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An Open Letter To The University Of Montreal Students Who Wore Black Face

Gabe Delahaye | September 16, 2011 - 12:30 pm

Dear University of Montreal Students Who Wore Black Face,

No.

Nope.

No way, guys.

While you’re cleaning the shoe polish off of your fucking faces, I will explain the situation to those who don’t know what happened: some white students from the University of Montreal Business School attended a “Olympics-themed sports and physical activity awareness event,” whatever THAT even means, wearing cobbled-together outfits in the colors of the Jamaican flag and smeared in dark makeup. (1.21 gigawatts, McFly! It 2011!) When it turned out some people did not like this, the students defended themselves by saying that it was simply a tribute (goooood tribute!) to Jamaican runner Usain Bolt. OK. According to Gawker:

A spokesman for the business school also defended the students, telling the Montreal Gazette that they “certainly didn’t want to offend anyone, it was really in the spirit of the Olympics.”

Hahha. Uh huh. Toooootally. Very olympic. Classic olympics. (There was also this from Gawker: “When one of the group members noticed [black McGill law student Anthony] Morgan, he yelled: “Look guys, we’ve got a real black!”” but we will just table that for now.) You can watch some video of the students (to whom this letter is addressed, so, some video of yourselves?) chanting “Smoke some weed! Yeah mon! Yeah mon!” (olympics-style) here:

Here’s the thing, University of Montreal Students who wore black face: I almost get it. I mean, I totally don’t get it, but I can imagine a scenario in which somehow in your white heads you decided that this would be a fun way to participate in the event. I’m not saying that you’re definitely racist just because you dressed up in black face and shouted “JAH MON!” because something something Jamaica. For real. Culturally insensitive: 110%. Poorly thought out: 900%. But maybe not “racist,” insofar as maybe you didn’t have any real point to make about black people or Jamaican people or white people or sports or the Olympics or Usain Bolt or tank tops or anything. Maybe you’re just a bunch of dumb fucking college students doing a dumb fucking thing as college students will.

That being said, just as a super-easy thing to remember for next time you’re worried about getting caught up in a minor black face scandal: DON’T WEAR BLACK FACE EVER EVER EVER. if you are at home getting ready to go out and you have black face on, WASH IT OFF BEFORE YOU LEAVE! And if you don’t have any black face on but you are considering whether or not to put on some black face, DON’T PUT ANY ON! Just in case, you should print out this wallet-sized flowchart and carry it with you at all times.

Good luck, University of Montreal students.
Sincerely,
Everyone Since, What, 1955?