A group of white women from the Czech Republic are currently being slammed online for posting a video of them performing the Haka to a Bollywood song while in Blackface. It’s a fucked up sentence, but the video is even worse.
Jarmila Chromíková, a self-proclaimed Bollywood dancer and choreographer, shared the video to her Instagram account this week. The post contained the hashtags #bollyhaka, #facepainting, #dancefusion and #newzealandinspiration.
Almost instantly she was slammed by New Zealanders who were absolutely shocked at the fact that this video would be made and then posted online.
“That’s not dance fusion. That is truly awful cultural appropriation. Please stop,” one commenter wrote, according to NZ Herald.
“Please educate yourself, the cultural appropriation that is presented here is very disrespectful,” wrote another.
After receiving this backlash, Chromíková has turned her account private.
Activist Shaneel Lal shared the original post to their Instagram, absolutely ripping it to shreds, as it deserves.
“A group of white women got together and did the ‘BOLLYHAKA.’ In other words, wearing Blackface and doing the Haka on Bollywood songs,” they wrote on Instagram.
“The absolute audacity of these colonesians… this is no longer innocent behaviour – it’s blatant racism. It’s dangerous.”
You can view the original video in the second slide of the Insta carousel.
“Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes… the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and centuries worth of injustice,” Lal continued.
“Blackface reinforces the idea that Black people are appropriate targets of ridicule and mockery and reminds us of stereotypes about Black criminality, and danger.
“The ability to be ignorant, to be unaware of the history and consequences of racial bigotry, to simply do as one pleases, is a quintessential element of privilege. White people don’t see the hurt and pain associated with ridiculing BIPOC and the violence that creates towards us. When is it okay no a non-Black person to do Black face? Never!”
Māori cultural adviser Karaitiana Taiuru told the NZ Herald that the Haka video is indicative of a trend that sees people online depicting Māori peoples as “savage, uneducated and aggressive” people.
“This is blatant racism that frankly impacts all Māori and especially impacts those Māori who choose to revive our ancient customs of facial tattoos called Ta Moko (men) and Moko Kauae (females),” Taiuru said.
One thing that is absolutely clear is how absolutely insensitive this video is, to so many cultures. I’m glad it’s being slammed online, but can we just stop making this kind of racist content to begin with? Thanks.