Monday, May 19, 2014

I Stopped by the Costume Shop Where Macklemore Says He Got That Costume, and That Is Not a Witch Nose

Posted by on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 6:15 PM

nosesection.png
  • AM
  • Here's the nose section.

As I'm sure you're all aware now, on Friday, Seattle rapper Macklemore wore a costume onstage that looked unfortunately similar to offensive old-school Jewish caricatures. Some people in the audience were offended by what they saw, but Macklemore has said via Twitter that the look was "not [his] idea of a stereotype of anybody." The costume, he said, was just "a fake witches nose, wig, and beard," a "random costume"—nothing designed to be offensive.

Around the office at The Stranger, we've been curious about what, exactly, the costume was intended to be, even if Mack considers it "random." Maybe we could go to wherever he bought it and find the totally not-offensive witch nose? Or, um, maybe something else.

Lynn Jacobson, from the Seattle Times, tweeted the day of the show, quoting Macklemore as saying he "went to Costume Display today." There's no costume store we could find by that name, but there is certainly one called Display & Costume (full name: Party @ Display & Costume), up near Northgate. It's a big costume emporium that's been around since I was a kid, and even professional makeup artists go there sometimes. So I went up there this afternoon to see if Mack had been in, and if they sell a similar costume—or the pieces of it.

On the left, there are some witch noses. They all have noticeable built-in warts. (I found another, smaller witch nose, too; it's too small the be the one he was wearing.) Over on the right, there's this:

closeup.png
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Here's what they mean by "Fagin," if it's not familiar to you.

And here's Mack in costume:

1400532990-rs_560x415-140519112438-1024.macklemore-mask-makeup.ls.51914_copy.jpg
  • Suzi Pratt
I asked folks who work in the store if they'd seen or heard about Macklemore coming in, and the rumor one person repeated is that "his people" have been in recently; they've also been in before to buy supplies for video shoots. No one had heard of any sighting of Mack himself, though, and no one I talked to had seen anything for themselves. I also combed through (ha-ha) the wig and beard sections; it's harder to figure out for sure what hair stuff he used, since a lot of them are similar. They didn't seem to have ethnic identities, though.

Still: That nose. Jesus, Mack. It should be said that this post is not some sort of forensic investigation, nor have Macklemore's people gotten back to us. There's no proof that that nose in the picture is the one he was wearing, and it's possible that Macklemore never saw the packaging. It's also possible that no one who works for him knows exactly what might be offensive about a "Sheik/Fagin" nose—maybe his people don't know their Charles Dickens. But it sure looks like that's what he was wearing.

 

Comments (85) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
DOUG. 1
Better blog post title: "On a Witch Hunt."
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on May 19, 2014 at 6:24 PM · Report this
2
Showed the husband and adult son. Husband said, "Frank Zappa" and son didn't get it.

Honestly, dumb on his part but I don't think there was real intent.
Posted by westello on May 19, 2014 at 6:29 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 3
I'll repeat that Macklemore is 30 years old.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on May 19, 2014 at 6:30 PM · Report this
4
who the fuck cares...for god sake, get a life already, sensitive ass pussies.
Posted by grow a backbone on May 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM · Report this
5
Christ, I miss Goldy.
Posted by Bloated Jesus is Bloated on May 19, 2014 at 6:37 PM · Report this
emma's bee 6
What a dumbfuck. That's the rosy spin for "Mack".
Posted by emma's bee on May 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM · Report this
7
dudes a well known 911 truther. if you have any experience with this community at all than this is not terribly surprising. A little racism is normal and healthy [see: JayZ] But coming from a pasty blonde guy with a hitler youth haircut? good luck with that mac.
Posted by lashing out at his industry bosses? on May 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM · Report this
8
Okay, clearly Macklemore intended it to be offensive (It wouldn't be a funny costume if it wasn't a gross stereotype), or he's too ignorant to dress himself. It doesn't really require detective work to figure out if he did it by accident - there was no accident.

