hough, a white actress, was photographed attending a party with several of her friends also dressed as characters from the show.

Because Ms. Hough is a “huge fan of the show ‘Orange is the New Black’, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she created (Crazy Eyes)”, Ms. Hough darkened her skin to portray that character as part of the overall group costume.

Immediate and harsh criticism followed as the Twitterverse went “Tweety Bird”.

Of all the criticism I saw none was more wrong than one I read by Joslyn Gray writing on parenting for entitled “What One Celebrity’s Blackface Costume Says About Education In America”.

The very title lets you know what this snob thinks us mere mortals should know.

We’re just not educated enough to know that ALL blackface is wrong.

Gray then goes on to educate us about how blackface minstrelsy was originally used to dehumanize African Americans and portray them as stupid and lazy.

Unfortunately for America, her assertion about this practice was, at least to a very large extent, true.

Gray then gets on her very own extremely-educated and elite high horse to point out that “darkening your lily-white skin” in any fashion is most certainly a no-no.

I have no idea what color Joslyn Gray is. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. What Ms. Gray should be aware of (especially while writing parenting articles), is that your education makes you educated. It obviously doesn’t make you smarter. Smart educated people know not to flaunt their education, especially with an argument as stupid as this one.

Let me get her argument straight.

Because of a horrid practice that took place long ago I cannot dress up as any of my black heroes?

If I want to go to a costume party as Jimi Hendrix am I supposed to go as “the white Jimi”?

Isn’t that even more racist?

I can’t dress as conservative republican and former United States Army General Colin Powell?

Certainly he is a person worthy of anyone’s respect, admiration and emulation (the general outfit would probably be hard to find though).

Is it that Ms. Gray is inadvertently saying that we should have no black heroes at all?

Or is she just so proud of her education that she wants to point out her elite reasoning for not dressing up as a black person?

These questions perturbed me so much that I felt compelled to get on my high horse and joust this woman who is supposedly teaching us good parenting.

My thoughts are that you can dress up as whomever you feel like. Hopefully this is done in the spirit of honoring the person you are portraying. If you want to be our president and run around saying “keep your insurance”, that’s just political. That should be acceptable. If you dress as Mr. Obama just to mock him as a black man then shame on you and any consequences you incur are of your own making.

Here’s a guideline though: If you are the type that might let a racial slur slip your lips while in costume then you probably shouldn’t dress as a member of a different race.

After I had worked my equine to a good lather writing around I decided to give her a rest and take a look at the replies to Gray’s “educated” article.

The comments, as usual, ranged from downright thoughtful to the outright looney.

The fun thing was that NONE of the first 40 replies I saw agreed with the author’s “educated” premise.

There were more replies but I didn’t bother reading any after 40 because you had to keep hitting the “more” button and it got tedious.

Several replies did blame the “liberal media” for getting worked up over some PC BS (not a public broadcasting station) though.

Ouch, people. Us liberal media types are not all bad.


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