Third of Americans think blackface is acceptable

Third of Americans think blackface is acceptable

PICTURED: Virginia governor Ralph Northam has admitted to wearing blackface

A THIRD of Americans think blackface is acceptable for Halloween costumes in some circumstances, new research has revealed.

Findings from Pew Research Center show that 15 per cent of those surveyed believed blackface was always fine to wear as part of a Halloween costume, while 19 per cent said it was OK sometimes.

Pew’s poll findings reveal that just over half (53 per cent) of American adults believe it is unacceptable for a white person to temporarily darken their skin to appear as a different race for a Halloween outfit.

White adults were found to be twice as likely to think blackface was acceptable in such circumstances, with 39 per cent saying it was always or sometimes acceptable, while 19 per cent of black respondents said the do.

The poll, which was started before recent blackface scandals that have hit the state of Virginia, has been released as the debate over the racist practice continues across the United States.

Both Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam and attorney general Mark Herring have been embroiled in blackface controversies in recent weeks.

Northam has admitted to once wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume in a dance contest during the 1980s. He made the confession after a photo from his yearbook resurfaced showing one man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes.

He has faced calls to resign but has refused to do so. He has said he will spend the rest of his tenure in office dedicated to addressing racial tensions.

The pair join a host of celebrities and politicians who have used blackface as part of a costume. Among them are actress Julianne Hough, who used blackface when she dressed up as Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black, Jimmy Fallon when dressing up as Chris Rock for Saturday Night Live and former Florida secretary of state Mike Ertel, who went to a Halloween party as a Hurricane Katrina Victim.

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