I'm not Jewish, I'm not a Macklemore fan, so I have no skin in this game - so here's the scorecard:

Was it offensive: Yes.
Was it intentional: Yes.
Was it harmless: No.
Is he sorry: Apparently not.

Stop dancing around it. Call him out as a bigot and move on.
Posted by unpaid reader on May 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 9
@1 Beat me to it. Maybe we should start calling this "Mackghazi."
Posted by Gern Blanston on May 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM · Report this
10
"Sheik/Fagin" = Arab/Jew

That human nose is an undeniable racial stereotype, not some prosthetic simulation of a mythical or magical character or creature.

Party @ Display & Costume should remove it from their shelves.

Today.

Ignorance is an explanation, not a defense.
Posted by Oh, Hell No on May 19, 2014 at 6:46 PM · Report this
Foghorn Leghorn 11
That's some Fine Investigative Reporting right there.
Posted by Foghorn Leghorn on May 19, 2014 at 6:49 PM · Report this
long-time reader 12
Yeah, seems like we should be equally angry at the costume shop management for carrying that item. And at the manufacturer for making it in the first place...
Posted by long-time reader on May 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM · Report this
13
Every other newspaper should just suspend publishing the rest of the year cause obviously the Stranger has the Pulitzer in the bag with this powerful reporting.
Posted by cozmic on May 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM · Report this
14
@11 Yes. Just a few more posts on this and I am sure some SLOG contributor will be up for a Pulitzer prize. People with bigger things to worry about probably don't have the % of disposable income that makes the Lilliput-pated jabberers on these threads the highly prized advertiser demographic.
Posted by OhMahG-dYooGuyz on May 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM · Report this
COMTE 15
@12:

And we should probably also point fingers at all the other people who may have purchased it in the past, or who may purchase it in the future, or any actor who ever has or ever will play Fagin in any productions of "Oliver!" until the end of time. Oh, and let's not leave out Charles Dickens, since he invented the character in the first place.

The point being, it was a stupid stunt, people were legitimately offended, and Macklemore would do himself a big favor by just owning up to it and apologizing. But I for one am going to leave off trying to pick motes out of someone's eye over this.
Posted by COMTE on May 19, 2014 at 7:19 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 16
I have a feeling I'll turn Macklamore's music off after a few seconds if I listen to it. Can someone describe what it sounds like, with Jen "Pulitzer Writing" Graves gusto?
Posted by dnt trust me on May 19, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this
17
Heyo! #1 for the win.
what a fucking stupid piece of investigative of journalism.
Posted by conway twitty on May 19, 2014 at 7:28 PM · Report this
18
@1 What people like you aren't getting (assuming you aren't a screwed up racist), is that for those with a basic knowledge of modern history this is wildly blatant caricature, the caricature used for Nazi propaganda to pull the populace into direct persecution of the German Jews ,and eventually to the Holocaust.

You can choose to remain ignorant, but it doesn't make it not that image. Since Macklemore made specific statements about the nose and its origin - but has said nothing else - it is perfectly reasonable for someone to go see if they could back him up. Maybe he shouldn't be making statements that are false in response to people's deep offense.

[Somebody help me. Is this ignorance of history an age thing. Are any of you who also find this obviously and blatantly offensive under age 35? Is this the post-Kristallnacht generation?]

