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.
stevie_jane 21st-May-2012 02:00 am (UTC)
You are not better than the people here. Stop pretending you are. You are a racist. If you are sad about being a racist and being 'name called' as a racist maybe you should STOP BEING A RACIST.
theplanfailed 21st-May-2012 02:06 am (UTC)
Out of everyone here you insist on this.
Would it make you feel better for me to agree with you?

Here is an article we all might find interesting - http://sociologicalconfessions.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/when-you-are-called-racist/
stevie_jane 21st-May-2012 02:34 am (UTC)
I read it. It was pretty shit. Some of the comments are spot on, pprscribe for example. The writer sounds white, the commenters know better.

Edited at 2012-05-21 02:35 am (UTC)
theplanfailed 21st-May-2012 02:36 am (UTC)
I thought it was interesting and reminiscent of comments here.
kitschaster 21st-May-2012 05:03 am (UTC)
God your white privilege is sickening.
livinghope 21st-May-2012 05:15 am (UTC)
Please....PLEASE stop. You asked how to educate yourself on racism and I advised you to listen to people who ARE NOT WHITE. I was under the impression that you really wanted to learn but several of the people you've continued to dismiss and get defensive with are people of color. Right now, you are citing an article written by a white person trying to give their perspective on racism. In other words, you don't appear to really want to educate yourself at all.

You either need to stop this, or just quit commenting because I'm trying really hard to think the best of you...I think I feel empathy for you because I was very sheltered myself growing up...But you are making it harder and harder the more you comment and demonstrate that you don't give a fuck.
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