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Posted by haydn-an Thursday, August 6, 2020

Netizens call Sam Okyere a hypocrite for his statement over the blackface controversy after uncovering his past racist gestures

AKP STAFF

In light of the recent controversy over the Uijeongbu High School students using blackface to portray the Ghana Dancing Pallbearers, TV personality Sam Okyere took it to his social media to call out the high school boys' offensive actions.

However, a backlash is occurring on Sam Okyere as netizens call him a hypocrite over the recent incident.

On August 6th, Sam Okyere posted photos of the high school boys involved in the controversy with a long caption. Sam Okyere stated that he was highly disappointed and this sort of racism must stop in Korea.

However, netizens have been divided on this issue. Some are agreeing with Sam Okyere while others have stated otherwise.

Those who agreed with Sam Okyere stated that painting one's face dark is an act of racism but others stated that the students were only parodying an internet sensation without malicious intent.

Amongst these netizens, some brought to light an incident that had occurred back in 2015. In 2015, Sam Okyere appeared on JTBC's 'Abnormal Summit' as a panel. 

In one of the episodes, each country representative was to introduce interesting and unique competitions that were held in their country. Julian, a TV personality representing Belgium, introduced a competition called 'Ugly Face Competition' taking place in Spain where contestants compete to create the funniest facial expressions by just using their face muscles.

As the cast spoke and discussed this 'Ugly Face Competition', they all decided to make funny faces in their mini ugly face competition on the set.

When it was Sam Okyere's turn, he made a funny face by slitting his eyes and revealing his upper teeth. This became a controversy because it was the very actions known as the 'Chinky Eyes'. This was an action done by non-Asians as they slit their eyes across to mockingly portray Asian eyes.

Some netizens have come across this incident have criticized Sam Okyere stating, "He raises his voice over racism against black people but he does something that's racist to Asian", "Wasn't this competition just to use the facial muscles to make a funny face? Why did he need to use his hands like that", "What he did should be considered racism too regardless if he meant to mock Asians or not."



Many netizens stated that "Painting someone's face black is racist, and it's the same for other countries. But we are offended if you slit your eyes like that too."

Netizens' commented:
"If you were going to make a big issue of this, why did you slit your eyes like that?"

"The students did it out of pure hearts and didn't intend to make fun of black people just like you probably didn't intend to make fun of Asians with your slit eye action."

"Sam you should've just stayed still. I understand how you feel but I'm pretty sure the students didn't do what they did with ill-intent."

"Someone always said to me, before pointing out someone else's faults, check if you didn't do anything wrong yourself."

"I think Sam just felt frustrated as a black person but understand the students do that trying to be racist."

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booitsjwu2,106 pts Thursday, August 6, 2020 20
Thursday, August 6, 2020

This is a serious case of "whataboutism"; multiple parties can be wrong at the same time. Sam's criticism of casual racism in South Korea is fair and it's also fair to criticize Sam for the racist eye gesture.

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hotmamajama576 pts Thursday, August 6, 2020 6
Thursday, August 6, 2020

Racism should not be tolerated period. Regardless of the intention, it is never okay to physically modify yourself to imitate another race. Even if it's out of "appreciation" or "parody" (which by the way, parody by definition is done with the sole intent of comedic effect so there was absolutely no respect from these kids who wanted nothing more than a photo op at graduation) what it boils down to is ignorance. Dressing up is one thing (and even that's questionable), to put makeup or slant your eyes like it's just a costume - that someone's race, identity, physical appearance, and the cultural history and value that's associated with it, that it all comes down to a costume or a physical gesture to get a laugh or a photo, that's the problem that they need to understand. Racism comes in many forms and it might not always be apparent and with ill-intent but it still happens and people need to be educated and have that shit called out the moment it occurs.

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