@12 In their possible defense, Fagin is a classic character. Perhaps, it is no surprise, since there are plays that have this stereotype, that it would be available. But, actually, it seemed a lot more troubling to me by the time I finished the sentence...
Posted by cracked on May 19, 2014 at 7:31 PM · Report this
19
Oh fuck, here we go. Everyone grab a second pitchfork and sharpen it up for Display and Costume!
Posted by happy renter on May 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM · Report this
20
As someone under 30, age is not an excuse for ignorance or for racism.
Posted by ishf on May 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM · Report this
21
@15 Now, he's lied about the nose, thereby suggesting he actually knew about the packaging. What a fucking idiot. So dense he doesn't know when to head straight to his label's PR firm. Shit, it's not like it would break the bank for him to consult someone who wasn't as stupid and ignorant as he is. I myself don't have that kind of money, but if I did, I would use it to help get myself out of the trouble I get myself into.
Posted by cracked on May 19, 2014 at 7:38 PM · Report this
22
Wow, this is the closest thing to actual research on a subject that I've ever seen from anybody at the Slog. Good job, Anna. You're almost a reporter now!
Posted by treehugger on May 19, 2014 at 7:43 PM · Report this
23
Oh god why does anyone care?
Posted by Martin David on May 19, 2014 at 7:47 PM · Report this
24
Get. The. Fuck. Over. It.

Perhaps SLOG and Gawker have a lot more in common than they would like to admit.
Posted by stuffandthings on May 19, 2014 at 7:47 PM · Report this
25
Thing is, this issue is getting circa 30 comments a post.

Showgirls, etc are getting bang for their advertising buck!
Posted by Foonken2 on May 19, 2014 at 7:53 PM · Report this
26
I don't even like him but I will defend him: get the fuck over it you fucking pussies. The stranger shits on region every chance it gets.(as do I) but when it's a Jew or a Muslim, we've all gotta watch our tongues. Fuck you people.
Posted by Barfshit on May 19, 2014 at 8:06 PM · Report this
27
Come on Anna Minard. Respond to that.
Posted by Barfshit on May 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM · Report this
zachd 28
@21... uh that presumes he ever looked at the packaging at all, versus what it sounds like which is that his prop team picked up some stuff, presumably unpacked it to make sure it wasn't defective, and gave him some stuff to run with.

This Benghazi-level reporting is pretty low. Seems like the Stranger HUAC team could ask the guy some pretty straight-forward questions and either move on or persecute.
Posted by zachd http://zachd.com on May 19, 2014 at 8:18 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 29

Okay, it was a bit of an offensive costume, I admit. But a question: would the Stranger staff at least have been okay if it was a Jew doing this?

Seattle is the only place I know that doesn't adhere to the old "it's okay to poke fun at your own kind" rule. I make jibes about being half black all the time (where's my forty acres and a mule!...ah, I mean, 20 acres and a goat cause I'm only half) and uptight Seattle pricks act like I just murdered a prostitute or something.

At least be bigger than most Seattle idiots and admit that people have a right to poke fun at their own kind...otherwise this is the most racist thing in history:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE…
Posted by collectivism_sucks on May 19, 2014 at 8:22 PM · Report this
30
My goodness, antisemitism in the Hip-Hop community? I never would have expected such villainy. Next you'll tell me there's sexism, too! Or celebrations of violent behavior!

Now that this awful thing has been pointed out, though, I'm sure the hatefulness will be eradicated in short order, and Hip-Hop will return to its core ideals of of diversity, tolerance, and pacifism.
Posted by robotslave on May 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM · Report this
31
Where was the outrage when Humpty Hump wore the same nose in the Humpty Dance?!?!
Posted by happy renter on May 19, 2014 at 8:40 PM · Report this
32
So I take it the office threw an intervention with Kelly-O with the same gusto eh? Cue pulling of comment for "trolling" in 3.2.1...
Posted by j2patter on May 19, 2014 at 8:41 PM · Report this
McBomber 33
Next you should dig through his garbage in search of the incriminating packaging!
Posted by McBomber on May 19, 2014 at 8:48 PM · Report this
34 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
35
Oh hey, Macklemore apologized! Only took 1 day....We're still waiting Kelly-o (seriously Stranger if you want any credibility on calling out this type of thing you need to address one of your own staff being 1/2 of a blackface costume, especially when that staff member calls out other people for the same thing she does).

