So I am sat in bed this morning on my tablet and I am flicking through the BBC News app, mainly just to see what Kim Jung Un or Donald Trump have said and if this will result in war!

I scroll down and I see this article or rather video! (Click image for link)

I have to say that I was shocked, a little upset by what was being said or rather at the finger pointing!

Basically the woman in the video is saying that using a gif that has a black person in is the equivalent of modern day blackface and in case you don’t know what that is, when I was a kid there was a TV show called the Black & White Minstrels, well if memory serves me right. In this show, white men would black there faces and, well basically put on a show. The 70’s was a very inappropriate decade when it came to TV!

This also goes for using a thumbs up or whatever emoji that has dark skin if you are white.

Now I am not racist, well I thought I wasn’t!

As far as I am concerned, Race, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, whatever it may be, I don’t care..I Just care whether or not people are nice, if they are kind and that is all that matters to me!

But, according to the woman in this video, I am in fact racist and it came as a shock.

I have started using gif’s, I love using them as replies and often I am in fits of laughter as I do so. The other day my daughter and I were replying using the Gif’s from the film Mean Girls and people must have thought we were mad. I have used a Gif that was a shocked face and that face happened to be black, but not chosen because of the colour of the skin, but because the exaggerated emotion fitted the reply I wanted.

So what do you think?

I think this is a bad piece from BBC news, this can only cause further issues and in fact maybe be the cause of racist arguments and comments. By the way, any racist or foul comments will be removed if they appear on here, or rather they won’t be approved.

Also does this finger pointing only work in one direction. We have been watching Orange is the New Black and in the programme two black women Tasty and Washington do impressions of posh white women and it is funny and they are very good, but would it be funny if two white women did impressions of black women, would the comment boards be red hot with angry comments?

I don’t think we should be looking for problems in every part of life, yes we should stamp down hard on racism but I am unsure if this fits into that category and I am not saying that to be argumentative.

Why should we now worry when posting emojis and gif’s, by making people look at the colour of skin when making a decision on an emoji or a gif is actually making people look at race and the differences and so therefore making race an issue.

I m disabled, I am a wheelchair user and people slip up. They say things like “do you fancy going for a walk?”, I know what they mean but I don’t make an issue out of it. “ARRGGGHHHH THATS WRONG TO SAY!” is not how I reply, because we can’t be picking people up on every single thing, making people tip toe through life scared that if they mess up, they will be branded an  ‘ist’ of some kind and we all know that can get out of hand on social media.

Is it wrong for me to use a gif of a black person?



By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

4 thought on “Am I racist?”
  1. Agh, I just wrote a huge essay-comment, and then my browser ate it! I’ll attempt to recreate it, but it might end up even more nonsense than it was before. (uh, if it did go through, please publish the first one, it was probably much better)

    So! Trying again:

    Please excuse any incoherency – brain fog + weirdly malfnctional comment window don’t get on well. I’m white-ish (Moroccan Jew, but so pale it takes a hardcore racist to say I’m not white), so no sort of expert when it comes to racism, but I’ll do by best.

    Firstly, yes, the premise of the BBC article sounds absurd.

    But, there’s a huge difference between white people mocking black people and the other way round, because of the power difference. It’s that satire punches up, not down. Satire punching down is just cruelty. (I’m speaking about groups as a whole here, so no one start with “but I’m not” or “but this one black person this one time”). White people don’t get punished for being white. Look at sentence lengths for the same crime, numbers of stop and searches, calling the police on a group of teenagers for the crime of being a group of teenagers. Yes, those things happen to white people, but far, far more often to black people.

    An example: a white heroin addict breaks a car window to get things to sell. Chances are, they’ll end up with a light sentence (probably non-custodial) and help from addiction specialist doctors and psychs. A PoC does the same thing, especially a black person, and they have a much higher chance of end up in prison with no/inadequate support.

    Hell, look at America: a Black American is more likely to be by shot by police than white people have of being shot by anyone. Our stats for fatality aren’t so horrific because we have less guns, but that doesn’t make us any better. It just means white Brits can lie to ourselves about how we are, ignoring everyone else in the country saying we aren’t.

    Moving away from crime, PoC, especially black people, are more likely to be unemployed, underemployed and underpaid. More likely to be poor, to be homeless, to have health problems coming from those and to be less well treated and more disbelieved by medical staff. (Women are also less likely to be believed, and so are disabled people, and those are both things black people can also be, so this isn’t just a race issue, class and ability and gender all get tied in as well)

    So, black people distrusting white people (as groups) seems like healthy wariness to me. As a more personal example, I don’t trust cis (non-trans) people. Most of my friends are cis, and many trans people are arseholes, but the one thing I can be sure of from a trans stranger compared to a cis stranger is that they won’t hate me just for existing while trans. They could hate me for other reasons, valid or invalid, but at least there’s that safety net.

