independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Sat 25th Oct 2014 4:56am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Music: Non-Prince > Is Florence + The Machine's new music video racist?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 11/25/11 3:36pm

RKJCNE

avatar

Is Florence + The Machine's new music video racist?

Indie siren Florence Welch and her outfit Florence & The Machine have landed themselves in hot water after allegations their latest music video promotes racial stereotypes and demonises a religion.

The music video in question, for ‘No Light No Light’ of their latest album Ceremonials, was released just last Friday and stars Welch being chased by a black man who is using a perversion of voodoo practises as an evil ploy against the singer. Eventually a group of white choirboys and the church save Welch from the evil voodoo man.

The whole video has Christian religious overtones and the imagery and iconography used in the piece is supposed to reference the fight between light and dark.

‘No Light No Light’ was directed by Icelandic duo Arni & Kinski who have worked with a number of high profile musicians before including Sigur Ros, Snow Patrol, and Placebo.

But the video has irked many people around the world with many deeming the visuals as having a racial overtone that could be interpreted as racist, whether that was intentional or not. Heading the witch hunt against the video isRacialicious.com who wrote an article accusing the video of amounting to thinly veiled white supremacy.

“What these music videos show is the amount of misrepresentations around race that many (white) artists are able to use, all under the guise of ‘art’” wrote Julia Caron on Racialicious. “It happens in fashion photoshoots, music videos, films, books, etc on more occasions than one could possibly count. While it happens all the time, that does not make it any more defensible. And being a fan of an artist who makes a misstep and ends up creating something racist, intentionally or not, does not oblige you to running to their defense. Being a card-carrying fan of an artist or musician does not make them infallible.”

“Discussions about whether or not Welch is personally responsible for this racist music video have cropped up. When you break it down and imagine the number of people who were behind the storyboarding, choreographing, casting and creative direction around this video, it is slightly astounding that not one person raised concerns about how problematic this video is.”

People have also been highly critical of the video’s depiction of voodoo and the religions practises as being associated with evil. Jezabel.com critiqued the video frame by frame and had this to say about the depiction of voodoo:

“Haitian Vodou is a religion that is very misunderstood. Slaves were brought to the Caribbean against their will and forbidden to practice their traditional African religions as well as forced to convert to the religion of their masters. The Bond movie/Eurocentric/Americanized viewpoint presents Vodou as an evil, primitive version of witchcraft. But it’s a religion like any other, with a moral code, gods and goddesses. Many ceremonies deal with protection from evil spirits.”

“In addition, the “voodoo doll” itself has been misconstrued. In Haiti, it was traditional to nail small handmade puppets or dolls to trees near graveyards; these small figures were meant to act as messengers to the spirit world, and contact dead loved ones. It’s safe to imagine that European folks didn’t understand this — and assumed an evil intent behind a doll with nails in its body.”

Source

2012: The Queen Returns
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 11/25/11 4:14pm

PANDURITO

avatar

No neutral

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 11/25/11 7:54pm

paisleyperk

Yes, it's completely racist. It is straight out of Birth of a Nation, which was used to recruit Klan members. This is one of the most repulsively racist things I've ever seen come out of a contemporary singer. Vile and sad that no one stopped it. And that she can't bring herself to apologize ... Sickening.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 11/25/11 8:17pm

MattyJam

avatar

paisleyperk said:

Yes, it's completely racist. It is straight out of Birth of a Nation, which was used to recruit Klan members. This is one of the most repulsively racist things I've ever seen come out of a contemporary singer. Vile and sad that no one stopped it. And that she can't bring herself to apologize ... Sickening.

BS.

Some people just love playing the race card at any given opportunity.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 11/25/11 8:24pm

lazycrockett

avatar

I dont really see it as racist, the whole blackface is in vogue at the moment. Numerous Fashion mags have done blackface this season. I visually like the video.

The Most Important Thing In Life Is Sincerity....Once You Can Fake That, You Can Fake Anything.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 11/25/11 8:25pm

Dewrede

avatar

MattyJam said:

paisleyperk said:

Yes, it's completely racist. It is straight out of Birth of a Nation, which was used to recruit Klan members. This is one of the most repulsively racist things I've ever seen come out of a contemporary singer. Vile and sad that no one stopped it. And that she can't bring herself to apologize ... Sickening.

BS.

