Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Whether they are to the West or East of the giant pond (i.e., the Atlantic Ocean), some European people are seemingly incapable of shaking their racism, or they secretly want to be Black badly. Their addictions and traditions of wearing blackface during parades or for Halloween may be the dead giveaway.
In the US, Black Americans are quick to call out celebrities or public figures when evidence surfaces that they’ve been engaged in the controversial practice.
Now, anti-racism activists in Spain are calling for the end of the racist tradition of people wearing blackface to represent one of the Three Wise Men or Three Kings during parades.
In celebration of Christ’s birth, the parade takes place on January 6 to commemorate the arrival of the wise men in Bethlehem. People crowd the streets and exchange presents during the evening to mark the end of the Christmas season.
Afro-Spaniards call out racist Blackface tradition
But Black people really don’t care and are annoyed and even harmed by this practice.
These are Spaniards, White people, not Afro-Latinos whose ancestors, like Black Americans, also suffered the brutality of the TransAtlantic slave trade and continue to deal with its adverse effects today.
According to Western church traditions, Balthazar is often represented as a Middle Eastern or Black man in art.
Since a worldwide racial awakening after the very public death of George Floyd, there has been growing criticism of this controversial practice. Groups like Afrofeminas, an anti-racism group, want the custom to be banned.
“It doesn’t matter what you think you’re trying to represent. It doesn’t matter that you think that’s how you make children happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tradition. If you paint yourself a color that is not yours, it is racist,” said Elvira Swartch Lorenzo, a member of the group, in a statement.
“The parade helps to normalize slavery as something harmless and inconsequential in the collective imagination, which is completely untrue,” Lorenzo said.
Afrofeminas argue that old traditions perpetuate modern injustices. According to the group, the parades advance “dehumanizing stereotypes” against migrant populations in the places where they take place.