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.
dumpweeds 20th-May-2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
I was definitely not expecting a couple of the comments in this post when I clicked on it

fishphile 20th-May-2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
lol, right?
etherealtsuki 20th-May-2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
ONTD_Po has been attracting those kind of people lately....
windy_lea 21st-May-2012 04:16 am (UTC)
ONTD_P is in the spotlight, or whatever you call that section on the homepage that recommends communities. Admittedly, I don't know how long it's been there, but I saw it last night.
thelastpen 20th-May-2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
Ditto that. JFC I don't even know. I should have stayed the hell away from the A-Team and ANTM being used as reasons why blackface could possibly be okay.
teacup_werewolf 20th-May-2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
God damn spotlight.....
thelastpen 21st-May-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Afaik, it's not on spotlight. Something about Zimmerman's injuries are, but not this. At least not yet... >_>;
teacup_werewolf 21st-May-2012 12:18 am (UTC)
That's the main article but you can use that as a path way to get into other topics by clicking on Ontd_P, whatever the case spotlight gets us weird folks sometimes D:
roseofjuly 21st-May-2012 12:33 am (UTC)
Yep - that's how I got onto the main page today.
celtic_thistle 20th-May-2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
omg this gif
baked_goldfish 21st-May-2012 01:51 am (UTC)
You know what I wasn't expecting? The A-Team.
alryssa 21st-May-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
*right click SAVED*
elialshadowpine 21st-May-2012 06:46 am (UTC)
la_petite_singe 21st-May-2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, saving this gif forever.
brookiki 22nd-May-2012 09:13 am (UTC)
I was definitely not expecting a couple hundred of the comments in this post when I clicked on it

Fixed that for you. :)
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