“You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was O.K., as long as you were dressing up as a character.”
That I gather is the quote upon which the entertainment media mob is using as a basis to gain up on NBC’s star which never shone as brightly as it hoped despite the enormous money it paid to lure her into its web. Knowingly or not the mob is dancing to NBC’s plan to wheedle itself out of her contract to try to claw back some of the money it foolishly threw at her envisioning days of wine and roses once she was embraced by the peacock.
I read her statement once after I heard the complaints about it. I then read it again. Foolishly, I thought “what’s the big deal?” She said you can’t wear black face now but when she was a kid if you dressed up in a certain way you did wear it. That’s pretty much the truth as I recall when I was a kid. Would it be somehow a great error for me to say when I was a kid, which was much before when she was a kid, that black face was part of the St. William’s minstrel show?
Was the complaint then that it wasn’t true during her time? She was born on November 18, 1970. She will be 48 years old shortly. Did she lie when she said back in the mid to late seventies people wore black face? It’s hard to go back to that time but it was around that time that white people stopped doing it. I remember Halloween parties in the mid-sixties with people wearing black face. A 1986 movie Soul Man where a white man wore black face was highly criticized with the actor who played that part later saying “A white man donning blackface is taboo.” But what about ten years earlier around Albany, New York. I don’t think you can say she lied since it very well might have been the case.
Why then the big brouhaha over her statement. Some suggest she is yearning for the days when you could wear black face. I don’t see that is the case. Others suggest that she thinks black face is all right and she is unaware of its sordid history in demeaning our black fellow citizens. I can’t read that into it either. It’s a plain statement of facts. It is like a person saying that at one time in America many blacks were slaves. That doesn’t mean the person wants slavery to come back to America.
Now her employer is the one which seemed mostly upset over the incident. The reason an employer gets upset is if it is not getting the value it expected from its investment. Here was a three-year sixty-nine million dollar investment equivalent to what a top line major league pitcher makes and she can’t even throw a curve. She was what she always portrayed herself as which is sort of a middle of the road commentator even when she worked for that far right broadcast network. There was no chance she was going to go over to the far left where her employer apparently sought to have her find comfort.
She didn’t meet expectations. The employer needed an out on which to fire her. It thus made her statement into more than it was. The employer could then say she breached her contract and try to save some of the foolishly invested millions.
Here’s one take on her coming a cropper which in part noted no one should (or will) shed a tear over her downfall. But what is most surprising to me is that so many fell for the spin, or false narrative, that she had to go because of the blackface comment and then went with it. Why wasn’t it obvious to them that If she was living up to value she’d still have the job despite the comment? I guess it shows how easily a mob can be riled up over nothing.
Since I used a baseball analogy I might as well end with one: “Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; and there is joy in NBCville —mighty Kelly has struck out.”