    The other thing is that white people don’t have to be representative of our entire race. I’ve heard, in person, someone white say they don’t trust black people because their bully in school was a black girl. And? What does that have to do with race? So, that one person was an arsehole. They’d have been an arsehole if they were white, too.

    That’s why the finger pointing can only go one direction. Because when one group has a history of calling another subhuman – and not a distant history either – the finger pointing needs to stop.

    Racism is complexified (uh, complicated? IDK) by colourism and other things, but since I’m white I can’t really say much more than it happens, and it’s best to read what Black people have to say on it. Actually that’s true for all of racism, but a comment telling people to go elsewhere is a bit useless)

    I will suggest you look up colourblind racism, though – I’m running out of sense making ability, but basically, as noble as it sounds to say you don’t care about race/gender/sexuality/etc, it’s not all that helpful. I don’t want my friends to like me without my queerness or disability or Jewishness, or in spite of them (definitely not that), I need them to see, know and accept that those things form a big part of how I experience the world, and therefore who I am as a person. Pretending I’m just like an abled person doesn’t help me at all. Saying race isn’t an issue isn’t helpful, it’s wilful ignorance.

    And as for the asking a wheelchair user to go for a walk, or a blind person if they’ve seen a film, that’s just not a comparison. Those things aren’t ableist, they’re a part of how our language works. I’ve been reading your blog for years (pre-beard stuff days, however long ago that was) and I know damn well you’d object to false stereotyping like all disabled people are lazy/lying and cheating the system. That’s ableist. Asking me if I enjoyed Christmas isn’t anitsemitic, it’s just a thing you say, but saying I’m a bad person for not going to church on easter is (real example, btw. People are ridiculous). Yes, there are offensive words that it’s best to avoid using – that’s not ‘being PC’, it’s common courtesy. Crying ‘I can’t say the offensive things I want to because PC liberals ruin everything’ is obnoxious when it’s put like that. Find another way to say what you mean. And as a bonus, ‘political correctness’ is a useless phrase. Politicians are some of the most foul people on the earth. I know you didn’t say anything about PC, but it’s related and if someone hasn’t yet, they will.

    Will some people brand you a racist/sexist/whatever for a cock up? Probably, yeah. I’ve done thoughtless things that qualify as racist. I try my best not to be, but I grew up white in a society that prioritises white people, it’s unavoidable that some of that seeps in, no matter how hard my parents tried – and my parents aren’t white, so white parents of white kids probably struggle even more. All you can do is try not to screw up, and when you do, apologise and don’t do it again. Same as everything else. People are imperfect, but if we just give up on trying to improve we might as well let Trump push all the big red buttons he can see and wipe us all out.

    I’ve gone on way too long, so I’ll shut up now. I hope this made sense, and wasn’t too harsh or condescending? I know I probably said a lot of things you already know, but this being a public place, I felt I had to state the obvious, or. idk. People on the internet are good at objecting to everything. I’d know, I’m one of them.

    (As per the BBC article, I tried to find a suitable british-north african queer jewish reaction gif, since clearlthat I’m not allowed to use anything from a group I’m not part of, but since that worked out about as well as you’d expect, I’ll leave you with an empty space)

    Also, ps – you might want to look at your theme’s CSS. I can only post this ’cause in my employed days I was a web developer and know how to use dev tools to adjust the CSS so I can post – without that, once a comment goes on too long, the name/email/etc form and submit button disappear. Which I guess is one way to stop people from leaving excessively long comments? Sorry about that!

    1. Thanks for that Kai and I am trying to start general blogging again, I am aware the beard reviews took over, I didn’t expect it to take off like that.
      When I say I don’t care about race/gender/sexuality and so on, what I mean is that I like a person for who they are and how they treat me and I don’t care about any of the above that some people do. If your nice or even a grouch like me with a cutting sense of humour then that’s good enough, colour of skin, what genitals you have or what you do with them isn’t a problem and it shouldn’t be but society will always look for boundaries and try and cause problems.
      As for making a mistake and accidentally being racist, sexist or whatever ‘ist, we may learn from our mistakes but one slip like that and you can be the latest social media hate figure and I am always very wary of it as it’s easily done. I even went to post asking what the differences are in beard hair care depending on race but didn’t, why? Because I was worried the wording would be wrong and I would go viral for the wrong reason!
      I was unsure on whether to post this blog but I felt I had to, I just felt like it was another tripping step in a world where there is already too much division. I hate the fact that there are so many problems because it’s all so unnecessary and it’s such a hateful world where people look down on another person because of whatever reason.
      I would like to think it’s improving but when I see people out on the streets waving flags with swastikas on, I realise that people will never learn and hatred will always exist.
      I also have Jewish ancestry, if I had my fathers surname I would be Zechariah Greenberg, apparently the family were Russian Jews.
      Thank you for the comment, I’m afraid I am not very tech savvy and have no idea about this CSS but I will have a look and see if there is an idiots method that involves just selecting an option.

