Florence and the Machine's offensive new music video, "No Light, No Light," should be pulled for the following reasons:
1) The blackface used as a "costume choice" is incredibly racist. Donning blackface has been considered distasteful and racist for decades. It's alarming that the creators of this video thought it was OK to resurrect this offensive practice, even if for artistic purposes.
2) It perpetuates the stereotype that black men are savages who will prey on white women. The video relies on imagery of 'tribal' looking dark-skinned savages preying on pale and innocent looking people which essentially sends a message that is altogether too reminiscent of demonizing 'others' of non-white cultures.
3) It also perpetuates the stereotype that African religions (Voodoo, Voudou, Hoodoo, Vodoun, etc.) are evil. These religions are practiced all over the world, including: Caribbean Islands, West Africa, New Orleans and Louisiana, New York, Houston, Charleston, Los Angeles, etc. Moreover, Voodoo is a religion, just like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. But given the history of racism towards African people and people of African decent, it has been given a reputation of being evil or satanic. It also shows Christianity as being inherently good in direct comparison to Voodoo.
Whether or not this was intentional, the fact that Florence and the Machine and the creators of this video crafted this piece with little to no cultural or factual knowledge of Voodoo is disrespectful and ignorant. They cherry-picked elements of someone else's culture- and false ones at that- and warped them for their own purposes. What's left is the dissemination of false stereotypes that work only to perpetuate the idea that it's OK to don blackface, make sweeping cultural assumptions and perpetuate racist ideas.
This video should be pulled and Florence and the Machine and the labels that represent the band should issue a sincere apology for this strongly offensive video.
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