April 8, 2009

"Turkish anchor wears blackface to report on Obama’s visit."

"It is unclear whether this is a spoof or whether the anchor is trying to 'show respect' to Obama, as others have suggested."



Bizarre! Incredible.

46 comments:

Buford Gooch said...

Which one is Obama?

(Sorry, I know it shows horribly poor taste, but I just couldn't resist)

Freeman Hunt said...

I almost hope he was trying to show respect because then I will laugh until I cry. What an incredible misstep that would be. Hilarious.

Fen said...

"It is unclear whether this is a spoof or whether the anchor is trying to 'show respect' to Obama, as others have suggested."

Uhm...NO.

Look, I think Obama is the Affirmative Action President - not qualified for the job, would not have been elected if he wasn't black, but...

...this is the 21st century of a global economy with instant communication across the net. It even reaches Turkey. There's simply no way thet anchor would be unaware that this is insulting.

Palladian said...

Does this mean that we're going to war with Turkey?

Palladian said...

I think the Turks feel a special kinship with Obama. "Hey, look! The President of the United States is a real Turk...ey"

EDH said...

Unfortunately, there has been a complete misunderstanding.

You've heard of "Tan in a Can"?

Well, in actuality this broadcast was an infomercial for a new product sweeping the continent, Soul Man in a Can.

PatCA said...

I guess you had to be there.

Mystifying.

Daryl said...

Muslims around the world support the mass-murder of blacks in Darfur, and cheer for Muslim terror attacks in predominantly black countries, and you're worried about this retarded minstrel show?

Seven Machos said...

I don't know what the meaning of this is, but I think it's important to remember that Turkey doesn't have a historical legacy freighted with slavery that is purely reserved for black people, or whatever it was that possessed white people in the American entertainment industry to make their faces black, or lawn jockeys.

So, if you are appalled, it could be very nation- and culture-centric, the way that a Vietnamese person might be appalled at you eating food reserved for the ghosts of the dead, or something like that.

Seven Machos said...

Also, it's important to note that Muslim Turkey is not the same as Muslim Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

You can get laid in Turkey. There is legitimate separation of church and state in Turkey. Turkey is something of a bulwark against Muslim extremism.

lurker2209 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

The ironic thing about this is that Obama isn't much darker than a normal Turk.

lurker2209 said...

Am I the only person who would not have guessed that was blackface without the caption? It looks like a photo of a black man, but it's a bit off. I would have written that off as my subconscious Caucasian-centric bias.

Then again, I'm young enough that the only time I've ever actually seen blackface was when my sister persuaded me to rent Holiday Inn last Christmas. We got to Lincoln's Birthday in the sequence of holidays and both immediately realized why Holiday Inn never became the huge Christmas classic White Christmas did. At any rate, this anchor's blackface is much more convincing than Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds every were.

Jeanine said...

Will Mr. Barely send the anchor an iPod with some Step & FetchIt on it?

Daryl said...

There is legitimate separation of church and state in Turkey.

Not for long. The current regime is moving in a bad direction.

Chip Ahoy said...

The best explanation I've seen for this is on scoopthis by commenter etrash. But then commenter Obambo contradicts a portion of what etrash explains. I do not care to repeat what these two commenters say because, frankly, the subject is too sensitive and this guy in blackface here handles the subject with all the sensitivity of a provocateur. He's got a bone to pick, and pick it he does, although he avers he means no disrespect and suspects his action will be misinterpreted, he nonetheless launches into his grievance insensitively. The blackface has to do with a Turkish maxim regarding requesters of favors and receivers of requests. But then Obambo replies to etrash and asserts there is another Muslim meaning not specifically Turkish that's worse. It would do our own race relations no good to hash the details of what this man is saying except to point out that Obama's trip abroad is not all the glowing warmth and tenderness our media would have us know. There's little mention of the hotels put to flame in Strasbourg , nor the protests in London and in Istanbul.
Wouldn't do at all to slop up the mythology by goofing on the narrative.

Allan said...

I was initially surprised
on my various trips to Turkey
to discover that there are a fair number black Turks
in that country,
fluent black African Turkish speakers
completely part of the culture.

I ought not to have been surprised
if I had remembered
that the Ottoman Empire extended
over much of North Africa.

Seven Machos said...

Daryl -- Turkey is always moving in a bad direction. That's why the military takes over a lot.

The Drill SGT said...

That's why the military takes over a lot.

The Turkish Army really is the biggest supporter of a secular democracy, as ironic as it sounds. They regularly do what must be in their oath somewhere:

"support and defend the Constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic"

Jason (the commenter) said...

I wonder if when an Asian leader comes to Turkey, the reporter uses tape to put eye creases on his face.

Pogo said...

But I thought that now we were loved all over the world.

This must be a Zionist plot.

rhhardin said...

I think blackface has only an American interpretation; and even that is not universal among Americans.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Wearing blackface was a sign of "respect", just like bowing before the Saudi prince.....

Maybe the Turkish guy was disappointed because the Obama's gift to the Prime Minister was a box of Turkish Taffy and he didn't get any.

Richard Fagin said...

Other countries simply do not have America's hypersensitivity to matters of race, sex, national origin, religion, etc.

In 1990 I saw (on PBS no less) a clip from a cartoon made in Mexico to inform Mexicans about Africanized honeybees then coming in from Central America. The cartoon African bee had a dark face, an afro hairdo, and was carrying a spear and shield. Can you imagine the stink if a cartoon like that were made here?

