Chris Brown’s infamous beating of Rihanna in 2009 is a moment in time that’s left an indelible mark on society, inspiring waves of conversations about domestic violence and making Rihanna and Brown the new-age Tina and Ike Turner. That violent incident has also inspired a number of Internet spoofs and dark jokes from fans and entertainers alike, but none have been more upsetting than a recent skit at a New York high school pep rally where white students re-enacted the beating in blackface.
On Monday, Oct. 15, CNN iReport contributor Matthew Dishler posted a story covering the incident at New York State’s Waverly High School, where three students wore blackface as they performed a satire of Brown’s infamous beating at their homecoming pep rally.
“Three white students were to perform a skit in blackface, depicting Chris Brown and Rhianna [sic] most notibly [sic]. In this skit they would display acts of domestic violence as satire to an audience that included not only students but parents, faculty, and various members of the media and community leaders. None of them stopped the skit,” wrote Dishler.
The story has set the Web ablaze and some students and alumni are now speaking out against the offensive skit, which is, apparently, the second time in two years that the school has allowed a blackface performance.
“I think it’s unconscionable that such blatant racism has been tacitly approved two years in a row,” said Waverly alumni and Yale graduate Vlad Chituc. “The administration should be creating an environment where minorities are welcome, not the butts of racist jokes that make light of domestic violence.”
However, some students are defending the school and the performance.
“If Waverly gets called racist again I just might Chris Brown someone,” said a man named Danny.
Sure, maybe the students and faculty didn’t mean to offend anyone. And, sure, maybe a number of viewers did just think of the skit as entertainment. But, considering that last comment, clearly the take-home lesson for many was that the beating was something to be made light of and that blackface, or any other form of (theatrical) racism, is OK.
Sadly, this isn’t the only celebrity blackface incident. Check out more below. –nicholas robinson