Xander21 wrote:It's black Pete and he will never go...deal with it... he might have come from racist times but was turned into something positive... if he was yellow the chinese wouldn't give a hoot. Just shows how overly sensitive, judgemental and hypocrite this generation has become. Go worry about about far more important stuff... these blacks actually have a job.
This line of argument relies upon the idea of 'black Pete' having become something positive, but as responses show in this thread and by Mel B's comments in the videos, many do not see this as positive and find it difficult to move beyond the crude racial stereotypes that are being drawn upon by the tradition... The idea that this is 'positive' is at best problematic and the danger in trying to assert that it is, is that actually a group that has a history of having been marginalised, once again finds itself in a position where its viewpoints are somehow inferior and of less value or worth.
The idea that 'he will never go' suggests that society cannot develop, grow or evolve. I'm not sure that is true. Globally there has often been an issue whereby woman of intelligence and skill have been regarded with suspicion and accused of witchcraft, whereas that still occurs in some countries, in most - despite a long history and tradition - it is recognised for the barbaric, unenlightened practice that it was. Society can and will adapt to meet the needs of the people that it is formed from.
You state 'Go worry about far more important stuff'... Whilst this might not be important for you personally, your argument recognises, albeit with some incredulity, that for many it is . The danger in trying to preserve a cultural tradition like this is that actually the views and experiences of a group of people become denied and so a system of prejudice and discrimination is continued, although not necessarily consciously. It's important to recognise that the 'black Pete' tradition is matched by entertainment and traditions of 'black face' elsewhere in the world with countries that have similar colonial pasts. In an age when there is still under-representation, if one of few reflections of oneself is this type of crude caricature, is that likely to result in a positive experience?
Is showing an empathy and level of understanding and compassion to the experiences, thoughts and emotions of others ever judgmental or hypocritical? Isn't the collateral damage from somehow being 'overly sensitive' feels a good deal less damaging than being 'insensitive' to this?