MYMP’s Chin Alcantara not sorry for using blackface, draws backlash

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2020 07:27 PM

MYMP vocalist also dismissed the recent Black Lives Matter protests as ‘propaganda’

Filipino musician Chin Alcantara defended himself by saying that no one would've recognized his costume if he had not worn blackface. YouTube

MANILA — Filipino musician Chin Alcantara refused to apologize for his use of blackface in an online live gig Friday night. 

During the now-deleted Facebook Live performance, Alcantara was seen wearing black face paint as part of a Halloween costume “imitating” his “idol” Jimi Hendrix. 

His act drew backlash on social media, though instead of apologizing Alcantra, in a YouTube video posted hours afterwards, defended himself by saying that no one would have gotten his costume if he had not used blackface. He also namedropped his other black “idols” such as basketball legends Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan as part of his argument against the outrage. 

“Pero dahil nag-make up ako ng itim sa mukha, anti-black ako, anti-Kobe Bryant ako, anti-Michael Jordan daw ako,” he said. 

He added: “Hindi ibig sabihin ng makeup na itim sa mukha ko na hindi ko pinatototohanan ang centuries na pang-aapi o pang-aabuso sa mga blacks . . . Ang ibig sabihin nito, Halloween, hindi ba?

“Kung pupunta ka sa Halloween party, hindi ba ang kadalasan goal —may mga prizes pa nga iyong ibang party— ay kung sino iyong pinaka-maganda at accurate na costume, ‘di ba?

“Sa tingnin niyo ba kung nagdamit ako ng ganito at nag-bandana ako at hindi ko kinulayan ng black ang mukha ko ay makukuha ninyo kaya iyong costume ko at kung sino iyong iniidolo ko?” he asked. 

It missed the point of the criticisms, which called him out for how offensive it is to blacken oneself up for a costume because of its origins as a way of mocking black people, and given the recent renewed attention on racial issues in the United States and throughout the world. 

In the same video, Alcantra also reiterated his stance on the recent Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the murder of Floyd, which he had described as “kalokohan.” 

He expanded on what he meant by trying to explain why he thinks the movement is being used as “propaganda.” 

He said: “Pag-isipan ninyo lang kung bakit sinasabi kong ang Black Lives Matter ay isang propaganda. Ang propaganda, ibig sabihin niyan ay ginagamit iyong katotohanan na may pang-aapi sa mga African-Americans para sa isang interes o political interest ng isang party.”

“So totoo may oppression, may racism sa mga African-Americans, pero ginawang propaganda ang Black Lives Matter.

“At bakit ba doon lang tayo maniniwala sa Black Lives Matter? Ito lang ang sasabihin ko —all lives matter, not only blacks, not only whites, not only yellow, not only brown, all lives matter.” 

Many people have since shared to him tweets explaining why this counterargument is problematic, as it doesn't acknowledge the suggestion that black lives are less valued in the US shown by the disproportionate numbers of black people killed by police in the country.