http://macklemore.com/
Posted by j2patter on May 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM · Report this
36
i don't see jew nose written anywhere on the packaging but i do see a row of fictional characters facial features being sold
Posted by bittie on May 19, 2014 at 9:06 PM · Report this
37
@15 You can play Fagin without being anti-Semitic. My High School put on Oliver one year. Fagin was played by a talented actor (by High School standards) who was Asian. I don't think he was cast based on race. He was an upperclassmen and a relatively good actor and tended to get good parts in the play. He was not put in Jew face. The character Fagin is pretty clearly evil, but he doesn't have to be portrayed as an evil Jew for the play to work. In fact, making him Jewish is really irrelevant as far as I can tell. So, all you need to do for actors to play the role and not be engaging in acts of bigotry is not push the character into any particular race. Just cast it for whatever race the most qualified actor is. And even if it is played by a Jewish man, you don't need to give him an exaggerated nose. But yes, a performance of the play that makes one of the characters a racial caricature is promoting bigotry.
Posted by uncreative on May 19, 2014 at 9:12 PM · Report this
NaFun 38
I thought we were against the Internet outrage machine? People are working so hard to twist their panties up over this.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on May 19, 2014 at 9:13 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 39
Clearly, Macklemore should be brought before the Stranger editorial board to answer important questions about what he knew about the fake nose, and when he knew it. #Mackghazi
Posted by Gern Blanston on May 19, 2014 at 9:20 PM · Report this
yelahneb 40
From Macklemore.com:

"Family, friends and fans alike who know me well, know that I’m absolutely not the person described in certain headlines today. There is no worse feeling than being misunderstood, especially when people are hurt or offended.

On Friday night we had a surprise show at the EMP Museum in Seattle. Earlier in the day I thought it would be fun to dress up in a disguise and go incognito to the event, so that I could walk around unnoticed and surprise the crowd with a short performance. I picked up a bunch of fake mustaches and beards and grabbed a left over wig from our recent trip to Japan.

As it turns out the fake noses they sell at the costume store are usually big (my nose didn’t fit most of them). So I ended up with a big witch nose. I went with a black beard, because that’s the furthest color from my natural hair. Disguise was the intention. I personally thought I looked very ambiguous in terms of any “type” of person. Some people there thought I looked like Ringo, some Abe Lincoln. If anything I thought I looked like Humpty Hump with a bowl cut.

We showed up to the event, I hit the stage in the outfit, rocked two songs, took pictures and went home. We had a great time and it was fun to be a surprise guest in a costume. I’ve always loved dressing up and have been doing so my entire career. The character I dressed up as on Friday had no intended cultural identity or background. I wasn’t attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A “Jewish stereotype” never crossed my mind.

My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. I’m saddened that this story, or any of my choices, would lead to any form of negativity.

I will let my body of work and the causes for which I’ve supported speak for themselves. I hope that anyone who may question my intent take a few moments to discover the human and artist that I strive to be. I respect all cultures and all people. I would never intentionally put down anybody for the fabric that makes them who they are. I love human beings, love originality, and… happen to love a weird outfit from time to time.

I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended. I hope this better explains the situation and my point of view.

With love,

Ben

PS - Out of a negative can come a positive. Through this situation I’ve got hip to some incredible groups like the ADL and I encourage people to check the great work they, and others like them, do: http://www.adl.org"
More...
Posted by yelahneb http://www.strangebutharmless.com on May 19, 2014 at 9:23 PM · Report this
41
@37 ascribing a big nose as being "jew face" makes it look like you believe in the nazi ideation of determining jewish-ness by looks alone, ya fuckin nazi.

and that goes for the rest of you nazis that think a big nose is somehow indicative of being jewish. oh if life were so simple, bald people are monks, tatoo'd people are in biker gangs, and the big nosed are jewish, cause the nazis made propaganda that said so, and there are a bunch of simpletons that see a big nose and automatically think jew, and claim to be fighting the stereotype by continuing to use it
Posted by boric on May 19, 2014 at 9:29 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 42
Why does Macklemore continue to assert he wore a "witch" nose, and why does he so callously slur the Wiccan community? We want answers! #Mackghazi
Posted by Gern Blanston on May 19, 2014 at 9:30 PM · Report this
Fnarf 43
@40, yes, we read it already. It's bullshit. The whole point of this post is that it's a bullshit excuse, because that is not a witch's nose. Macklemore is lying.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM · Report this
44
@40

Oh, it's so nice to know that Macklemore has now heard of the laudable but ever-so-obscure Anti-Defamation League!

