FACTS

    In a controversial move, some social media “influencers” have published posts in which they appear in blackface. Originating in the 1800s, blackface makeup was used in theater “in which white performers would wear [it] and portray negative stereotypes of black” people. While the “influencers” have claimed it was an act of solidarity and identifying and standing with the black community, the backlash has instead proven it to be offensive. One “influencer,” Tania Saleh, expressed her desire to be black more than ever, noting her love and respect of black culture. Another Instagram “influencer,” Souhila Ben Lachhab with 1.6 million followers, wrote in her caption: “We’re one…racist people are the true black heart ones.”

    RESPONSE

    On Saleh’s post, she received 983 “likes” but had over 6,000 comments, many of them expressing outrage. British fashion magazine Dazed wrote, “One group seemingly still clueless about how to support Black Lives Matter is influencers.”

    “It’s infuriating that we still need to educate people about the racist and painful history of blackface. We shouldn’t be having this conversation in 2020.”

    Saint Hoax, Instagram account

    Some influencers have deleted their posts and apologized; others defended themselves, with one saying, “I have posted this with love, and I will not remove it despite all your offensive comments.”

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