Some people just love playing the race card at any given opportunity.

yeahthat

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 11/26/11 4:26am

DoffieParker

paisleyperk said:

Yes, it's completely racist. It is straight out of Birth of a Nation, which was used to recruit Klan members. This is one of the most repulsively racist things I've ever seen come out of a contemporary singer. Vile and sad that no one stopped it. And that she can't bring herself to apologize ... Sickening.

lol u can't be serious?

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 11/28/11 6:53pm

TonyVanDam

avatar

Florence isn't the only recording artist to have someone blackfaced in a music version.

Remember these classic videos?:

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 11/28/11 7:01pm

TonyVanDam

avatar

@RKJCNE......To answer your question from the opening post, the video as a whole is really about the occult!

VC/Vigilant has already written an article about it at his main web site:

http://vigilantcitizen.co...-no-light/

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 11/28/11 8:51pm

BlaqueKnight

avatar

White people love to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoings.
Next thing you know, the American slave trade will be be known as a "nice boat ride to freedom for the negros". rolleyes
If you put a yamaka and a couple of curly sideburns on that guy, the Jewish community would have the video removed from youtube and stricken from all video channels in the name of anti-semitism, but whenever black people point out racism, somebody always start up a conversation about "cards" as if someone is playing a game.
99 times out of 100, blackface IS racist. Just because some politically conditioned tokens may have been convinced that if they see it, then they are somehow "racist" (or the ever popular bullshit tern "reverse-racist") themselves doesn't mean that everyone else is that stupid.
That said, the guy in the video was clearly GREEN. It could be a case of "Hulkism" but I'd hardly call that racist. Voodoo practitioners might be offended, but it didn't seem like a specific dig at black people as a whole, although voodoo is a predominantly black thing. It could be seen as indirectly racist. I'm sure there is an argument against it because some people LOVE telling other people what they should see and what they should and shouldn't be offended by. I'm sure it pissed off some West Africans, Hatians and a large part of Louisiana.
If the bitch wakes up one day with a shrunken head, we'll know. biggrin

[Edited 11/28/11 20:52pm]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 11/28/11 9:18pm

Unholyalliance

BlaqueKnight said:

Next thing you know, the American slave trade will be be known as a "nice boat ride to freedom for the negros". rolleyes

lol oh wow lol

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 11/28/11 9:36pm

PoppyBros

avatar

BlaqueKnight said:

White people love to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoings.
Next thing you know, the American slave trade will be be known as a "nice boat ride to freedom for the negros". rolleyes
If you put a yamaka and a couple of curly sideburns on that guy, the Jewish community would have the video removed from youtube and stricken from all video channels in the name of anti-semitism, but whenever black people point out racism, somebody always start up a conversation about "cards" as if someone is playing a game.
99 times out of 100, blackface IS racist. Just because some politically conditioned tokens may have been convinced that if they see it, then they are somehow "racist" (or the ever popular bullshit tern "reverse-racist") themselves doesn't mean that everyone else is that stupid.
That said, the guy in the video was clearly GREEN. It could be a case of "Hulkism" but I'd hardly call that racist. Voodoo practitioners might be offended, but it didn't seem like a specific dig at black people as a whole, although voodoo is a predominantly black thing. It could be seen as indirectly racist. I'm sure there is an argument against it because some people LOVE telling other people what they should see and what they should and shouldn't be offended by. I'm sure it pissed off some West Africans, Hatians and a large part of Louisiana.
If the bitch wakes up one day with a shrunken head, we'll know. biggrin

[Edited 11/28/11 20:52pm]

true

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 11/28/11 10:11pm

Zannaloaf

nope

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 11/28/11 10:25pm

MajesticOne89

avatar

BlaqueKnight said:

White people love to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoings.
Next thing you know, the American slave trade will be be known as a "nice boat ride to freedom for the negros". rolleyes
If you put a yamaka and a couple of curly sideburns on that guy, the Jewish community would have the video removed from youtube and stricken from all video channels in the name of anti-semitism, but whenever black people point out racism, somebody always start up a conversation about "cards" as if someone is playing a game.
99 times out of 100, blackface IS racist. Just because some politically conditioned tokens may have been convinced that if they see it, then they are somehow "racist" (or the ever popular bullshit tern "reverse-racist") themselves doesn't mean that everyone else is that stupid.
That said, the guy in the video was clearly GREEN. It could be a case of "Hulkism" but I'd hardly call that racist. Voodoo practitioners might be offended, but it didn't seem like a specific dig at black people as a whole, although voodoo is a predominantly black thing. It could be seen as indirectly racist. I'm sure there is an argument against it because some people LOVE telling other people what they should see and what they should and shouldn't be offended by. I'm sure it pissed off some West Africans, Hatians and a large part of Louisiana.
If the bitch wakes up one day with a shrunken head, we'll know. biggrin

[Edited 11/28/11 20:52pm]

clapping

chill..prince doesnt like men being front row, makes it hard to sing the ballads
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 11/29/11 8:37am

Graycap23

Racist? No...........

