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The ‘blackface’ controversy in Virginia and some related thoughts


From The Atlantic:

Recently, news broke that Virginia’s Democratic governor and attorney general both wore blackface in the 1980s. The controversy now enveloping the state has seemed all too familiar, as blackface photos of even more politicians have come out in recent years. Alex Wagner sits down with staff writers Vann R. Newkirk II and Adam Serwer to ask: how does this keep happening?

Somehow, this debate over race and other major issues in the US and elsewhere has got way out of hand, for example homosexuality. People do change, if there was evidence that in recent times these people had engaged in racist acts that would be another thing but nearly 40 years ago.

We see similar things now as well in NZ. For example NZ Media playing up a statement by a 17 year old Simon Bridges, re homosexuality, but ignoring the fact that Jacinda Ardern was brought up in a religious faith that was vehemently against homosexuality and was a member of this faith until she was 27. Or when a charity group wore blackface in Taranaki during a Xmas parade, reflecting Dutch traditions.

As well there was this piece today at The Spinoff by Danyl McLauchlan

Let us not forget that according to the New Testament, St Paul experienced a conversion on the road to Damascus:

The conversion of Paul the Apostle, was, according to the New Testament, an event in the life of Paul the Apostle that led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus. It is normally dated to AD 33–36. Since his birth is estimated at 5 A.D., he would have been somewhere around the age of 28-31 at his conversion. The phrases Pauline conversion, Damascene conversion and Damascus Christophany, and road to Damascus allude to this event.

As the New Testament recounts from being a persecutor of Christians, St Paul became a leading proponent of Christ.

Therefore, if St Paul could change, why is society so quick to condemn people today, for action from decades ago.

It seems that we are applying in today’s fevered world a standard that is beyond that applied to St Paul.

Furthermore, we are applying the perhaps overly heightened sensibilties of today today images of the past.

This is perhaps part and parcel with what we have seen on university campuses as well with the concept of safe spaces, trigger words.

This is exacerbated by the many instances of the oppression of free speech from left and right all perversely in the name of free speech.


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