Sunday, March 22, 2015

Belgian foreign minister under fire for blacking up his face for fancy dress charity event with an African theme

The phobia against blackface is mainly American. The rest of the world is more relaxed about it

The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister has been accused of racism after blacking up his face during a charity event in Brussels.

Foreign Minister Didier Reynders painted his face and dressed up as an '19th century African nobleman' as he joined charity organisation Les Noirauds (The Blacks) for a fundraising rally.

The 56-year-old liberal politician later posted pictures of himself during the event on social media, captioned: 'The singing blacks'.

Reynders has since faced criticism from minority organisations and prominent Belgians of African descent, who have said the minister's behaviour was 'unacceptable'.

Wouter Van Bellingen, the director of Minority Forum, called the Deputy PM's actions 'deplorable', adding that Belgium still lacks a national anti-racism plan, despite making a commitment to devise one 14 years ago.

Les Noirauds is an organisation under royal patronage founded in 1876, which collects money for children's charities.

Members of Les Noirauds blacken their faces and dress in white top hats, ruffled collars, bright green trousers and stockings, emulating what they call #19th century African noblemen'.

The group, accompanied by Reynders, appeared during a charity rally in Brussels last Saturday accompanied by a band dubbed the 'Conservatoire Africain' (African conservatory).

Despite the criticism on Twitter, very little response has come from withing the Belgian political sphere, with even the left-leaning Green Party saying Les Noirauds were innocuous folklore.


1 comment:

Bird of Paradise said...

Q. Whats the diffrence betweena liberal and a puppy? A. The puppy quits whining after it grows up