Cosplay Of Different Races (Blackface)

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by N.A., Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. N.A.

    N.A. Cadet Newbie

    Feb 7, 2019
    Hello, I have a little personal revelation for everyone here.
    I'm a white guy, and a lifelong Star Trek fan. Exactly 30 years ago, when I was 16, my 'Trek Gang' of friends made a TNG/TOS fan film. I was by far the youngest, and definitely not in charge of the 'production', and when the straws were drawn, I ended up being cast as Geordi...complete with makeup. It was not the part I was after, but I was desperate to be involved, I thought Geordi was cool, all the other parts had been cast, and (this was the rural Southwest in 1989), our group of friends did not happen to have a black man in it at the time. Also, we weren't going to make the film without Geordi in it, and (in an example of charmingly misplaced moral reasoning) we weren't going to just use the uniform, because we felt that would have amounted to making Geordi white. You might say it was a perfect case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. In any case, the result was a brainless teenage white kid wearing blackface and getting filmed doing it.
    I'm not asking whether or not it was acceptable. Obviously it wasn't. It was a colossal f***up. We just had our collective heads so far up our asses that we didn't realize it.
    The film was shot on VHS in a homemade set in a trailer, and never really seen outside our circle of friends. This was several years pre-internet. I've never talked about it with anyone else. But as explosive as the issue has suddenly become, I'm interested in people's opinions.
    Have any of you ever done anything like this? Should I forget about it? Never speak of it again? Quit my job, stop trying to amount to anything, and live on the streets with my head hung in shame? What?
    sekundant likes this.
  2. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 25, 2011
    In the Sunshine!
    I wouldn't worry about it at all. I'm sure there will be those who will have mock outrage but who cares. People need to quit being so sensitive and worry about issues that matter.

    The views expressed here are soley those of the poster and do not reflect or imply the views of the TrekBBS, CBS, Trek fandom, Paramount, etc.
  3. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored That's not... ahhhh... logical, man Moderator

    Jul 5, 2004
    Pretty Fly for a Vulcan Guy
    Question: Are you in the line of succession for the Governor of Virginia?
  4. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007
    I agree with feek. It was thirty years ago and you were a kid.

    Don't worry about it.
  5. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 25, 2001
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    [*Opens door of thread*]

    I just wanted to say Good Luck. We're all counting on you.

    [*Closes door*]
  6. cultcross

    cultcross We truly were a song of ice and fire Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    The Small Council
    There are grown adults still doing this at public conventions, so the fact you realise it was a fuck up and wouldn't do it again probably puts you in good stead straight away.
  7. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 27, 2009
    Out there. Thatta way.
    A lot of people get confused about this stuff, because interpretation falls on one side or the other of a very wide generational (or political, though even that currently has an age-gap too) divide. The key to understanding the yoots and their philosophies is context. Show your video to most people, and you might get cringes, but that might be from the acting as much as the makeup. I wouldn't expect anyone to shun you. At least, no one worth being around.

    Posing in blackface next to a man in a KKK hood and robes? You're going to get a very, very different reaction from people. Why? Because you're combining two very specific symbols together. That has a way of draining ambiguity and focusing on the obvious symbolism. That gets people talking about that symbolism, and the underlying race issues. That also associates the photo's subjects with those race issues.

    Kids cosplaying as the TNG crew? Many interpretations, most of them innocent.
    Man in blackface standing with guy in KKK hood? Very few interpretations, none of them flattering.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    uniderth, Spot261, BillJ and 2 others like this.
  8. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

    Dec 23, 2004
    Northern Ireland
    Cosplay refers to dressing up as specific characters, or fictional races, all out of fictional settings. Being a racist moron isn't covered under that.
    sekundant likes this.
  9. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    The Great Wide Open
    What do I think?

    I think this has nothing to do with Star Trek.
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