Alabama teen suspended from Twitter for ‘whiteface’

(Twitter: Oranicuhh)
(Twitter: Oranicuhh)

Jane Oranika, 19, of Montgomery, Alabama, recorded a video of her painting her face with light-colored concealer as a joke to overcome the anxiety of Donald Trump’s election victory. She posted the video on Twitter and within 12 hours she received a message that her account privileges on the social media platform were revoked.

In the makeup tutorial, she jokes about having “never heard” of an African American and calls ketchup a “spicy food.”

In the lighthearted video that was shared by tens of thousands before her account was suspended, Oranika says, “African American? Never felt that, never heard of that, never tasted that, never smelled that.”

She continues, “Barack Obama? Is that some kind of sauce?”

Trump supporters complained if blackface is racist, so is whiteface. For the uninformed, blackface became popular in the late 1820s when White male performers portrayed Blacks using burnt cork to blacken their skin and drawn on distended blood red lips. A White man named Thomas “Daddy” Rice brought the character to the stage for the first time after visiting Georgia’s Sea Island. He claims he met a runaway slave, who performed a signature song and dance called jump Jim Crow, one of the most famous minstrels among Zip Coon and Mammy. Oranika’s video hardly compares to this.

Just 12 hours after posting the clip, her account was suspended. She said in an interview with Buzzfeed.

“When I tried to tweet it wouldn’t let me but I wasn’t offended by [being suspended], I thought that if a lot of people had reported me… it was pretty responsible for a media platform to take whatever down as they investigate it.”

After appealing the suspension twice — after the first didn’t go through — she was reinstated and the video allowed to stay put.

The video was inspired by a video Oranika thought was funny, the Joanne the Scammer comedy skit.

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