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MYMP slammed over guitarist’s blackface costume

/ 02:11 PM October 31, 2020
MYMP, blackface

MYMP guitarist Jacques “Chin” Alcantara used blackface makeup for his Jimi Hendrix costume. Images: Screengrab from YouTube/The Alcantaras, Twitter/@paz_ango

Filipino band MYMP (Make Your Momma Proud) received backlash online after guitarist Jacques “Chin” Alcantara put on blackface makeup during their Halloween performance.

The group live-streamed the show on their Facebook page yesterday, Oct. 30, but has since taken it down. However, one user on Twitter with the handle @paz_ango posted a snippet of their performance on his own profile on the same day.

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The short video shows Alcantara’s face covered in dark makeup to make him appear as a Black man. As their viewers began calling him out for his costume, the guitarist called the Black Lives Matter movement “kalokohan (nonsense).”

Black Lives Matter is an activist movement that campaigns against violence and racism toward Black people.

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“Kasi sini-single out ninyo lang eh. Of course, ‘yung lives din natin nagma-matter,” he said. “Wala naman kasi dapat kulay. All lives matter.”

(Because you are singling out [Black lives]. Of course, our lives also matter. There should be no color.)

He also clarified that his opinion on the movement is solely his own and is not shared by his fellow band members.

Following their performance, actor Bart Guingona described MYMP as a “[consequence] of having an inadequate educational system that produces uncritical, unthinking, insensitive and very stupid Filipinos.” 

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Musician Raymund Marasigan also appeared to criticize the band, saying, “[T]hat wouldn’t make mama proud [clown face emoji].”

Meanwhile, a Twitter user (@idlewreker) claimed that Alcantara’s ignorance was the reason why the band’s former lead singer, Juris Fernandez, left the group. Many also shared memes that said the band was no longer popular after she left and that they should have just stayed that way.

After the backlash, Alcantara defended his decision to use blackface in a video on his YouTube page. He stated that he was simply dressing up as the American musician Jimi Hendrix for Halloween and that the makeup was part of his costume.

He also insisted that wearing blackface makeup does not mean that he is anti-Black. Alcantara later described the Black Lives Matter as mere propaganda.

As he ended his video, Alcantara reminded his critics: “Don’t believe everything you hear or read. Not everything is as it seems. Don’t be swayed by what is popular opinion and cool.”

Blackface is known to have started in the 1830s and is considered to be the first uniquely American form of entertainment. In the performances, white men would darken their skin color to create caricatures of Black people.

Civil rights organizations condemned these performances from the start for dehumanizing Black people and “introducing and reinforcing racial stereotypes.”  /ra

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TAGS: Black Lives Matter, blackface, Halloween, Jimi Hendrix, MYMP
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