Attempting to show solidarity with the protests taking place in several US cities following the death of George Floyd under a police officer's knee, Lebanese musician, singer, and visual artist Tania Saleh posted a photo of her face photoshopped into a black skin face with Afro hair, saying she "wishes she were black."
كل عمري كنت احلم كون سوداء— Tania Saleh (@TaniaSaleh) June 1, 2020
I wish I was black, today more than ever... Sending my love and full support to the people who demand equality and justice for all races anywhere in the world.#nojusticenopeace #GeorgeFloyd #blacklivesmatter #policestate #whitesupremacy pic.twitter.com/KAWxU8tjVq
Tania's photo posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram drew social media users' attention, who asked her to take the photo down since "using the blackface has a long history of offending and humiliating black people."
This is blackface. She needs to take it down and to apologize. I’m appalled.— mira ‘assaf kafantaris ميرا عساف (@MiraAssafK) June 1, 2020
Apparently yes she has heard of it, people pointed it out on her facebook and she just decided to be trash and chase clout on twitter too pic.twitter.com/dhmDEWG2xS— Aziz Mohammed (@azizm987) June 1, 2020
Facebook and Twitter were quickly flooded with angry retweets and comments accusing Saleh of appropriating the black culture before she defended her choice of both the photo and words, saying that "as a musician, she has always wished she could present the rich and great black music culture and that the only purpose of her post was to show solidarity and support for black people around the world."
Dear Non-Black Arabs: Painting your face black and posting I wish I was black today does not SUPPORT BLACK LIVES MATTER @TaniaSaleh I’m talking to you! You wana be black for a day? Come walk in my shoes let your Arab men ask you how much it cost per night to sleep with you ?— Renee Lynn Abisaad (@reneeabisaad) June 3, 2020
Saleh went on to say that "all of humanity started in Africa, which means that all humans are black," angering followers even more.
About my previous post and your hateful comments! pic.twitter.com/UxzOMEZn0O— Tania Saleh (@TaniaSaleh) June 1, 2020
I hope u read this and remove this post.— اكره رياض سلامة (@jaaacksaveme) June 1, 2020
This is not a good way to express solidarity or appreciation, its actually quite insensitive. They’re getting oppressed and killed for just existing. They're not an aesthetic. Appreciate the culture, but don’t appropriate it.
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