Regardless of whether you’re celebrating 4/20 today, chances are that you’ve received at least one Snapchat from a friend using the new Bob Marley 4/20 filter. Now, I personally tend to err on the side of “You guys are being a bunch of fucking pussies” when it comes to people complaining about cultural appropriation, HAES, and other shit Tumblr cooked up one wild Saturday night that they spent in their parents’ basement. I get it, I understand it, but in 10 years no one is going to give a shit after the fad of being overly PC is over.
With that said, blackface is a different matter. That’s 100% racist, something that no one should do unless, of course, you are a racist who would like to openly identify as such. Yet somehow, SOMEHOW, the folks over at Snapchat didn’t think to themselves “Hm, you know what, maybe making a Bob Marley filter is a bad idea.” Granted, I understand that it wasn’t meant to be racist, but when you have a bunch of white people using a filter that meshes them with a black dude, you are basically creating the digital equivalent of black face:
Understandably, reactions have been a mix of “Wtf this is racist,” “Is this racist? Idk, but LOL LOOK I’M BOB MARLEY” and “What’s so special about April 20th?”
As for Snapchat’s response to the controversy, a spokesman issued the following statement:
“The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, and gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music. Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements.”
I mean, if his foundation okay’d it then whatever – to me, that should cancel out all the complaints about how Marley was more than just a dude who smoked a lot of weed. But as for the blackface complaints? Nah…it’s still totally racist.