And he's sorry if you were offended, too! What a stand-up guy!
Posted by robotslave on May 19, 2014 at 9:33 PM · Report this
delirian 45
@40: Good grief. It wasn't sensationalized, it was just reported on. People were asking "why the fuck are you wearing a Fagin nose and a black beard that represent extremely negative stereotypes of Jews?" And then he 'apologizes' by saying that it is the readers responsibility to understand the person he really is?

It is true, this is completely our fault. We all hurt Macklemore today by pointing this out. If there is anyone truly at fault, it is the people who noticed the similarities. They were just too damn lazy to discover the human and artist he strives to be.
Posted by delirian on May 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM · Report this
46
To me, this is no more offensive than drag queens (or straight men, for that matter) imitating women. I mean, talk about your privileged groups exaggerating the stereotypical tropes associated with a less privileged group, right?

But I'm old enough to remember when Macklemore would have been considered an evil "cultural appropriator" simply for dressing like a hip hop dude. Who knows when that became totally acceptable?
Posted by virginia mason on May 19, 2014 at 9:44 PM · Report this
47
Hrm, I guess when he bought his Sheik nose he forgot to buy a headdress and just threw on a wig.

This controversy is all sorts of absurd.

Close up of the nose. http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/show…
Posted by ChefJoe on May 19, 2014 at 9:51 PM · Report this
JonnoN 48
FTR, I'm 30-ish and am gobsmacked by the number of people not seeing how this is offensive.
Posted by JonnoN http://www.backnine.org/ on May 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM · Report this
49
@41 You have reading comprehension problems. Blackface doesn't actually look like a real Black person. It looks like a caricature of a Black person. Similarly, Jew-face would be a caricature of a Jew. And I was responding to someone who thought actors would need a big false nose in order to play Fagin in a play. I was pointing out that they don't. Because you don't need to play Fagin as an offensive Jewish stereotype. You don't even need Fagin to be Jewish for the storyline to work. He's just an evil criminal who uses children and teaches them to steal. There's nothing about that character that should be Jewish except that greed and child abduction are both accusations often thrown at Jews by bigots.

I haven't read the book, and I would not be surprised if Fagin is explicitly Jewish in it. After all, this sort of blatant antisemitism would likely not have been called out at the time it was written. But if it is, that just means it's offensive. There's lot of horrible bigotry in older works. It doesn't make it okay to just blithely continue it, especially when it's totally unnecessary.
Posted by uncreative on May 19, 2014 at 10:53 PM · Report this
50
@41 Also, you're wrong to think we're just talking about the nose. It's the nose in the context of the rest of the costume. Combined, it is a fairly good approximation of the classic Jewish caricature that is used when people want to insult and attack Jews. It is very close to what was used to incite the murder of millions of Jews, so yeah, it's a bad idea to go there. It wasn't that long ago that people were being murdered while these images were displayed. Some of the survivors are still alive today. Some of the people who got information about lost family members are still alive today. And it's extremely offensive the way people shrug this off as no big deal.
Posted by uncreative on May 19, 2014 at 10:56 PM · Report this
51
@49 and @50 Don't usually read unregistered comments, but I appreciate yours here.

