The Snapchat “yellowface” filter that was recently removed (Source: Tequilafunrise/Getty)

Snapchat Filters: Religion, Politics…and Racism.

Tackling the subject that a lot of us don’t really like to discuss, but we don’t have a choice anymore.

Chanelle Henry
3 min readAug 15, 2016


Today I got a message from a friend to check out an article from katie zhu about what was the new issue regarding Snapchat filters and a call to ban the application because of some filters just going “too far”.

I usually tend to stay away from or talking about religion, politics, race, sexuality…basically anything that could offend, but it seems like we’re past that, it’s now time to talk about it.

My recent information diet has been instilled in my life to try not to get distracted because I’ve been in a weird place in my life, where I’m trying to figure out what my voice is after a set of low level tragedies that have been going on in my life, plus Tim Ferriss wrote about how with information diet, you usually end up finding out the important news anyway from close friends, so in a way they do the work for you.

My response was reminiscent of when I went to art school several years ago in Atlanta, and we were having a party right before panels (exams) and they decided to tell “jokes” to get the night started at a local dive bar. One of the jokes stood out:

“What comes out of a black woman’s breast instead of breast milk? Kool-Aid!”

The black people (about 15 of us) chuckled, but then stopped, and some did a little more, and everyone (besides the black people) thought it was a hoot and thought it was okay because there was a black writer on the team. These same group of people thought it was okay to say “nigga” singing along with Jay Z and are now working at top marketing agencies today.

I won’t even talk about what was written in my marketing book that was copyrighted in 2003 about how to market for black people based on their profile that they will never own anything, and because of this will need to show their status based on what they buy and alcohol and drugs. (another article I’ll try to write about I’m sure)

My thoughts are very liberal but also very culturally sensitive considering that I’m a black queer woman, that grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, was told that I “talked white” growing up in a Jewish neighborhood, and every industry I’ve ever been in, was 95% white male.

I’m usually one NOT to get involved in this because I’m already upset about so much other stuff (mental health advocacy, redistribution of wealth, educational unfairness, the detriment of society based on the lack of communication because of technology–just to name a few), but race has always been something that I seem to have to answer to in my field because when it came up, I would be the spokesperson for all within whatever group I was supposed to be representing. It’s tiring. I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere to tell you the truth, so I usually answer nonchalantly which then causes further ignorance, and scoffing from the community that claims me “on that day”.

I had to find out what Black Twitter was from my mentor who wasn’t a POC (thanks to California, I refer to anyone who I don’t know is not Caucasian as a non-POC).

Will I delete the app? Probably, because it’s really just a waste of time to me anyway. I’m tired of apps that don’t cause me to feel good after I close them, so Facebook has been deleted, along with some other apps that are just distractions. But deleting is just the beginning of the solution.

We must educate. Don’t segregate. And create change.

That’s all I got.