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 11/29/11 9:25am

Empress

BlaqueKnight said:

White people love to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoings.

Oh please?? WTF? You need some education if you really believe this? Talk about an ignorant statement.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 11/29/11 12:24pm

BlaqueKnight

avatar

Empress said:

BlaqueKnight said:

White people love to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoings.

Oh please?? WTF? You need some education if you really believe this? Talk about an ignorant statement.

Ignorant in what way? Educate me. Yes, it was a generalization and no, I don't believe it applies to all white people but by all means, educate me if you think its "ignorant" as you say.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 11/29/11 12:29pm

nursev

Seen them on snl and this trick can't sing for shit all she does is yodle! So it Wouldn't surprise me if she did put out some racist garbage.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 11/29/11 1:02pm

rialb

avatar

BlaqueKnight said:

Empress said:

Oh please?? WTF? You need some education if you really believe this? Talk about an ignorant statement.

Ignorant in what way? Educate me. Yes, it was a generalization and no, I don't believe it applies to all white people but by all means, educate me if you think its "ignorant" as you say.

Do you honestly believe that white people are unique in loving to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoing? Isn't it fair to say that is a human trait that is not limited to any single race? Are other races more likely to admit when they are in the wrong? Are other races more responsible than caucasians?

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 11/29/11 2:21pm

BlaqueKnight

avatar

rialb said:

BlaqueKnight said:

Ignorant in what way? Educate me. Yes, it was a generalization and no, I don't believe it applies to all white people but by all means, educate me if you think its "ignorant" as you say.

Do you honestly believe that white people are unique in loving to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoing? Isn't it fair to say that is a human trait that is not limited to any single race? Are other races more likely to admit when they are in the wrong? Are other races more responsible than caucasians?

Answer to 1st question: No, I don't. I think I clarified that in my second post where I mentioned that I made a generalization and that I didn't think it pertained to all but for reference's sake, a generalization had to be made.

Context. We are talking about in specifics. We are talking about a western, mainstream group in a western culture where the dominant culture is white. To ignore that when speaking of privilege, culture bullying or any form of bigotry is to deliberately omit facts. So, rather than try to broaden the topic to "other races" levels of responsibility, let's stay on topic.

While its obviously (IMO) about voodoo, that does not exclude it from being indirectly bigoted. Just because its not offensive to you or the creators of the video doesn't mean it doesn't offend someone else.

Oppressors don't have the right to define their oppression or the parameters upon which it affects others. It has become commonplace in American culture to be dismissive of any and every complaint from blacks/black culture while remaining sensitive to most others.

One would not listen to a rapist's opinion on the extent of physical or mental damage they did to their victim. Anti-semitism is treated like one of the seven deadly sins and almost comes with a no-tolerance policy in the west. People lose careers and are forced to apologize for saying anything that might even seem offensive in any way to homosexuals. They are immediately labeled a homophobe and branded as such even after they apologize or try to make amends. Yet nowadays, whenever the black community has a gripe with something someone said or did, no matter how obviously or intentionally offensive it is, they are told to "get over it" and the new, even more RACIST trend is to call them "reverse-racists" for even noticing and pointing it out.

Selective sensitivity. That is what comes with having the privilege of being part of the mainstream. It does not, however, make it right or valid just because a lot of people believe it.

As to this incident, it didn't offend ME PERSONALLY, but I am not going to dismiss the posibility of a smaller, more specific group of people within the black community being offended by it. The LAST people anyone wants to hear from on the matter are other white people, since other whites belong to the same social and racial class as the "alleged" offenders. Its about as welcomed as a German's opinion on the Holocaust.

[Edited 11/29/11 14:25pm]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 11/29/11 2:33pm

2020

avatar

Yo chill with the bold first of all and second

Racist....pleeeeeeease

NEXT

This is a great album and its more of a bummer she decided this song should be the next single from it...


