A Perth based mother who shared a photo of her nine-year-old son with his skin painted black is getting a much needed lesson in racism after the photo went viral promoting criticism of the costume and her ignorance over its abhorrent historical significance.
The boy, covered in brown paint with a wig of dreadlocks, was dressed up as AFL star Nic Naitanui for his school’s Book Week.
The mother posted a photo of her son and a post claiming it as a “parenting win” on the page of popular blogger Constance Hall.
She wrote: “I NEED to share my absolute QUEENING moment. My son had book week parade today. He wanted to go as his idol Nic Naitanui from the west coast Eagles.”
“I was a little worried about painting him. (So many politically correct extremists these days) he is pastey White and if I just sent him in a wig and footy gear, no one would tell who he was.”
The mother says “So I grew a set of balls and painted my boy brown and he looked fanf***ingtastic.”
“After being told by everyone on Facebook not to do it and it’s a horrible idea etc, my son won the f***ing parade!!! Parenting win! I’m celebrating by having a wine before 12pm …”
Seven News writes that since posting the photo the mother was inundated with messages saying she was racists, the mother then posting a reply saying she has been called “every single name under the sun” but that she never meant to offend anyone.
Dr Naomi Priest, Australian National University’s expert on racism and child health told The Age blackface “reinforces stereotypes” and it was up to schools to ensure their students were not exposed to racism. But she said that it was wrong to blame or punish the young boy in any way.
“Schools have a mandate to maintain a safe environment for all students,” she said.
“This shouldn’t be something that wins an award, but gets you disadvantaged.”
The boy’s idol, Nic Naitanui has not commented on the furor as he was in surgery but his partner, Elle Demasi posted an Instagram image of the West Coast star with no reference to the blackface controversy.