Did you read my post “Why I don’t do Halloween?” Did you think to yourself, “Oh Kenyon! You’re always making things about race. Damn, we can’t even enjoy Halloween without you messing it up?”
Well, a top immigration official, Julie Myers, the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was one of three judges at a Halloween costume party where she awarded “Most Original Costume” to a Department of Homeland Security white employee wearing prison stripes, a dreadlock wig, and dark makeup. (You my remember that Myers has been confirmed to become the head of ICE, but the 36 yr-old’s credentials cam under fire from Congress (even Republicans) when she was named the administrations top choice.) But The AP reports:
Myers apologized to employees last Friday in an e-mail, saying some costumes were found to be offensive. On Friday, she called the National Association of African Americans in DHS to inform the group of what had happened, according to a letter sent to association members by the group’s vice president, Sjon Shavers.
“I and the senior management at ICE deeply regret that this happened,” Myers said in her e-mail, which Homeland Security’s public affairs office provided to The Associated Press. “As the head of the agency, I have the responsibility to ensure every employee is a valued member of the ICE team.”
Kelly Nantel, a DHS spokeperson said that the man was not wearing blackface, but makeup darker than his skin.
Really Ms Kelly (and I don’t mean Rowland)?? How is that NOT blackface? Do you need to make it charcoal black now in order for it to be blackface? Was it not racist because the “N” word was not used? This is where we are with racism in America. It’s not racist unless the “N” word is used, or there is a noose hanging somewhere. Anything else you can pretty much spin your way out of.
I am sure you’ve seen this type of thing at Halloween or at Mardi Gras, or even any given Friday at a fraternity near you.