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Meltdown On Facebook Over Whether Or Not It Was Racist For Two Men To Wear Blackface

One Indigenous Australian rapper is now identifying and exposing Facebook commenters who don't think blackface is racist.

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On Sunday, Facebook user Sis Austin posted a photo of two former friends she went to high school with. The two men in the photo are painted completely black while attending an "Aussie Icon"-themed party reportedly in Ballarat, Australia.

Sis Austin / Facebook

The two men painted their entire bodies like Aboriginal men in ceremonial body paint and wore traditional lap laps.

"I confronted the individual who casually uploaded this photo after an 'Aussie Icon'-themed party last night," Austin wrote. "The individual and a group of this person's friends all stood up and argued that this is not racism."

"We must not be blinded to the racism in this country, and remember, observers are equally as disgusting as the offenders themselves," she wrote. After her initial post started getting attention, Austin posted more photos of the men in blackface.


That's when commenters started to attack Briggs. "My thing was like, people never know about how many times i've taken the high road. i just block and delete and move on," Briggs told BuzzFeed News. But this time he decided to do something about it.


"The reason I named-and-shamed one dude was because he had said he was a social worker for at risk youth," Briggs said. "I have a bit of a background in that because that was one of my past jobs."

Briggs wasn't the only Indigenous Australian musician to react viscerally to the blackface photos. Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Thelma Plum posted the photo to her Instagram.


Plum shared a photo a few hours later captioned, "me dismissing the haters."

Instagram: @thelmaplum

There appears to be others who put on blackface Sunday evening and shared photos of themselves to support the two men from Sis Austin's original post. But after backlash on Instagram and Twitter, the account was deleted.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the men in the original photo, as well as Sis Austin, for comment.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at

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