Comedian Dave Ackerman has sparked some controversy in his latest project to “fight ignorance with ignorance.”
Dave has hit Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo Utah, asking many students on campus questions relevant to Black History Month. His approach to getting students to cooperate with him has been to put on make-up so that he can appear to be ‘black’.
Many professors at BYU are unhappy about this; one professor Brian Roberts expressed his disapproval saying: “I’m disappointed and surprised that someone came to campus wearing black face.”
Dave has posted the videos on YouTube and many students are complaining that they are being wrongfully painted as racist.
As reported by ABC 4:
Professors in Provo speak out about a controversial “black face” video shot at Brigham Young University.
They said the comedian’s approach brought back bad memories, rather than teach a lesson.
Dave Ackerman’s video portrays students at BYU as clueless about black history.
“I wanted to raise awareness in an interesting way and get a conversation started,” said Ackerman.
Professors believe the entire video was fabricated. “In a selective way it’s choosing pieces he used in his film to make people look more ignorant than they really are,” said Chris Crowe, a professor of English.
Assistant professor of English, Brian Roberts, said the shots were of intense stereotypes to make people uncomfortable. “I’m disappointed and surprised that someone came to campus wearing black face. What I think is it reflects a lack of historical knowledge,” Roberts lamented.
“For white Americans it’s something we don’t understand because we are not African American,” commented Crowe.
Students said lacking knowledge about black history, doesn’t make them racist. “If he had been black and then offended them, because they don’t know anything about the culture would have been better,” said BYU student, Katie Lynn Bair.
Roberts says Ackerman’s video was an eye-opener for America. It could have been shot anywhere. “It suggests we need to redouble our efforts to integrate black history- African American history into the courses we teach,” said Roberts.
When ABC 4 interviewed Ackerman he said he isn’t racist. He wanted to use ignorance to teach people about ignorance.
We’re sure there are other ways Dave can combat ignorance that are less offensive. Perhaps he should try a new approach.
For more detail view the accompanying video.
SOURCE: ABC 4