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Boy Pays Tribute to MLK in Blackface – Gets Kicked Out of School – Is It Offensive? [POLL]

Youtube KRDO
Youtube KRDO

Perhaps it’s naivete on the part of parents, dressing up their son in costume to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by applying black makeup to his face to complete the look.

After all, there was a time when the image of the blackfaced minstrel was thought of as a pejorative. I’m sure many African Americans still view it as such.

However, according to this story,

A second-grader booted from the classroom for dressing in blackface as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. costume is calling for the school to apologize.

Sean King and his family say officials at Meridian Ranch Elementary School near Colorado Springs, Colo., were out of line when they reprimanded him last Wednesday for the controversial getup.

The 8-year-old dressed up as King for a school project, in which students were assigned a historical figure to depict on “wax museum day,” according to station KRDO.

Sean wore a black suit, white shirt and tie, but it was his black face paint that sparked controversy.

The principal asked Sean to remove the paint or leave school.

Sean’s parents, who were at the school to watch the students’ presentations, decided to take him home.

Anthony Roca, Sean’s father, said a meeting with the school district’s superintendent was absurd.

“The superintendent said that the words that MLK said were the most important. We didn’t need face paint,” Roca told KRDO. “I said, ‘Okay, if we don’t need the face paint, then why do we have to dress up in costumes for the school project?’”

Sean has said he never meant to offend anyone with the costume, and told the station his family still deserves an apology.

The district has not issued a public comment about Sean’s request (to be moved to another school), but told KRDO that it is considering implementing special classes to teach students and parents about racial stereotypes.

My take: the kid, nor the parents from what I can gather, meant no malice. The school should apologize to the kid, and leave well-enough alone.

After all, they did assign a historical figure to depict on “wax museum day”, and how better to depict the wax figure of MLK than in black face.

You might disagree.

Hence the Posse Poll:


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