Op-Ed: In light of “brownface” scandal should we be more tolerant of our past?

The 24 hour news cycle is always hungry for more and so it discovered and caught its “brownface” prey and devoured every angle of the story, packaged it and served it to each political ideology. 

Community Contributor Asks: Why can't we be more tolerant of our errors of the past as we see them in a new light? 

Lucille Frith writes:

In high school, I participated in The Mikado - Gilbert and Sullivan - on stage in darker toned face makeup including slanted eyes. 

I wore an Aunt Jemima costume on Halloween.

I went to adult costume parties in colorful

costumes from the Nile Valley and my husband darkened his face for the event.

My children watched an old 8mm reel of Little Black Sambo - still have it and expect it is now a banned item - my father bought it after WW2.

All this happened between 1965 and 1985.

My children were lucky to attend a very multi cultural school in Mississauga where they grew up in a totally different environment from mine as a child. 

I have had to learn about others - races and religions - over the years and my understanding and concern for everyone's welfare has changed as I matured.

I didn't think of my early behavior as racist - that was how it was at the time. But times are changing and I am as well. 

That's growth.

Why can't we be more tolerant of our errors of the past as we see them in a new light? 

As long as we continue to improve the way we relate to others around the world, aren't we better people?

The media needs to give their heads a shake and stop responding to the politicians without asking everyone about their past. 

Lucille Frith is an opinion contributor to Muskoka Post. She is a long time Huntsville community volunteer and activist.

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