mes, while also reinforcing a fundame…wise liberal politicians in blackface are a reminder that the tradition is still very much with us. It has long been acceptable for white culture to have it both ways: to “overthrow” the social order by embracing carnivalesque costumes, while also reinforcing a fundamental racial hierarchy.
By looking at this through a racial lens, you miss nearly all of the symbolic significance of the archetypal fool. The purpose of the court fool, throughout much of history, was to tell truth to power, and to remind the king of his humanity. Since the fool was beneath contempt, he was the only person in court who could critique the entire system freely. This role was essential.
In modern times, we have political commentators that have attempted to replace this vital role, but you’ll notice that these individuals do not sit in Parliament or the White House. They are well outside the protected enclave, launching their attacks from a safe distance, far from the king’s ear, so to speak.
If you want to reduce this to a racial issue, you’re welcome to. Stoking precognitive outrage will definitely get you more views. But it is historically myopic and hopelessly middlebrow.