This past weekend in honour of Black History Month (UK), Prime Minister David Cameron posed with blacked up Morris dancers at the Banbury Folk Festival in Oxfordshire.
Via The Telegraph
Martin de Vine, founder and Squire of the Foxs Morris dancers, said: “David Cameron was having a coffee and we saw him and just asked if he would have a picture taken.
“We dance in the style of Border Morris, and we black our faces because farm labourers who were out of work in the winter months would go around begging, performing a dance in return for money.
“They blacked their faces with soot because it was illegal to beg and they didn’t want to be recognised. It was a disguise, in the same way that the leader of the troupe wears a top hat and is called the squire to take the mickey out of the local squire.
“It’s not racist and offence is never taken. People from other cultural backgrounds don’t see it as that at all. We have had an Arab person dancing with us in the past – it’s not seen as racist.”
However, debate has raged for decades about the origin of the blacked-up faces, with some historians suggesting the “disguise” explanation is a myth that hides the true origin.
The term “Morris” is said to be derived from “moorish”, after the Moors of Morocco, and in the early 20th century border morris dancing was often referred to as “n***** dancing”.
Some social historians also believe Morris dancing to be a parody of African tribal dances.
Oh dear… Oh dear David.
Downing Street statement/apology coming in 5..4..3..2…
Categories: UK News