A surprising new poll from Huffington Post/YouGov, in the wake of several blackface Halloween controversies, has found that at least 4 in 10 Americans see no problem with darkening your skin for a costume.
Despite widespread criticism directed at actress Julianne Hough and others, “43 percent of Americans think it’s acceptable for a white person to wear blackface in order to appear as a black person on Halloween, while only 37 percent think it’s unacceptable.”
Their poll also found a slim majority approving of dressing as an “ethic stereotype.”
There was a clear racial divide in the results. Whites were roughly split down the middle about whether blackface is appropriate for Halloween. Forty-six percent of whites said it was OK, while 43 percent said it isn’t.
African-Americans, by a 68 to 21 percent margin, disapprove of blackface in Halloween costume and even larger majority, 78 percent, think it’s wrong to portray an ethnic stereotype.
Opinions of blackface were also divided along political lines.
“By a 59 percent to 27 percent margin, most Republicans said that they thought wearing blackface is acceptable, while by a 53 percent to 30 percent margin, most Democrats said it is unacceptable. A 43 percent to 33 percent plurality of independents said they believed wearing blackface on Halloween is acceptable,” reports Huffington Post.
Still, in what may be viewed as a glimmer of hope for opponents of blackface, the poll shows that younger people are far more uncomfortable with it than their elders. Forty-one to 31 percent of Americans under 30 think wearing blackface is wrong.