Do I have to detail what kind of anti-Jewish cartoons appear in Arabic press? Do you really think that the one remaining religion on Earth that makes a practice of enslaving African blacks is going to take seriously America's racial sensitivities?

Wal Mart had to remove Menin Pinguin comic books from their shelves after an African-American shopper saw one and was of course devastatingly insulted. Pinguin is in effect a Mexican version of Steppinfetchit or Amos and Andy, and is a bit of a national hero in Mexico. The comics of course are in Spanish and are marketed to Spanish speakers, but we can't buy them here any more.

So, good Turks, please, please do stick our noses in it. Hard. Maybe one day we'll get the message, and once again can loose Dick Armey on Barney Frank and the CBC before they do any more damage.

traditionalguy said...

The Turks seem to be saying that the skin color is not evidence of anything owed to the US by anyone. What if everybody was Black? Then everyone would be judged by what they do, and not by what they represent as an image of noble racial tolerance. He is saying that turks need not buy into Saint Obama abeyance like Obama presumes all the Europeans will do. They want more than a feel good moment from the new American foreign policy coming at them.

David said...

Seven Machos said...
I don't know what the meaning of this is, but I think it's important to remember that Turkey doesn't have a historical legacy freighted with slavery that is purely reserved for black people, or whatever it was that possessed white people in the American entertainment industry to make their faces black, or lawn jockeys.

Way to go. Even this absurdity is another opportunity to bash America. But you are right. The Turks do not have "a historical legacy freighted with slavery reserved for black people." They were equal opportunity enslavers, especially during the long ascendancy of the Ottoman Empire. Nearly everyone they saw who was not a Turk was a potential slave.

Ron said...

Didn't Turkey just get "The Jazz Singer?"

Homage, they say it is!

Eric said...

I don't know what the meaning of this is, but I think it's important to remember that Turkey doesn't have a historical legacy freighted with slavery that is purely reserved for black people...

True! The Turks regularly enslaved white Europeans too!

ElcubanitoKC said...

Being black in traditional Asian muslim cultures(from Anatolia to China) has never been a good thing...look it up.

bearbee said...

Turkish proverb says, "He who asks a favor may be embarrassed, that is have a dark face. But he who refuses, when he could have agreed, should be doubly embarrassed, that is be twice as dark."

Next Thanksgiving will O pardon the Thanksgiving turkey?

Paddy O. said...

An anonymous employee of the television station has stated that the anchor is not in fact wearing blackface.

"It's simply bad lighting," he said.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Maybe the anchor is just from New Jersey.

Peter V. Bella said...

…and you're worried about this retarded minstrel show?

Are you talking about the administration or the Turkish newsreader? :)

Peter V. Bella said...

If Jeremy was awake, he would say it is un-American for a Turk to insult our president like that.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Peter, school doesn't end until the afternoon in most states. He will be here after last period or during computer class.

Big Mike said...

It seems to me that we should be sensitive to the Turkish culture. I'm certain that criticism of the Turkish anchor is merely the imposition of heteronormative ...

Shit! I can't do this. Where's Camille Paglia when I need her to come up with the right mockery?

Cihan said...

As a Turk, I tell you not to take this absurdity seriously people. This guy's evening news is always a theatrical show. He is from a minor TV channel that broadcasts from an aparment flat in downtown ─░stanbul, and is watched by no one in Turkey except for those who seldomly seek something to laugh at in the same way one laughs at cartoon. His intention is in no way to insult black people; Turks have a great sympathy for Obama and empathy for the blacks in general. According to recent polls, 80 % of Turkish people support Obama. The irony here is that the anchorman is sincere and simple-hearted in his message of friendship with the US. He is only too too too much naive to see that this can be interpreted as an insult. He justs did this to attract attention as he does from time time with unbelievable horseplays. Yes, anyone who sees it in Turkey laughs at this "performance", not with regard to Obama but to the naivety, if not dumb-headedness, of this pseudo-anchorman. To think otherwise in the manner of the comments here is natural for you at the first instance but the perception of this "performance", not news-reporting, as a racist attack would be the actual naivety if we consider the authentic context of this absurd show.

quickwatson said...

I could only think of Amos - or was it Andy. Dead ringer.

Trevor Jackson said...

As others have pointed out, seeing blackface as offensive is a particularly American thing.

In Holland, for example, a Christmas season tradition is a visit from a Santa Claus-like man, who is attended by a Spanish Moor, Black Pete, who will either kidnap and beat you or leave you treats in your shoes. The Moor wears brightly colored clothes and blackface. David Sedaris has a pretty funny essay about the tradition.

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

David -- Not bashing America. You misconstrue.

PatCA said...

Thank you, Cihan, that explains a lot.

Synova said...

The comments at Think Progress are a hoot. Half of them immediately start slamming Fox News. LOL.

BTW... Obama really does need to get out in the sun more or borrow Sarah's tanning bed. Or get out in the sun and not slather on sun screen or *something*. That skin tone is not doing anything good for him. He looks *yellow*.

Baron Zemo said...

My dear lady. The correct title is "high yellow."

blake said...

Intentionalism really does have some merit, doesn't it?

Dudley Do-right said...

"Bizarre! Incredible."

Not as bizarre! and incredible as his goals and decisions have been since taking office. Not nearly as bizarre! and incredible as the fact that the American people actually elected this loser.

Maybe the anchor was simply making a comment on the quality of Obama's leadership to date.

"Blackface", whether out of respect or something else, is the least of our problems. If it wasn't before, it certainly is now.