Tuesday, Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian published a piece comparing wearing a MAGA hat to wearing blackface. The column, entitled “MAGA hats and blackface are different forms of expression, but they share a certain unfortunate DNA”, attempted to draw parallels between the benign and nonracial act of wearing a MAGA hat, to the overtly racist act of smearing shoe polish on one’s face and mocking the mannerisms of African Americans.
The piece opens with the claim that MAGA hats “share DNA” with blackface and belong on the same political continuum.
“Two potent racial symbols — MAGA hats and blackface — have been in the news. They may not appear related at first blush, but they belong on a political continuum that ranges from racial provocation to outright racism. They share DNA.”
Abcarian admits that wearing a MAGA hat is “not necessarily an overt expression of racism”, but says that by wearing one you indicate that you “share, admire or appreciate President Trump’s racist views about Mexicans, Muslims and border walls.” She also insist that the slogan “Make America Great Again” implicitly means that “The past was better because the country was whiter.”
Abcarian draws the absolutely wrong conclusion that both MAGA hats and blackface are rooted in and are expressions of white supremacy.
“Whether white people who blacken their faces for fun know it or not, the practice is rooted in minstrelsy and the mockery of blacks by whites. Like the MAGA hat, it is an expression of white supremacy.” she states.
She continues to say, “The lesson — that blackface is never funny, never acceptable — is one that white Americans seem destined to have to learn over and over again.”
The piece concludes with an assorted list of celebrity blackface incidences, including “Cheers” actor Ted Danson, actress Julianne Hough, and TV host Megyn Kelly, commenting “I wish we could move on.”
Not once in Abcarian’s entire column is a coherent argument made that shows why or how blackface is related in any way to supporting the President of the United States by wearing his campaign merchandise. Only the tired and baseless assertion that both share a theme of white supremacy is echoed throughout the piece.
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