- OCTOBER 26, 2013
- Internet up in arms over racially insensitive party
- Birthday boy defends himself: “We’re all black, asshole!”
- Are you Jay Z? We’d like to chat, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Were you a guest at the party? Let us know!
An American man has been forced to defend himself amid accusations of racism by international websites.
The man, named Jay Z, threw a 43rd birthday party with an African theme, in which guests were asked to wear costumes in line with the world’s second largest continent and, as with most post-party photos, uploaded the shots to his Facebook page.
In the pics, some attendees have painted their faces black which have some up in arms.
The photos surfaced soon after on Tumblr user OffendedinHollywood’s account and American websites were quick to pick up.
"This is what resulted … blackface,Tuxedo and rapper costumes, sun glasses, African American tattoos (?!) and more …. I’m at a loss for words," wrote OffendedinHollywood.
"And yes, this is from 2013.
"The dude posted the pictures proudly and flatly refused to take them down when confronted by another individual about how they were racist apparently. Pictures were reported to Facebook days ago and they still have not been taken down. Wow.
"In case you ever wanted to know how hollywood folks saw us black Africans … here you go."
Buzzfeed have since deemed the party pics “incredibly offensive.” Meanwhile, Jezebel, whose story runs with the headline, “Racist 43rd Birthday Party Gleefully Documented on Facebook" describes the pictures as "ignorance, insensitivity and racism ahoy!"
"However, some guest (sic) did decide to tattoo themselves, although this was in no way my intention or encouraged in the slightest. I understand that this has offended some people and I have no idea how these photos have even been seen, they were simply put on Facebook for my guests to see the photos of themselves.
"I am 100% sure that parties would be held that would be ‘American themed’ or slave themed or even countries of the world, and in that instance I don’t believe anyone would be offended. People wear Oktoberfest costumes to parties and no one cracks it that they are not German? So what I am saying is I do understand the people who have tattooed themselves have offended people, although none of them intended that …. but how can people be annoyed that the majority of the people at the party were celebrating another countries culture."
These tux outfits raised some eyebrows.
He continues to describe an Ethiopian friend who white-outed himself just for the party, but interestingly those photos did not make the cut in OffendedinHollywood’s post.
He maintains he never received a request to take the images offline.
"To be honest I am not a white person at all so I didn’t think anyone could possibly take it that way."
Jay Z plans to travel to Cambodia in January for a two-month stint to rap, and hopes to do the same in Africa.
"If you will still have me".
He has since deleted all of his social media profiles, including Facebook.
This isn’t the first time an American rapper has gotten in trouble for crossing the race relations line.
In 2009, Harry Connick Jr. stormed off the set of Hey Hey It’s Saturday after a “blackface” skit went wrong but said he did not accuse the performers of being racist.
"Where I come from, blackface is a very specific and very derogatory thing," he said in a statement.
"Perhaps this is different in other parts of the world, but in the American culture, the blackface image is steeped in a negative history and considered offensive."
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