ONTD Political

2nd-grader Sean King gets in trouble for dressing in blackface as tribute to Martin Luther King Jr

11:27 am - 05/20/2012
Controversy erupted at a Colorado elementary school after a student arrived in blackface as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. costume for a class project.

Second-grader Sean King was asked to remove the makeup by officials at Meridian Ranch Elementary chool in Colorado Springs Wednesday, reported KRDO-TV.


Each student in the class had been assigned a historical figure to dress up as for “wax museum day” at the school, the station reported.

Sean's mother, Michelle King-Roca, told Denver’s 7News her son was really excited about the project.

"He said, 'Mom, I want to wear a black suit because that's what he wore, a black tie, a white shirt, and also I want to do my face black and wear a mustache,'" said King-Roca.

After complaints from a faculty member that took issue with the blackface, the principal asked Sean to remove the face paint or leave the school.

Sean’s parents, who had come to school that day to watch the presentations, decided to take him home.

A spokeswoman for the principal told KRDO that some students, as well as the faculty member who initially complained, felt the costume was offensive. It's the principal's job to make sure the school is a safe environment for students, she said.

Face paint violates the school's dress code policy, she said.

Sean said he never meant to cause offense. "They thought it was inappropriate and it will be disrespectful to black people and I say it's not. I like black people. It's just a costume and I don't want to insult anybody," he said, reported KRDO.

Members of the community have taken to the school's Facebook page to voice their opinion.

“It seems school districts today are just a bit overzealous when it comes to racial correctness. If this young man wasn't disrespecting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or his audience then why would you do something like this?" wrote Bill Stevens Wednesday. "This is what causes racial division in our country today."

Local NAACP president Rosemary Harris Lytle came out in support of school officials' decision to ask Sean to take off the makeup.

"Having blackface as a part of his presentation, it ended up harkening back to a really tragic time in the life of this country a time when blackface was used ... to demean African-Americans in a way that I know that this young man could not have intended to do," Lytle said.


Source has a picture.

Mods, I have no idea how to tag this. Suggestions/tags welcome.
thelastpen 20th-May-2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
I'm just gonna quote you some:

"And seeing as how no one set down clear rules, I don't blame the parents."

"I would let my kid do this."

"I don't see why it's so offensive."

Being socially awkward doesn't give you a get out of jail free card. I'm socially awkward. It doesn't matter if you don't care about stuff. If you don't care, stay out of the argument. When you deliberately include yourself, you are stating that you do care because you have decided to participate.
theplanfailed 20th-May-2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
No, no. I'm sorry.
My key board sucks and I didn't catch that typo. What I meant to say is that I WOULD NEVER let my kids put black face paint on.
It's not the thing to do. I didn't catch that before I posted. So, no. If my kid wanted to dress as another race. I'd let them, but I would not let them put on face paint for any reason. Not even Indian War face paint.

I meant socially awkward in the fact that I always say things wrong and people get mad at me. I do own what i said. And I was wrong for it.
I can't ever explain myself right.
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