A New York City shock-performance “artist” recently got a lesson in “Black Face Isn’t Ok 101”. Rush Aaron Hicks is a frequent performer at the Slipper Room in New York City. His show typically mixes body modification, burlesque and extreme tricks like swallowing swords. Over the weekend, Hicks decided to take his show one step further and don black face.
An anonymous tipster gave Jezebel a hat-tip about Hicks’ show:
Friday night show at the Slipper Room — was a mixture of burlesque and variety acts. There was striptease, a juggling/hula hooping act, and a magician. […] [Hicks has] never performed in blackface before to my knowledge. He has a condition that makes his skin flexible and his bones loose in their sockets, so he performs physical feats that creep people out. He was called upon last minute by the producer and so showed up to the venue with no costume, which is why he apparently made the last minute decision to go on in black face.
When Hicks got wind that his performance was being talked about, he took it to Facebook to set the record straight:
Yes I did black face…. Yes I did it at random. No I am not racist (slept with two black girls this year) Yes any burlesque performer who thinks I am racist is racist because they have done a Geisha act. Also I have been told that black people were offended and I was with the only two real black people in the room (mixed races exclude) and they were not. Here is the bottom line, don’t take yourself too serious and fuck white guilt. If you have never felt oppression don’t speak against it. I have worked with at risk youth for years and maybe instead of lashing out in a slackactivist way go volunteer. If you are black and reading this, as many of you there are please feel free to express your discomfort. I don’t any of you will.
So, he slept with two black women this year and that makes him not racist. The only two black people at the show, were his two black friends. So that makes him not racist. Maybe Hicks should have consulted with the two black women he slept with, or his two black friends before deciding to paint his face black.
Since the Facebook post wasn’t enough, Hicks also decided to post a video response. In the video, he goes into details as to how he made the decision to wear black face, instead of his normal white face paint:
In short, Hicks pretty much “apologized” for people FEELING offended by something that is universally offensive and horribly racist. Oh, he also wanted to remind people he had black friends.