BTW, yes, Fagin was explicitly Jewish.
Posted by cracked on May 19, 2014 at 11:10 PM · Report this
52
Does anyone know why it is that we native Seattleites say Costume and Display when the store is actually called "Display and Costume"? This is one of those weird little peculiarities, like the fact that The Ave isn't an avenue.
Posted by SM9 on May 20, 2014 at 1:13 AM · Report this
53
@50,49 there's something wrong with your thinking. the holocaust: extremely offensive, especially when people write it off as no big deal.

macklemores costume situation: no big deal, and it's offensive how people equate A COSTUME worn by an entertainment performer, a performer that is more open minded than most in his specific genre, with something that was one of the most horrific acts of the 20th century.

but i can see why you would be so upset about a world war that ended last week. you should go live in afghanistan, i'm sure you'd find plenty of things to get offended over.

and again you're being a nazi by equating the nazi ideation of what a jewish person should look like. fagin is a fictional character that was made to be jewish, who happened to have a big nose, in a book written in the 1800's, no shit the character doesn't need to be jewish to be portrayed as an evil criminal character in a work of fiction. you think i don't get the point of your rant, you aren't even trying to comprehend mine. but go ahead and keep harking back to imagery stereotypes that no sane person would ever believe in.

get over yourself
Posted by boric on May 20, 2014 at 6:04 AM · Report this
Leishalynn 54
I agree @51, I never read unregistered comments (didn't know I could!). It doesn't look like Al Pacino put on a big nose to play Shylock, although people used to. The caricature is the problem but why would Macklemore have willfully donned it any more than he'd wear blackface? What could he gain from it? Did people recognize the caricature, laugh at it, find it amusing, or was it part of the act? I think he's just ignorant, because what could he gain from an anti-Semitic joke followed by playing ignorant? It's a lose-lose.
Posted by Leishalynn on May 20, 2014 at 7:40 AM · Report this
55
@53 Yup. Like I said. This is the post-Kristallnacht generation. They don't want to have to apologize anymore. Like they say, WE are being Nazis by bringing it up. It's our fault for hurting Macklemore's feelings by bringing it up.

@54 You'll regret it if you start reading the unregistered comments. I'm going back to ignoring them again until I forget.
Posted by cracked on May 20, 2014 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Leishalynn 56
@55 No kidding, I figured that out when I looked @53.
Posted by Leishalynn on May 20, 2014 at 7:47 AM · Report this
57
@55, 56 you are not sane people. you still believe in a stereotypical image created by unsane people. how offensive!
Posted by boric on May 20, 2014 at 7:59 AM · Report this
58 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
59
Conclusion about many Stranger commenters:
Poorly educated.
Posted by Not my real name or yours on May 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM · Report this
60
Oh give it up people. Quit looking for the bad in everything. I highly doubt that was intent. Even if it was his Intent, is it really that big of a deal?

People need to quit being such complainers and live there life. If it offended you dont listen to him anymore. is it that hard?

I hate everyone equally.
Posted by Bradhamilton on May 20, 2014 at 9:12 AM · Report this
COMTE 61
@21:

On what basis do you conclude he "lied" about the nose? According to the people interviewed at D&CS, nobody recalls actually selling the costume pieces to Macklemore himself. And although he apparently said, "I went to Costume Display", I don't find it out of the realm of probability that the more accurate description may have been, "I sent some of my people to Display & Costume Supply" (such conflation of self with one's entourage not being exactly an unusual perceptual phenomenon among celebrities). As such, it doesn't strike me as any more reasonable to immediately discount the possibility that he sent someone to buy some random disguise-makings, and that person, for whatever reason, grabbed the Fagin Nose instead of, say, the Witch Set, and presented all to their boss already removed from the blister pack, because, that's what you hire minions to do. Maybe that's what happened, maybe not. I wasn't there, I don't know. It's not my place to defend him, but at the same time I can certainly understand how such a very plausible situation may have occurred. Under the circumstances, and in the absence of a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, I'm willing - for now at least - to give him the benefit of the doubt.

