- Justin Moser, who comes from a Christian upbringing, uploaded a video with his face colored Black, comparing Blackface to gender identity
- White actors would use black paint on their faces when depicting plantation slaves to dehumanize them
- Justin Moser believes it is okay to paint your face as long as you are “coming from the right place”
This week Justin Moser took to Facebook and posted a video claiming that he was celebrating diversity by painting his face Black.
Moser stated in the video that he painted his face Black because he was dressed up as his favorite rapper, Snoop Dogg. Those that know the history of Blackface know that this is not entertaining and this was nothing to be taken lightly.
In the mid nineteenth century, white actors would routinely paint their face and bodies to depict unflattering representations of Black people who at the time were slaves. According to David Leonard, chair of Washington State University’s department of critical culture, gender, and race studies:
Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence. It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes…the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice.David Leonard
After Moser stated that he was dressed up as Snoop Dogg, he claimed that “if Warren G was here, we would be regulating, for sure.”
The song Regulators by Warren G ft. Nate Dogg, was a song that showed the lifestyle that many could relate to. The song reached the second top song on the Billboard singles chart and became one of the defining songs of the 1990s.
In an interview with NME, Warren G stated:
That record was things that I went through, and friends of ours went through. We’d witnessed that and we’d been a part of it. We just told the story, and then on the hook we just let everybody’s imagination flow.Nate Dogg
Halfway through the video, Moser attempted to relate Blackface to gender identity. “In a day when boys can be girls and girls can be boys, why can’t a white dude be Black for a day. Celebrate diversity.“
There is a major difference between gender identity and Blackface. With gender identity, it is not something you choose, you are born that way. With Blackface, you are choosing to temporarily change your skin color to dehumanize other people.
The original video and a following post was deleted after people found out that he owned MBC Moser Building & Carpentry.
The video was recorded, saved, and reposted before it was deleted.
Immediately after deleting it, he Moser posted an apology claiming that he has Black friends and was advised by them that using Blackface was a horrible idea.
He Is Very Sorry
When Discuss Global tried to get a copy of the original video, Mosers’ mother decided to come to his defense.
Moser was raised in a church environment, according to Mosers mother About section.
According to former Race, Law, and Politics Reporter, Jenée Desmond-Harris:
But here’s the thing: not feeling racist when you’re wearing blackface does nothing to change how it affects those who see it (and today, thanks to social media, that doesn’t just mean your trick-or-treaters, or the guests at the party you attend — it means the world). Your innermost thoughts don’t change the impact blackface has on the people of all races around you, or the way it reinforces stereotypes and the idea that blackness is, at best, a joke.Jenée Desmond-Harris
Even though he wrote an apology, he still continued to back the video.
If you are ever thinking of using Blackface, just don’t.