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‘Double standards’

Indigenous Australian mom is sticking up for a white child who wore ‘blackface’ to school

By WITW Staff on August 30, 2016

An indigenous Australian mom is sticking up for a white Australian boy who received widespread criticism last week for dressing up in “blackface” by posting a photo of her own daughter dressed in “whiteface.” Bec Bee, an Australian of aboriginal descent, posted the picture of her daughter dressed as a Dr. Seuss character for a school event three years ago. In the photo, the little girl’s face is painted white.

“Not once did anyone say anything when I painted my black daughter white 3 years ago. We need to stop the double standards, a hero is a hero!” Bee wrote.

She posted the photo on Facebook in response to the controversy over a young boy in Perth who dressed up as Australian Rules football star Nic Naitanui, who is of Fijian descent. The boy’s mom said she wanted to dress up like his idol for Book Week at school.

Bee said that her daughter felt proud that the boy wanted to be “the same color as” her and that it was clear the boy wasn’t trying to offend anyone. If he and his mother had been mocking Indigenous culture, she said, it would have been offensive.

“I didn’t see blackface,” she told the BBC. “I saw a young fella who was proud to emulate his idol. There was no intent of racism.”

Naitanui said that he didn’t believe the little boy and his mom intended any offense with the costume, but that the mother should “reflect and choose an alternate method next time.”

Read the full story and see the photo that started the uproar at the BBC.


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