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Borough Blacking Up - that's offensive

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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:03am Jim Drey, born in Lewes wrote:
Dressing up as Zulus is fine, it's good fun and offends no-one.
Blacking up on the other hand no longer has a part in British culture - or any culture. It's offensive and racist, full stop, and if Borough members do not realise that then they are complicit in condoning offensive racist behaviour.
Petition in the link has been signed by over 160 people somewhere and I'm just about to forward it to the BBC to ensure this disgraceful practice gets the publicity it deserves.

Check it out here »
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:08am Clifford wrote:
If blacking up is racist is a man dressing in women's clothes sexist?
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:26am Nothing to see here.... wrote:
People have a right to do whatever they want with their own skin don't they?
Also, transracial is a new thing and if I feel Yoruba one day and Han the next then why can't I be that? If not I'm gonna scream and go to my safe space you Nazi murderers.....
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:33am Borough Chairman wrote:
Jim Drey, Well done for being born in Lewes! Every town or village has it's idiot! You are obviously ours! Have you bought our program this year? Probably not! Shame, if you had you would have seen we have real African Zulus joining us this year, who don't find us blacking up to be racist at all! So what gives you the right? You ignorant, shallow minded, uneducated do-gooder!! Tell BBC that! Just get of the racist bandwagon before you fall off and do some research before you start shouting about things you now nothing about! One last thing, if you've lived in Lewes all your life, why is it only now that you feel so strongly about our Zulus?
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:45am Kitty J wrote:
Borough Chairman over-reacting - sounds nervous. Why would that be? If Borough think this is ok, then they should not be worried about any media scrutiny and indeed welcome it.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:52am Billy wrote:
Surely it is only racist if it offends someone who it is trying to convey. Do we have any black people on this forum who might like to give a view?
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 11:55am Clifford wrote:
I see Kitty J is trying the old paperback psychology gambit of 'If you deny it that proves it's true'. We're a bit more intelligent than that Kitty.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:09pm Andy wrote:
Why is all this racism coming out now borough have had zulus for donkeys I'm not with them I'm with cliff and I'm black and I don't get affended by it so why should other people I can't wait to see the reel zulu dancers saw them once before and they are amazing
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:16pm Barbara Rees wrote:
Borough chairman is being very rude
You must understand we are all entitled to our opinion
Your obviously someone thst doesn't like to hear others opinions
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:24pm Bonfire boy proper wrote:
Exactly Andy and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the smugglers go back to their original tradition of "camouflaging" their faces this year, these select few people on Diversity Lewes and this forum, who have nothing better to do with their lives will through their lack of knowledge and understanding of bonfire make a non existent problem into a problem for themselves.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:24pm Erp wrote:
Anyone else suspect this is less of a race issue than a class issue?
In recent years there has been an influx of highly sensitive, emotionally damaged people who are driven to signal their piety by publicly expressing certain sentiments rather than engaging in tangeble acts of charity or kindness. They are ideological descendents of the advocates of prohibition etc.

