Nick Cannon In Whiteface: A Portrait of Desperation

Every time I go on vacation, two things are guaranteed:

– A bunch of celebrities will die (RIP to Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson and James Rebhorn from Homeland. My bad, y’all.)

– A celebrity will do something extremely stupid.

Thanks, Nick Cannon.

To promote his latest album, White People Party Music, Mr. Mimi Carey has donned the persona of “Connor Smallnut” to fist-pump and eat cream cheese and do all these things white folks allegedly do.

Desperation, thy name is Cannon.

First of all, this fool doesn’t even look white. He just looks like Ice-T’s nerdy cousin. Second, he punctuates his tweets with “edgy” slang like “dude” and “chillax.” Because all white folks talk like Michelangelo from Ninja Turtles.

Of course, it took critics .0000000000000000000005 seconds to start screaming “whiteface! This is just like blackface!”

And that’s where I have to draw the line.

Don’t get me wrong, this stunt is stupid, infantile and offensive.

And yes, Nick Cannon fans (all three of you who still wear Wildin’ Out T-shirts) this stunt is racist too. Creating a stereotypical character who has small genitals and wears beanies is no different than claiming black men are chicken-loving deadbeat dads, or Hispanic men are tatted-up gang bangers with 1,000 babies. If someone created the latter characters we’d be up in arms, and rightfully so. Claiming that an entire ethnicity possess fabricated, degrading qualities is the textbook definition of racism.

But one thing we can’t claim is that whiteface = blackface.

For those who don’t know, allow Professor Bowser to break down the oppressive history of blackface.

During the 19th century, minstrel and vaudeville shows created the persona of the idiotic black man – a bumbling darky whose speech was incomprehensible, couldn’t stay out of trouble and embarrassed himself for the delight of others.

Or, in 2014 terms, Chief Keef.

Generations later, those stereotypes continue to plague African Americans – not just how other groups view us, but how we view ourselves. Those shows rocked an entire race and we still haven’t recovered. Whiteface can’t compare to that level of cultural degradation.

But that doesn’t excuse whiteface. Not at all.

Every time we see images of whites donning greasy black facepaint, afro wigs and bright pink lips it should remind us of who we’re not. And that’s exactly why we shouldn’t laugh at Nick Cannon’s brand of coonery when he tries to make a buck stereotyping whites. He’s doing the same thing that whites did to blacks centuries ago.

Want to make a statement? Stay far away from Cannon’s new album. Don’t let this cheap publicity stunt pay off.

Oh, who am I fooling. Y’all weren’t checking for that album anyway. And good for you.

Whiteface, like Cannon’s comedic career, is just not funny.


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