Politics: When Blackface Photos Cause Political Storms - PressFrom - US

PoliticsWhen Blackface Photos Cause Political Storms

04:20  03 february  2019
04:20  03 february  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Mike Ertel resigns as Florida secretary of state after blackface photos surface

Mike Ertel resigns as Florida secretary of state after blackface photos surface Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned Thursday after photos emerged of him wearing blackface as a Hurricane “Katrina victim” at a Halloween party in 2005. The stunning development ended the former Seminole election supervisor’s 16-day stint as Florida’s top elections officer. The Tallahassee Democrat obtained the photos and showed them to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office Thursday morning. The governor’s office announced Ertel’s resignation just hours later. “It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida,” Ertel’s resignation letter stated.

Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non- black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed

FILE PHOTO . Ralph Northam and his wife Pam during his election campaign. ©REUTERS / Aaron P. Bernstein. Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia is refusing to resign over photos from his medical school yearbook showing him wearing either a KKK costume or blackface .

When Blackface Photos Cause Political Storms© Parker Michels-Boyce for The New York Times Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, with his wife, Pam Northam, spoke to reporters on Saturday after a racially offensive photo on his college yearbook page prompted calls for him to resign.

Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia is the latest and most prominent political figure to be engulfed in controversy over the wearing of blackface or other racially offensive imagery, but hardly the only one.

Faced with widespread calls for his resignation, Mr. Northam has tried to extricate himself from a firestorm over a photo on his page in a 1984 medical school yearbook. Though he had initially acknowledged responsibility and apologized, he denied on Saturday that he was either of the people in the photo — one in Ku Klux Klan robes, the other in blackface.

Va. Gov. Northam’s medical school yearbook page shows men in blackface, KKK robe

Va. Gov. Northam’s medical school yearbook page shows men in blackface, KKK robe Northam, a Democrat, graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1984

The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep." She also said, "I've never been a 'pc' kind of person — but I understand that we Earlier on Tuesday, while discussing how some colleges are banning certain potentially offensive costumes, Kelly declared " political correctness has

Blackface News Reporting it as it is, News, Breaking News, Nigerian News, News from States, Business News, Entertainment, Sports, Peoples and Brands, Special Projects.

Other politicians caught up in scandals over racially offensive photos in recent years have usually resigned or been rejected by voters. Here are some examples from around the country.

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Michael ErtelFlorida, 2019

Mr. Ertel, the Republican secretary of state, resigned in January after photos were published of him from 2005, wearing blackface and a T-shirt reading “Katrina Victim.” He had been in office less than three weeks.

Brant Tomlinson — South Carolina, 2018

A Republican candidate for a council seat in Kershaw County, Mr. Tomlinson stayed in the race after photos emerged of him in blackface in 2008, when he was a college student. He was dressed as a member of a Jamaican bobsled team. Mr. Tomlinson made it to a runoff in his party’s primary before being defeated.

This is why blackface is offensive

This is why blackface is offensive It's important for every American to understand the painful history blackface invokes.

Blackface is the tradition of a performer putting on stylized black makeup to appear as a stereotyped character of African descent. It features a Roman optio and his ' politically -incorrect Romans', soldiers who are drawn in a blackface style even more extreme than the style in the original comics.

Blackface makeup was either a layer of burnt cork on a layer of coca butter or black grease paint. Early Television and the Civil Rights Movement. When integration became Federal law in the 1950s it put small Black theaters out of business and that brought an end to the production of race movies.

• Hal Patton — Illinois, 2018

The former mayor of Edwardsville, Ill., was a third-party candidate running for a State Senate seat when a decade-old photo surfaced showing him dressed as a “rapper” in blackface. Mr. Patton apologized for the costume, calling it a “bad choice,” and stayed in the race, but was defeated in the general election.

• Robbie Gatti Jr. — Louisiana, 2017

A Republican running for a vacant State House seat in a special election, Mr. Gatti made no apologies when a 2002 photo emerged of him in blackface at a church festival, dressed as the golfer Tiger Woods. He attributed the controversy to “desperate attacks” by his opponents. Mr. Gatti made it into a runoff with another Republican but was ultimately defeated.

When Blackface Photos Cause Political Storms© Michael Nagle for The New York Times Dov Hikind, a longtime state assemblyman in Brooklyn, was criticized in 2013 for wearing blackface and an Afro wig at a party.

• Dov Hikind— New York, 2013

Mr. Hikind, a longtime Democratic state assemblyman from Brooklyn, held a party for the Jewish holiday of Purim at which he wore an Afro wig and brown makeup and was dressed as a basketball player. News reports and a photo of him in costume attracted wide criticism, but he defended his costume and said many people did not understand the tradition of dressing up for Purim. He retained his seat through two more elections, and retired in December.

Louisiana police apologize for officers in blackface before 1993 sting.
"Blackface photographs are inappropriate and offensive," Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said. "They were inappropriate then and are inappropriate today." According to the police department, the photo was taken before Stone and Caruso went undercover for a drug bust in a predominantly black neighborhood. "The Baton Rouge Police Department would like to apologize to our citizens and to anyone who may have been offended by the photographs," Paul said. Stone still works for the police department and is a coordinator for the Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers, according to its website. Caruso is retired.

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