And it should be noted that in the interim he has apologized (although personally, I find it, as I do most offered by public figures these days, rather weak, albeit sincere), he clearly understands now that what he did, regardless of his intent, was offensive to many people, and he seems contrite and willing to make amends. So, I don't really see, aside from pure, culture-of-outrage spleen-venting, what useful purpose is served by continued excoriation. People make mistakes, they do dumb things that in hindsight they probably wouldn't have done, had they thought through the potential ramifications. No one can claim a spotless record in this regard.
More...
Posted by COMTE on May 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM · Report this
Cascadian 62
This "I don't see race or racism, and people who do are the real racists" reaction coming from white people on this issue is deeply embarrassing (I say as a white person myself). Age is no excuse. Racist caricatures are real and have an effect even if you're ignorant of them, and even if you don't personally see what the deal is. The correct reaction isn't to plead ignorance and talk about what an enlightened person you are and how you meant well. It's to lead with an apology, acknowledge your ignorance, admit that you made a mistake, and determine not to do it again. And make amends if you can.

It's not about you, as the clueless racist. You are part of a society with a long history of racism and deep divisions on race that continue to the present day. Get over it, grow up, take responsibility for your actions, and stop making excuses. That's basic respect and human decency.
Posted by Cascadian on May 20, 2014 at 9:26 AM · Report this
63
More idiocy from Anna Minard.

First her editorializing and being a spokesperson for $15/hr., and now this INCREDIBLY investigative journalism!

WOW!

Seriously. Go get a $15/hr. job. You suck at this one.
Posted by I'm Cool on May 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Leishalynn 64
Well said, @62.
Posted by Leishalynn on May 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM · Report this
65
@62 exactly. and the US jewish community is the perfect racial group to be used because they have been treated worse than blacks, segregated against, enslaved and treated like commodities, and asians which were, used as cheap slave labor in western expansion, and held in internment camps in the US while war waged in europe and the south pacific. totally proportional and acceptable comparisons
Posted by sker on May 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM · Report this
66
What, so he's not dressed as a sheik? Because that's the first word I see on the nose package. Good thing he didn't wear a turban with that; the Islamic community would have been outraged.
Posted by SaraJ on May 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM · Report this
67
One of Dear Leader's most successful pogroms has been his antisemitic attacks on bankers and investment companies so maybe Macklemore was just following Dear Leader's example.
Posted by jerry2286 on May 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
68
notice how thats the literally the only nose that looks remotely human
Posted by dn1234 on May 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 69
"I bought the nose thinking it was making Arabs, so clearly I'm not racist."

Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on May 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 70
@26- People who are too stupid to tell the difference between shitting on religious and bigotry against ethnic/religious communities should just shut the fuck up.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on May 20, 2014 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 71
What's most amazing about this is, if you take Mack at his word, he thought that was a witch's nose. I find that much harder to believe than that he might have been (and might still be) woefully ignorant of historical and current racism and racist propoganda. Apparently, his childhood was not just deprived of education but also of Halloween.

Also, his apology was so standard and front loaded with self-aggrandizement as to seem both wishy-washy and corporate, despite the overwhelming sincerity inherent in everything he does (except wearing an obviously racist costume in a questionable context).

Taking his approach and mixing in a lie about the nose casts a much more negative image for me than the costume alone would have.
Posted by Post_Mortem http://pointlessman.blogspot.com/ on May 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM · Report this
72 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
JF 73
@55 I'm very aware of the history of the stereotype. That doesn't mean I have to think what Mack did fits it.
Posted by JF on May 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Banned on The Seattle Times 74
Any asshole who would even tie a costume of anything into someone's persona so negatively, especially when it is so far from the real Ben - should have their head examined...or have pies thrown at them or something...
Posted by Banned on The Seattle Times on May 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 75
@63

