Nick Cannon Dons ‘White Face,’ Offends The Internet

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Racial tensions the world over… it seems a problem we’re never going to solve. If you’re a “white person, you can impersonate, mock, trash, hate-on or lambaste another white person and it’s all good. If you’re a “black person” and do the same, you’re racist. And of course, this works more frequently in reverse.

Nick Cannon has found himself in the hot waters of controversy for this very reason–apparently having a laugh (or attempting to have a laugh) makes you a racist. Nick recently threw up a photo of himself on Instagram in white face–whatever that means–exclaiming  “It’s official… I’m White!!!”

Is Nick really white? Obviously not. But he did go all out when it came to the makeup. His face, his hands and every other body part you can see looks light skinned. Not “white” by any stretch of the imagination, but lighter, yes.

As soon as he posted the pic, the Internet almost exploded. The backlash was immediate, and everyone let Nick know how offensive he was for doing such a thing. Sure, we need not bring up the fact that when the Wayans brothers did the movie White Chicks, nobody was crying racism. It would seem Nick is turning screws because he’s releasing an album on April 1, 2014, entitled, White People Party Music.

Nick plays a stereotype in the few clips that are available–doing what he needs to do to score few laughs from the lowest common denominator. He’s supposed to be a hipster, but offers a voice akin to Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Maybe that’s where people have taken issue. When the Wayans played white girls, they were playing to a stereotype that everyone makes fun of. When Robert Downey Jr. played a black man in Tropic Thunder, he made the black man a total bada**, who was absolutely hilarious.

Unfortunately for Nick, he was never funny in the first place. We should probably mention that. But is he racist? Nah. His “white face” isn’t racist–no racist would ever “change races” even for the sake of humor. It’s not even really derogatory. It’s simply mockery.

Nick shouldn’t worry, though. The pace at which the world operates will dictate a swift forgetting of his antics.

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James Sheldon

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