An Aboriginal mother in Australia has posted a picture of her child in ‘whiteface’ following a racism row over ‘blackface’.
Bec Bee was responding to a furore which occurred when a schoolboy in Perth attended a event with his skin painted black to pay tribute to his hero, West Coast Eagles player Nic Naitanui.
Pictures of the child went viral and fuelled a furious debate on racism and whether it was appropriate for him or his mother to have coloured his skin.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Bee stated: “The little boy in the centre of last weeks book week did not suffer from racism or discrimination, he idolised a man who has achieved great successes.
“Unfortunately now this little boy who has been shown by the dark skinned community that his admiration for a black man is unacceptable and has learned racism!”
Accompanying the post with an image of her daughter with her skin painted white and dressed as a Dr Seuss character, Bee added: “Not once did anyone say anything when I painted my black daughter white three years ago, we need to stop the double standards, a hero is a hero!”
Speaking to the BBC, Bee added: “I didn’t see blackface.
“I saw a young fella who was proud to emulate his idol. There was no intent of racism.”
Blackface came about in the 1800s when performers used black paint or shoe polish to depict a black character in the theatre. These characters often depicted racist stereotypes and perceptions, which were brought to a halt during the US civil rights movement.