T.I., you’re part of the problem now. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on this topic, but I will say that less than 5 minutes of research exposed a glaring flaw in this bullshit propaganda you’re peddling. After the initial 5 minutes and finding out that not only is the caption’s explanation of the mask wrong, the “the moment you stop teaching your children history” line completely ironic, and your jabs at “Amerikkka” misplaced due to where this imagery actually comes from, but you go even further and say something as stupid as “If yall put dis dress in your store its gettin burned down” without having any idea what this image depicts beyond what God-knows-who captioned it with and you just accepted it as truth without question (that’s called confirmation bias, btw) when it turns out that this figure is highly considered to be one of the most important women in black history in Rio de Janeiro.
So first, let’s clear this up… That dress was made by a company called Maid in Africa which is located in Namibia, Africa. I was going to write more here, but seriously, look them up and tell me they’re a racist company.
Second, this imagery comes from Brazil and the story takes place almost entirely in Brazil. The masks shown were commonly used by Portuguese and Brazilian slave owners. Suffice it to say she wasn’t a slave to an American.
Next, those masks in the context of being on slaves working in fields weren’t to stop them from eating the corn they were picking. They were to stop the slaves from trying to kill themselves by eating dirt. However, that’s not the purpose of the one depicted here.
Now, let’s go deeper into this. Very simply put, you don’t have to be an art connoisseur to look at that dress and realize that that’s an extremely specific depiction for someone to have just made it up with nothing more than a picture like the one on the left to inspire it, so then you have to ask… what is that image supposed to be? The answer in this case is that it’s Escrava Anastacia, or apparently more commonly known as just Anastacia. She is venerated as a saint in Brazil, but why?
Here’s some history to teach your children. Anastacia hasn’t actually been confirmed to have ever existed, but several different folk stories throughout Brazil seem to corroborate her existence. In the stories, her mother is usually part of a royal African family and gets taken away from Africa to Brazil and sold in the harbor by an Antonio Rodrigues Velho. She was raped by a white man and impregnated before being sold to Joaquina Pompeu. The same year, she gave birth to Anastacia; the first black girl born with blue eyes in Brazil (see that on the dress?). As the stories go, the owner’s son, Joaquin Antonio, became obsessed with Anastacia. It’s said that she was so beautiful that all of the white women around were jealous of her and encouraged Joaquin to make her wear the mask. Ultimately, to punish her for constantly refusing his advances, he raped her and made her wear the mask for the rest of her life and only removed it once per day so she could eat. At the end of her life, she was said to have died from toxicity caused by the metal of the mask.
There are versions of the story that claim that she could perform miracles toward the end of her life and the poor began to believe she had the power to heal because she had found it in her heart to forgive all of the torture she suffered and even healed her owner’s son of a disease, which made her a saint to many of the poor. People still petition Rome to this day to have her canonized as St. Anastacia of Rio. Being angry at white people for the picture of St. Anastacia with the slave mask on is actually more ridiculous than being mad at the Jews for depictions of Jesus Christ being crucified – I only say more because in Anastacia’s case, it wasn’t even a white man that put the mask on her, but both are absolutely absurd in their own right.
Knowing that this is Facebook, I expect a lot of people to completely skip this, others to just troll or respond ignorantly without reading it, but to those of you that actually care enough to read it, I just want to repeat that I’m not an expert on the subject but there are a lot of resources out there to fact check me on all of this. I’m not exactly doing this because of the fact that this picture is a made up racial issue whose aim it to increase racial tension as much as I am because the facts just aren’t correct, but it’s enough to make you reflect on the fact that people (take race out of it for a second) can be turned against each other by a rapper with 20,000,000 followers carelessly and unknowingly posting incorrect and negative information.
None of this is to say that there is no marginalization in the United States or that there’s no civil injustice or no racism – there definitely is, but this is part of a microcosm of what’s happening across our country and causing the issues to never be resolved. The back and forth… blame white people for making dresses of slaves being tortured and reveling in their superiority, then say something stupid like “if you put this in your store it’s getting burned down” to give more fuel to the stupid “white people” that will happily take T.I.’s declaration of domestic terrorism as being the sentiment across 95% of the black populace of the United States, rinse and repeat.
To T.I., I’m sure you’ll never read any of these comments, but if by chance you ever do and you get to see this, you should stop and think about the impact your voice has considering the number of people you have listening. You can use your voice to improve our country or you can carelessly send messages to tear us further apart, that’s up to you, but I would really hope that you’d rather see us rise together than fall divided.
And to the racists… the white ones and the black ones… please just shut up. – Kyle Matheney