HARRISBURG, PA – Governor Wolf signed and Executive Order today making ‘black face’ a crime in the state of Pennsylvania.
“In today’s society there is no room for ‘black face’ or any other symbols of racism. My new State Executive Order will make ‘black face’ a third-degree misdemeanor punishable with a fine up to $500.” said Governor Wolf.
Executive Order 2019-2 Pennsylvania Racial Sensitivity was signed at the Capitol in a brief ceremony with state leaders.
The Executive Order will in fact make ‘black face’ a third-degree misdemeanor with a punishable fine up to $500. While some members of the State House of Representatives and State Senate voiced concern over the order, a number of elected officials gave a sigh of relief upon learning the order did not apply to past offenses. Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Turzai was one of those who expressed relief upon learning the Order does not apply to past offenses.
“I was nervous as hell at first, but then I was told it didn’t apply to stuff we might have done a long time ago.” explained Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Turzai.
According to Wikipedia; “Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes such as the “happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation” or the “dandified coon”. By the middle of the century, blackface minstrel shows had become a distinctive American artform, translating formal works such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. Early in the 20th century, blackface branched off from the minstrel show and became a form in its own right. In the United States, blackface had largely fallen out of favor by the turn of the 21st century, and is now generally considered offensive and disrespectful, though the practice continues in other countries.”