      1. Hey, if you want to do all beard blogging, keep on with it. It’s not my blog, after all! But, alas, I can’t grow a beard, even though I think I’d look awesome with one, so I occasionally look at your reviews as like, an anthropological curiosity, but that’s about all I can do. One day I will get around to testosterone treatment and grow my own beard. And judging by my brother and father it will be a mighty thing, glorious in its untameability.

        Being the social media devil of the moment blows over! Some of my favourite bloggers have had their week under fire, too. I’ve had a few mini ones on twitter. Definitely a fear I understand. It’s the people who double down at get defensive that stay hated, I’ve found that an apology and an attempt to do better work wonders Yeah, some people will hate you forever, but that’s not the end of the world. Just very, very embarrassing at the time. (my favourite analogy, which I’m stealing from my ex, who probably stole it from someone else is that it’s like stepping on someones foot – it doesn’t matter than you didn’t mean to do it, it still hurt. It’s best to apologise, be patient while the pain fades, and try not to stand on any more toes.)

        I’m glad you did post this, and I’d vote go ahead with the one about how hair texture effects how to care for it as well. If you google ‘beard care’, you’re going to get 99.99% of results about white people, which is its own sort of terrible – not overtly racist, but quietly exclusionary. I’d say, talk to other bloggers and see if anyone wants to guest blog on it? That way you get experts, and to share audiences as well, which always worked out well for me when I’ve done it. Bonus points for it pissing off nazis, cause, yeah, that’s scary. Other than one grandfather, all the European side of my family who survived the Holocaust thankfully didn’t live to see Nazis marching in the street again, and being thankful for dead relatives is seriously fucked up. But I can only imagine that being here now and watching what’s happening in America is a lot like being in France then, and watching Germany then. Two very similar cultures, and it’s easier than ever to travel between them.

        I think there’s something going on with the javascript as well as (or maybe instead of) the CSS – I have no idea what that option would be called, which isn’t exactly useful. Something about comment box height, maybe?

        And congrats on (almost) having a very popular name! I have at least one Grinberg married into the family, and know a handful of others, all unrelated. Oh, and a rabbi!

  2. I’m so tired of this BS of being politically correct! The fact that most of the time it seems to be only one sided is completely unfair. This political correctness is putting a BIGGER AND BIGGER wedge. Here in America the wedge feels like a wall, a wall between our entire population; be it white, black, Spanish, gays, straights, trans, fat, ugly, cripples. We walk around afraid to look at someone who is different (color, religion, mentally, physically) without being labeled a racist. Or God for bid, say the wrong term…you might be jailed. How about acting like human beings and stop the bullsh^t! How’s about that! How about Treating each other with respect, who the fu*k cares what color you are or what nationality you are or religion or if you are a boy, girl or still confused. WHO CARES! Seriously, is this all the world has to focus on? Focus on something that your kids would be proud of, focus on the hunger that humans in the world are facing, the poverty, the lack of healthcare, the diseases taking over. How about focusing all that energy on the power of love or better yet focus on how hate destroys everything in it’s path…can we all just get along and stop this madness of being offended just by looking at someone the wrong way, or what that person perceives is the wrong way. This is not the world, Nation or people that our Creator thought of when it all began (and feel free to use the term Creator in any aspect you deem fit because I don’t care how you view your Creator or if you even believe in a Creator of the Universe or Earth or creation itself…I DON’T CARE!) That’s the beauty of being of free Will…you get to choose without persecution or at least I thought that’s what we were able to do. Call a spade a spade and move on, if you are offended, I guarantee its only your low self esteem that’s offending you. Get over it and move on…hate will eat you up inside and Karma WILL kick your ass. So choose to destroy each other or choose to love or choose to just get along… its an easier path than destruction. STOP being so damn upset that someone called you fat, gay, ugly, cripple, slow, retarded, Christian, White, black, purple, straight, Liberal or Republican or God FOR BID, use an emoji that is the WRONG COLOR! It’s like we took every good think that happened in the 60’s with equal rights and segregation and wiped it out like the struggles never happened, like the amazing changes never happen, like the most powerful people who made it happen were never born. Why can’t we all just get along…

Please leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: