Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Causing Offense: NikkieTutorials Christmas Has Been Remixed.

There's been some discussion about this video by NikkieTutorials (a Dutch YouTuber who specialises in make-up videos).

When I saw the video I just knew that it would cause an outrage and to be frank, it's fairly understandable.

I actually flagged the video. Why? See below.

Shout out to AfroEurope.

Do I really need to say more?

I don't tolerate the blackface for one minute; regardless of the reasons behind it. Even if it's 'just' a make-up tutorial, I don't approve of it. I can't approve of one possibly offensive thing and disapprove of another possibly offensive thing. I will not pick and choose which offensive thing is ok or not regardless of how innocent the reasons behind it are. I won't.

I know for a fact that to a lot of people, the blackface may not even register as offensive. But just because you think it isn't offensive (very likely because you're non-black), it doesn't mean you should continue to disregard the offence it has caused. There are very legitimate reasons behind people feeling offended by the blackface and our offence doesn't even need to be justified or explained.

Sadly, there are many people who expect us to explain or justify it... and as if that isn't enough, our offence is also being trivialised with comments such as 'people are taking things out of proportion' or 'people are labelling everything as racist'.

Our history cannot be trivialised. We're also definitely not living in a post-racial society either (whether you believe it or not is entirely up to you).

Out of sheer respect, any action which has degraded us over many centuries, should not be performed and perpetuated. And any defence of that sort of action, makes you as bad as the perpetrators.

Sure, NikkieTutorials and her collaborator are talented individuals and I praise them for that. However, they were also incredibly ignorant. Based on the ignorance alone, I'm sure they didn't mean to cause offence (that doesn't make what they did ok though).

Pretty much one of the only ways to rectify this situation is to acknowledge what has been done, apologise and remove the video which hasn't been done (yet?).

So a significant number of people flagged the video and this is the info box below the video:

Doesn't sound like an apology. And the last sentence really takes away the entire value of the comment as well.

The comments and ratings are disabled but the video is still up, meaning they can still profit off of that video. I'm quite sure YouTube tells you to remove a flagged video, rather than inform you to switch off comments or ratings.

I really hope this video disappears, just out of respect.

Update: the vid is on private. I assume it's been removed. High five.