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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:40pm Andy wrote:
Bonfire boy I've heard a lot of smugglers are going to black there faces to back the zulus up and just not borough either I reckon we should all support then which either society your in we all still together on the night
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:46pm Confused.com wrote:
I don't know what's worse, the blackface or the shear quantity of malicious, ad hominem attacks being levelled at anyone who dare suggest that this practice needs to be reconsidered. It's such a tiny concession to make and there is so much defensive misunderstanding of the core issue being raised here. I feel so much shame for my town, and don't give me the 'born and bred' stuff, I've lived here all my life.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:49pm Andy wrote:
I do totally agree with you Confused. Com
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 12:54pm Pete wrote:
Wonder what Pedro would say about this racism
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 1:04pm Charlie Farnsbarn wrote:
If you feel ashamed of this town why not move somewhere where your opinions are valued. We'll all be happier in the long run.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 1:09pm Clifford wrote:
I wonder what the people of KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa, would say about all this? The phone number of the South African High Commission in London is 020 7451 7299 if anyone wants to check.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 1:11pm + wrote:
Barbara should creep back to her Safe Space on Planet Flake. Some mummers black up too, and it is a tradition and nothing to do with racism. Keep a sense of proportion; this fashion of taking offence on behalf of others who possibly haven't been offended at all should stop.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 1:12pm Confused.com wrote:
Ha, Charlie, thank you for illustrating my point so beautifully. Maybe Lewes will one day become the homogenous gloop you seem to aspire towards, perhaps then you'll feel sorry for the place as well.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 1:40pm Charlie Farnsbarn wrote:
Confused.com thinks Lewes is better for his or her or (insert preferred pronoun) presence. Not that they are conceited in any way......
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 2:04pm Bonfire boy proper wrote:
I believe that Zulus from Kwazulu Natal will be joining the Borough this year, they obviously don't have an issue with anything!
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 2:04pm Confused.com wrote:
Thanks, troll.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 2:28pm Hey Babs... wrote:
Barbara Rees wrote:
(1) Borough chairman is being very rude
(2) You must understand we are all entitled to our opinion
(3) Your obviously someone thst doesn't like to hear others opinions
1 = and calling people racists isn't (when only a very few actually think it may be and they are offended on behalf of a race which isn't normally their own)?
2 = back at ya
3 = back at ya again
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 2:28pm Lamdan wrote:
It is my understanding that Borough Bonfire Society adopted the Zulu costume as their first pioneer costume many moons ago, 1948 I think, to honour the strength and dignity of the Zulu Nation, likewise it is rumoured that Commercial Square adopted the Native American costumes to show solidarity with Native Americans whom some members of the Bonfire Society had encountered whilst working on the construction of the railways in America and by way of respect to highlight the persecution that native Americans experienced at that time.
If we take the definition of racism being along the lines of "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior". In the context of why these costumes were first adopted it does not fit a definition of racism in any way.
However it is fair to debate whether the wearing of the costumes and blacking up can still be in the context of respect and solidarity with the indigenous people of South Africa or North America or, as society becomes more diverse (which in my view leads to a better society), whether the context shifts to white people making a mockery of people of other races. The final word should rest with people of those races as to whether they find the practice prejudicial, discriminatory, antagonistic or makes them feel inferior.
There is probably a middle ground where the wearing of the costumes can still be done in a dignified way to represent the respectful original reasons as to why they were adopted. The answer can't be as dogmatic as saying its ok because it is the tradition of bonfire.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 2:50pm Sharon wrote:
It gets out of hand when the Zulus are being personally threatened by a hate group called diversity . Planning to come to Lewes with intention of major disruption to the procession and harming people . Now that's what I call out of hand . All this needs to stop !!!!
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 3:15pm Hot Lips wrote:
Ironic that Diversity Lewes are wanting homogeneity...what a bunch of losers.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 3:29pm endoftheouse wrote:
It seems I will be needing to purchase the largest bonfire programme available so that I could turn it into a Millwall Brick and protect the Zulus and myself if confronted by aggressive behaviour on the 5th.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 4:16pm Zulu warrior wrote:
160 people that donít come from lewes lol never had this problem until the left wing green knicker brigade moved into town. Itís a procession of people dressed up not a third reich march
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 5:01pm Jester wrote:
Shut up Jim
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 5:23pm Geoffrey Paddle wrote:
I've lived in Lewes for years but have not been out for Bonfire Night for at least 10 years. The thought of it all kicking off should help ticket sales. Well done all.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 7:06pm Bonfire Boy wrote:
Diversity Lewes?
Diversity??
What a sick joke they are.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 8:24pm Hypocrite wrote:
@charlie farnsbarn, are you really advising Confused.com, a Lewesian born and bred, to move to another town? But I thought Lewesians were of the belief that no one should move from their place of birth and that towns shouldn't be forced to accept inhabitants who weren't raised within a five mile radius. Or does that rule not apply to towns that aren't Lewes?
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 10:01pm Uptown Monk wrote:
I'm definitely a liberal. And I think 'blacking up' to mock or stereotype different races is truly awful. But I have to say the outrage here feels misdirected. This is something that has no intent to mock or stereotype, and both the intent and the impact is pretty harmless. There are plenty of real instances of bias, prejudice and racism in society, and people who want to make a difference should probably focus on those. I feel this kind of controversy just entrenches people's views and gives rational, non-prejudiced thinking a bad name.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 10:18pm maurice wrote:
Thank you Uptown Monk - such sweet rare understanding when the Zealots are at the gate.
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 10:20pm Crimson tide wrote:
My wife likes to dress in her pvc nurses outfit most Friday's . Can I now not go to hospital in case some Arse is there to complaint use askin
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On 25 Oct 2017 at 10:54pm Daydreamer wrote:
Seriously, has it got to this. I have grown up in bonfire. It opened my eyes to different costumes different cultures that some of us growing up in the 70ís and 80ís we would have a lucky chance of seeing in colour, if we were lucky. The people that are unhappy need to speak to members that are dressing as they are because they have been taught how to make them from generations past -where did they learn it from.......:
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On 26 Oct 2017 at 9:10am Honest question wrote:
Is there a reason why people in Borough couldn't just wear their impressive and well loved Zulu costumes but just skip the makeup?


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