Gala Les Olivier

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Blackface Breakdown: Welcome To Race Relations In Quebec

Earlier this month Huffington Post blogger, Nydia Dauphin, wrote a post entitled, "Why The Hell Are Quebec Comedians Wearing Blackface?" She was referring to Mario Jean's "impersonation" of Boucar Diouf at the Gala des Oliviers, in which Jean used black makeup to portray Diouf. This would have been an opportune time to have a constructive dialogue concerning race relations in Quebec. Quite predictably, however, the discussion has resorted to accusations of overzealous political correctness on one side to indictments of overt racism on the other, which is simply indicative of the sad state of the discourse surrounding ethno-race relations in Quebec.
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Challenging "Blackface" Is Not Quebec-Bashing

If the whites in Quebec who are donning blackface are claiming to have no prior knowledge of the practice, how and why exactly are they coming to partake so frequently in its disturbing revival? Are some commentators then claiming that some white people are born with an inherent desire to spontaneously paint their faces black to stereotype, dehumanize, and ridicule the physical characteristics of their fellow citizens? Most people are intelligent enough to deduce that blackface is a popular form that you no longer tend to see on TV or in film anymore for a reason.