Is this part of your restaurant's brand? "Come enjoy dinner served by an angry internet troll!"
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on May 20, 2014 at 3:29 PM · Report this
76
Are there Jewish people in Seattle even? Like real practicing ones that someone growing up like he did would ever run into? I get it, if you grew up in NYC or LA you probably actually ran into Jewish people and have some reasonable sensitivity but for a guy growing up as white trash in white bread Seattle it is entirely plausible that this is just a funny looking outfit without any association. The SLOG would have no problem defending someone who wanted to dress up as drunk-Jesus, but put on a bit nose and a wig and you're suddenly an accomplice to Hitler. The hypocrisy is what makes this entertaining, not anything MacLemore did.
Posted by hypocricy on May 20, 2014 at 10:07 PM · Report this
77
It looks like the witch nose and the sheik/fagan nose are the same mold, just photographed at different angles to be sold to both women and men.
Posted by bdb on May 20, 2014 at 11:29 PM · Report this
78
You're right, it's not a witch nose. The Witch one is the EXACT SAME MOLD but with a wart on it, making it magically less anti-semitic to wear. I'm sure when they shit these out of a factory in China, they take slightly more satisfaction in stamping latex with a mold WITHOUT a wart, because then they know they are really sticking it to the secret Jewish cabal that runs the world's banking system from their underground lair.

If everyone has either lapsed into a coma or OD'd on righteous indignation at this point, can we all go back to caring about non-manufactured problems?
Posted by nullbull on May 20, 2014 at 11:39 PM · Report this
79
He is an anti-bullying advocate, yet he is a visual bully to those who remember such stereotypes as methods of pushing around us Hebrews.
Posted by SteveShay on May 21, 2014 at 6:41 AM · Report this
80
He made like 10 million last year. A stylist shouldn't cost more than 15 bucks an hour in this grease ball scene of style and pretentiousness.

What a tool. Always apologizing to hide from a pseudo controversy HE CREATES. I mean dude. Didn't you look in the mirror?

Did it not occur that it would go worldwide?

Might be the king of magnolia but not the globe

Humble pie for haggerty
Posted by I shut the 206 proof down on May 21, 2014 at 7:06 AM · Report this
81
So then it's settled: Macklemore maybe, possibly, allegedly purchased a seemingly racist nose.
Posted by Andrea Woo on May 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM · Report this
82
@18 - It might be a generational thing. I am under 35 and I would have never thought "jewish" for that costume or the nose. I was not intimately familiar with the actual images used in Nazi propaganda (although I knew it existed and how it was used). They are honestly so over the top (especially the noses) that i'm not sure I would recognice that they were supposed to be Jewish characatures with out some type of context. The nose Macklemore was wearing looked sort of like the noses in the Nazi propaganda (although there was nothing Jewish about the Beatles mop top or beard that he was wearing), but it is so over the top I never would have thought it was supposed to be related to an actual group of people, it looks totally fictional, like a witch or something.
Posted by brent.b on May 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
mAlissa 83
Good grief. Does the stranger staff have nothing better to do than go around harassing Costume Display employees about whether or not Macklemore bought something from their shop? This is almost worse than that time Mudede wrote about loitering around downtown Target for 24 hours.

I mean, uhh.. Keep up that GRADE A investigative journalism.
Posted by mAlissa on May 21, 2014 at 3:46 PM · Report this
84
Why does everyone assume that Macklemore has 1) ever opened a history book 2) thought about Jews one way or the other or 3) a clue about issues like these? Utter ignorance seems a fine excuse. I could see a 30 year old self-absorbed hip hop star, surrounded by sycophants, being oblivious to the connotations of a mask with a big nose. As brent.b says, people who didn't grow up with WWII under their skin as the boomers did might not pick up the signals.

Apparently we have more outrage than we have good outlets for it. Give this one a rest.
Posted by Quiet Desperation on May 22, 2014 at 10:13 AM · Report this
85
When I first saw the picture of Macklemore jumping around in this costume, I didn't immediately think, "He's making fun of Jews!". I actually thought he was making fun of beardo indie rockers.
Posted by Donner Party of Four on May 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM · Report this

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