When I was casually browsing through facebook on Sunday evening, I came across something that made me feel uncomfortable. It was a screenshot of the latest ‘parody’ video from Queens of Pop, a group that makes parodies of people who have been unfortunate in their lives, including Kerry Katona and even Beyonce (NO ONE messes with Beyonce). A friend of mine from university put this on his facebook to illustrate a point that the latest parody of Will.I.Am’s video for Bang Bang was unacceptable. Not just because it shamed people for being LGBT but it shamed people for drug dependency, it shamed people according to their HIV/AIDS status and the worst thing about this video was that the two men involved thought that posing as a black man by blacking their faces was okay.
It’s never okay to ‘parody’ something that someone can’t control. Someone on this particular facebook post said that ‘imitation is flattery’. I disagree. When someone parodies you, or imitates you- it’s probably because it’s unflattering. Think of all the parodies you’ve seen. Does it ever show the person in a positive light? No. So how can it be flattering?
In addition, white men blacking their faces to look like black men is inherently racist. It reduces black history and the fight for civil rights over the last one hundred years to nothing but a bit of make up. That’s not okay. And it’s not quite the same thing as a woman wearing fake tan or darker make up, as has already been stated.
I don’t claim to speak for people here. You can make up your own mind on what is offensive and what isn’t. The reason why I find it so offensive is because you have one liberation group telling another liberation group what they should and shouldn’t find offensive. It’s a bit like men telling women feminism is irrelevant. It’s a bit like heterosexual people telling LGBT people that being LGBT is actually a choice and a lifestyle. It’s a bit like white people telling black people something that’s racist, isn’t actually racist.
I’m not a fan of telling people to ‘check their privilege’ but in this instance it is true. White gay men have the advantage over lots of other liberation groups of being white and male. Black people have been discriminated against for being black for centuries.
Another friend of mine asked why people think one form of discrimination is wrong when another one is okay. You’re either against all discrimination or not against it at all. You can’t pick and choose the things you find discriminatory.
It’s offensive because it reduces someone’s skin colour to a mere parody. As white people, we probably can’t understand why this is offensive because we’re white and are thus the most privileged racial group in the world.
Queens of Pop are scheduled to perform at Glasgow Pride next Saturday. If you don’t want these vile people performing at an event that is supposed to promote pride, not shame then you can do the following things:
Sign this petition. It aims to stop Queens of Pop performing at Glasgow Pride.
Like this facebook page.
Together we can achieve more.
- Pride is a protest (thegayagendauk.wordpress.com)