(NewsReady.com) – Gifs are one of the most popular ways internet users express themselves. They choose funny clips of people making faces or doing something that signifies how they are feeling at that moment. But not even the exaggerated, fun image files are safe from woke culture wars.
CNN’s John Blake recently reported on a phrase picking up steam on internet platforms called “digital blackface.” According to the report, an op-ed in “Teen Vogue” from 2017 slammed white people who use gifs and other imagery depicting black people to express their feelings online, for example, an image file of the viral black woman who is heard saying, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” The author of the opinion piece, Lauren Michele Jackson, claimed white people who use the images are guilty of “digital blackface.”
Blackface is the act of a white person literally painting their skin black in order to portray a person of color. The idea has picked up steam in recent years, spreading across social media platforms and even at universities. In a 2019 paper titled “Digital Blackface: How 21st Century Internet Language Reinforces Racism,” Erinn Wong claimed the use of internet gifs and memes depicting black people are modern-day minstrel shows. She claimed it’s glorified racism in the internet age.
The idea has picked up steam on apps like TikTok in recent months.
What is digital blackface? pic.twitter.com/wTI2fylzN5
— wilder (@wilderpatriot) March 26, 2023
Elizabeth Halford, a white brand designer who apologized for committing the made-up sin of digital blackface, told Blake that she agreed that using black people to express a thought is “playacting blackness.”
Not everyone agrees. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson slammed Blake for the CNN analysis on the allegations, saying there is a “demand for racism” in the US that has “outstripped its supply.”
The Thought Police Now Screams "Digital Blackface" if White People Share Images of Black People Online@TuckerCarlson: "So different standards for different groups of American citizens. What we have here, of course, is a situation where the demand for racism in this country has… pic.twitter.com/ug7TI8rBl0
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) March 28, 2023
Even Cenk Uygur, one of the most progressive political commentators in the media, lashed out at the idea of the so-called digital blackface. Calling it the “worst political tactic of all time” to label people racists for merely sharing a photo of Michael Jackson crying.
Copyright 2023, NewsReady.com