The social justice warriors over at Teen Vogue are here to inform us that using reaction gifs with black people in them constitutes “digital blackface.”
Apparently we’re not allowed to use Stevie Wonder, Xzibit, or Shaquille O’Neal gifs so you better stock up before the PC police come to confiscate them.
According to the thought-police over at Teen Vogue, using a reaction gif that has a black person in it is “digital blackface” and it’s just like lynching people.
The article had to take a swipe at Meghan McCain and call her out for several of her tweets. There surely were no other public figures guilty of this besides a Republican TV pundit.
The other people included in the article were complete unknowns and the Dory parody account.
They tried to start it off all artsy even though it’s an op-ed about a meme…
In this op-ed, Lauren Michele Jackson tackles the recurring use of black people as reaction GIFs and its implications in terms of broader “digital blackface.”
The following harmless reaction gifs are now considered “digital blackface” and Teen Vogue is totally nonpartisan
Me… all day today. pic.twitter.com/OwpCahsMcG
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 11, 2017
Someone explain to me the point of fat shaming Sean Spicer? Is it just to humiliate him even more? What is this?! pic.twitter.com/70jMDM7SVQ
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 20, 2017
Me – watching the Comey hearing for the last hour… pic.twitter.com/OJ25SWHAKY
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 8, 2017
They’re even triggered by the ‘Dory’ parody account…
A visual representation of me fighting my depression & anxiety everyday pic.twitter.com/bMR42Qfzyg
— Dory (@Dory) July 16, 2017
The Teen Vogue op-ed explains they don’t want you to stop sharing the gifs, they just want you to know it’s racist…
There’s no prescriptive or proscriptive step-by-step rulebook to follow, nobody’s coming to take GIFs away. But no digital behavior exists in a deracialized vacuum. We all need to be cognizant of what we share, how we share, and to what extent that sharing dramatizes preexisting racial formulas inherited from “real life.” The Internet isn’t a fantasy — it’s real life.
Those pesky white supremacists are coordinating it all:
In other instances, digital blackface is an orchestrated attempt by white supremacists to disrupt black organizing. Writer Shafiqah Hudsonstarted the hashtag #yourslipisshowing to document instances of digital blackface in real time, joined by other black women writers and theorists such as I’Nasah Crockett, Sydette Harry, Mikki Kendall, Trudy, and Feminista Jones. As the name of the tag suggests, online minstrels are no more believable than their in-person counterparts to anyone who knows black culture and black people, rather than a series of types. Unfortunately, digital blackface often goes unchecked unless a black person does the work to point out the discrepancies in someone’s profile.
REMINDER: Reaction Gifs = Digital lynching
Images of black people, more than anyone else, are primed to go viral and circulate widely online — in trauma, in death, and in memes. Reaction GIFs are an uneasy reminder of the way our presence is extra visible in life, every day, in ways that get us profiled, harassed, mocked, beaten, and killed. Long before the Internet or television, merry racist characters like pickaninnies and coons circulated the same social space as lynching postcards. Being on display has always been a precarious experience for black folks.
People are roasting the concept on Twitter:
Teen Vogue and the rest of the internet is freaking out about this new app that has racial face filters too…
Whoa, this is NOT okay ✋ https://t.co/vYFt4h8OqF
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) August 10, 2017