Blackface at FIFA: Is It Always Racist?

Does blackface have the same meaning across the world?

Posted: 06/23/2014 01:14 PM EDT
Fans in Blackface

The Germany vs. Ghana game on Saturday came with all the excitement of a World Cup match: passion, tension, a heart-pounding draw and fans showing their support by donning blackface and afro wigs.

OK, maybe it wasn’t quite like the other FIFA World Cup Games.

Several fans showed up to the game with faces painted brown and “Ghana” written on their shirts. FIFA is currently investigating the blackface incident.

In America, blackface represents a time when white people would paint their faces black and their lips pink while acting like caricatures of African-Americans.

Blackface has popped up in recent years all over America. After the death of Trayvon Martin, two young men painted their faces black and dressed as the late teenager and his murderer for Halloween in 2013.

The costume choice was met with mixed reviews — some called it racist, while the culprits later said it was insensitive.

That same Halloween featured Julianne Hough with her face painted brown, dressed as Crazy Eyes from popular Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

Tamar Braxton defended Hough, saying that she wasn’t offended by Hough’s costume choice. While OITNB co-star Laverne Cox believed that Hough was “unaware” of the implications of blackface.

So what do you think? Is blackface always racist? Tell us what you think in the survey to the right.

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(Photo: Drawlio Joca/Getty Images)

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