By Mick “Spin” Dumdell
What is the world coming to? Just when you think it can’t get any worse
this story hits the news! Here are some excerpts:
Blackface performer plans routine to raise money for officers indicted in death of black man
By BRIAN WITTE Associated Press JULY 22, 2015 — 10:20PM
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A former Baltimore police officer said Wednesday that he plans to perform an Al Jolson routine in blackface to raise money for the six Baltimore officers who have been indicted in the death of Freddie Gray.
Bobby Berger, whose performances as Jolson created tension with the department in the 1980s, said Wednesday that 610 tickets have been sold in eight days at $45 each for the Nov. 1 fundraiser in Glen Burnie.
Berger said in an interview he doesn’t believe there is anything racist about his routine. “It’s coincidence,” Berger said about the fact that the entertainer he impersonates wore blackface. “There’s no racial overtones to this show. There’s nothing racial to the show.”
Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP, says the idea is “very distasteful.” “This is showing no sensitivity to the family of Freddie Gray,” Hill-Aston said.
Berger, who is 67, has performed the blackface singing act for decades. He was fired from the police force in the 1980s for performing the act in his spare time. He was reinstated to his job following an appeal, but later retired. His performance at a retirement dinner for a white Baltimore County officer in 1996 prompted a black officers group to protest outside the dinner.
Berger said in an interview Wednesday that he only intended to help the officers who were indicted in the Gray case. “I want to get these people some money,” Berger said. “I know they need it, and that’s the long and short of it.”
There is more information at the link. But does this not just beat all??? I mean, I like to pretend I am Black sometimes, but I would never do it in public. What else can I say? A Blackface routine to raise money for the officers who have been charged in Freddie Gray’s death? I can’t go on. For once in my life, I am just totally speechless. . .
Yours very truly,
Mick “Spin” Dumdell
FootNote: The Image is of Bing Crosby in the 1942 film, Holiday Inn. Wiki notes:
Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. With music by Irving Berlin, the film has twelve songs written expressly for the film, the most notable being “White Christmas”. The film features the complete reuse of “Easter Parade”, written by Berlin for the 1933 Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer. The film’s choreography was by Danny Dare.
The film received a 1943 Academy Award for Best Original Song (Irving Berlin for “White Christmas”), as well as Academy Award nominations for Best Score (Robert Emmett Dolan) and Best Original Story (Irving Berlin).
Beginning in the 1980s, some broadcasts of the film have entirely omitted the “Abraham” musical number, staged at the Inn for Lincoln’s Birthday, because of its depiction of a blackface minstrel show incorporating what is now considered offensive. However, because Turner Classic Movies airs films uncut and unedited, the network has left the “Abraham” number intact during their screenings of Holiday Inn. AMC also aired the film intact before they became an advertiser-supported channel. Precisely to avoid advertiser objections, the edited version now airs annually on AMC.