White and non-black people are being told not to share any of the numerous Oprah Winfrey memes from her bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - because they are a form of 'digital black_face'.
The Slow Factory Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to social and environmental justice, this week issues a warning about digital black_face, describing it as an online phenomenon where white and non-black people share GIFs and photos of black people to express emotion, and stating that it often perpetuates negative stereotypes that they are 'aggressive, loud, and sassy.'
In an Instagram post, the organization used an Oprah meme as a direct example of 'digital black_face' - sparking a furious debate in the comments where some agreed with the message, while others hit back, claiming that banning non-black people from posting the memes equates to 'black erasure'.
'Performing Blackness, be it IRL or online, is not an acceptable form of expressing reaction or dissatisfaction, especially not in exchange for likes and retweets,' the organization wrote in its post.
The Slow Factory Foundation went on to insist that people shouldn't be sharing the recent onslaught of Oprah memes just because they're popular, suggesting that they are reminiscent of white people wearing black_face in minstrel shows.
'Since the #MeghanandHarry interview on Oprah, we’ve been seeing a lot of digital black_face infractions with a few of Oprah’s reaction gifs and images going viral, but that doesn’t mean you should be using them,' the non-profit explained.
The comments were limited, likely to w e e d out any racist messages, but thoughts on the post were incredibly mixed.
Some praised the organization for raising awareness for digital black_face, while others felt the inclusion of memes was going too far and actually a form of black erasure.
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