[Edited 11/29/11 14:35pm]

Art Official Age: The Movie
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 11/29/11 2:38pm

BlaqueKnight

avatar

2020 said:

Yo chill with the bold first of all and second

Racist....pleeeeeeease

NEXT

This is a great album and its more of a bummer she decided this song should be the next single from it...


[Edited 11/29/11 14:35pm]

1. No

2. You obviously don't know what a racist is

3. Take it up with her and the band...preferably on their message board as its likely that is where you will get more results.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 11/29/11 2:52pm

2020

avatar

BlaqueKnight said:

2020 said:

Yo chill with the bold first of all and second

Racist....pleeeeeeease

NEXT

This is a great album and its more of a bummer she decided this song should be the next single from it...


[Edited 11/29/11 14:35pm]

1. No

2. You obviously don't know what a racist is

3. Take it up with her and the band...preferably on their message board as its likely that is where you will get more results.

1. Figured as much...selfish fuk

2. Yes I do and this aint it

3. Thanks for the helpful info there son

Art Official Age: The Movie
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 11/29/11 3:01pm

MajesticOne89

avatar

2020 said:

BlaqueKnight said:

1. No

2. You obviously don't know what a racist is

3. Take it up with her and the band...preferably on their message board as its likely that is where you will get more results.

1. Figured as much...selfish fuk

2. Yes I do and this aint it

3. Thanks for the helpful info there son

He's a selfish fuck because he types with bold lettering? hmm

chill..prince doesnt like men being front row, makes it hard to sing the ballads
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 01/02/12 10:10am

paisleyperk

Here's a great response from an eloquent woman on video

http://www.youtube.com/wa...DEzXex2hUE

and here is a good, but short blog post that includes a relavent scene from _Birth of a Nation_

http://notyournanswriting...at-height/

The comments from people on this thread prove how poorly people understand race and racism. Even a basic level of knowledge appears to be missing. While there are many reasons why this is the case (including institutionalized racism), white privlege is the most obvious one.

Perhaps the most distressing response came from rialb: "Do you honestly believe that white people are unique in loving to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoing? Isn't it fair to say that is a human trait that is not limited to any single race? Are other races more likely to admit when they are in the wrong? Are other races more responsible than caucasians?"

The statement itself is racist to the core for one simple reason: It imagines that race is something biologically or genetically real. It is not. It is an entirely made up (social) construct. There is no such thing as "other races" of people.

This is the problem many people have when discussing race. They have no idea what they are talking about, what they are saying, or even where those ideas they are talking about (which are supposedly their ideas) came from in the first place. RialB did not invent the discourse of race. But RialB did transmit, repeat, and reinscribe that discourse without (clearly) even being aware that they did so, why they did so, who it serves that they did so, and the effect that repeating these lies over and over and over again has on all of us.

Do one thing for yourself and the world in the new year: learn about race. learn what race is, critically, and how institutionalized racism is entrenched in the U.S., and how the discourse of race is repeated over and over again, in new and different ways, almost every time we talk about and see something called "race."

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 01/02/12 10:17am

Vendetta1

BlaqueKnight said:

White people love to excuse themselves from any and all wrongdoings.
Next thing you know, the American slave trade will be be known as a "nice boat ride to freedom for the negros". rolleyes
If you put a yamaka and a couple of curly sideburns on that guy, the Jewish community would have the video removed from youtube and stricken from all video channels in the name of anti-semitism, but whenever black people point out racism, somebody always start up a conversation about "cards" as if someone is playing a game.
99 times out of 100, blackface IS racist. Just because some politically conditioned tokens may have been convinced that if they see it, then they are somehow "racist" (or the ever popular bullshit tern "reverse-racist") themselves doesn't mean that everyone else is that stupid.
That said, the guy in the video was clearly GREEN. It could be a case of "Hulkism" but I'd hardly call that racist. Voodoo practitioners might be offended, but it didn't seem like a specific dig at black people as a whole, although voodoo is a predominantly black thing. It could be seen as indirectly racist. I'm sure there is an argument against it because some people LOVE telling other people what they should see and what they should and shouldn't be offended by. I'm sure it pissed off some West Africans, Hatians and a large part of Louisiana.
If the bitch wakes up one day with a shrunken head, we'll know. biggrin

[Edited 11/28/11 20:52pm]

mushy

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Music: Non-Prince > Is Florence + The Machine's new music video racist?