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Sun May 20, 2012, 11:36 PM

Second Grader Dresses as MLK Jr. Including Black Face

A Colorado Springs second-grader at Meridian Ranch Elementary school found himself in hot water Wednesday when he was pulled out of class for dressing like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while also wearing black face paint.

KRDO first reported that Sean King dressed up as MLK, Jr. for a school project. The boy's mother told KRDO that it was "wax museum day" for the second grade class and that each child was assigned a historical figure to dress up as.

King showed up for school on Wednesday doing a Martin Luther King impersonation, wearing a black suit, tie, mustache and black face paint -- his parents were with him, as were all the students' parents, to watch the day's presentation. But before things could get started, the school's principal told the second-grader that he needed to wash his face, according to KWGN, leaving Sean confused.

"They thought it was inappropriate and it will be disrespectful to black people and I say it's not," young Sean said to KRDO. "I like black people. It's just a costume and I don't want to insult anybody."
Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/colorado-springs-2nd-grad_n_1524237.html

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Second Grader Dresses as MLK Jr. Including Black Face (Original post)
ohiosmith May 2012 OP
ZombieHorde May 2012 #1
JI7 May 2012 #2
AverageJoe90 May 2012 #8
MrScorpio May 2012 #3
Arctic Dave May 2012 #4
patrice May 2012 #5
Nye Bevan May 2012 #6
JoeyT May 2012 #7
patrice May 2012 #14
Quantess May 2012 #9
Quantess May 2012 #12
vaberella May 2012 #10
patrice May 2012 #13
Enrique May 2012 #11
Nuclear Unicorn May 2012 #15
slackmaster May 2012 #16

Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:49 PM

1. I doubt the kid really knows anything the history of black face, but the mom should

have at least heard of it.

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:50 PM

2. i blame the parents here , there is a history with the "black face" thing

i hope someone explains this to the kid. i don't think he is racist but he is young and his parents didn't seem to know better.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #2)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:42 AM

8. Agreed 100%. Hopefully they all learned a lesson from this. =) nt

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:58 PM

3. The kid could have gone just fine with only the suit, the tie and the 'stache

Now because of his darn parents, he's going to have a scar to remember

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:03 AM

4. I think they are using the term incorrectly.

 

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface


I seriously doubt the boy or his parents meant to show Dr. King as a caricature. For all we know they were trying to be sincere.

Dr. King is a great American, why not dress up like him. And he is black.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #4)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:17 AM

5. I agree. This reaction looks like stereotypical disregard for a person.

The sort of thing that advocates of Civil Rights and perhaps even Dr. King himself would abhor.

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:25 AM

6. Poor kid. The teacher told him to impersonate Martin Luther King

and he was probably proud of the job he did. If there are really people who would be truly offended by a second-grader, so pleased with himself at how he was honoring Martin Luther King, they are the ones with the problem, not the child.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:39 AM

7. +1

Not to mention that isn't even blackface, it's just black makeup. There's a big difference. Shitty reporting is shitty.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #7)

Mon May 21, 2012, 11:22 AM

14. Right. No absurd white lips. And if I insist that I have a right to say a certain word is "axe"

rather than "ask", why doesn't someone else have a right to say black makeup is a representation of an American hero?

Yes, there are limitations to this line of reasoning, but those limitations are found in the actual experiences themselves, e.g. in this case the missing essential element of blackface = exaggerated white lips . . . limitations found in the actual events themselves not in our power driven desires, NO MATTER WHAT COLOR, to impose over-simplified ASSUMPTIONS onto more or less authentic (honest) people/experiences and events.

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:02 AM

9. Poor kid. Why did they have to call the news media on this?

They could have simply made him wash his face and then explain it to him.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #9)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:16 AM

12. Plus, it appears to be the parents who alerted the media.

I could be mistaken, but it looks like the parents wanted a minute in the spotlight.

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:07 AM

10. I don't think MLKJr. should be a costume.

And the Black face thing, just NEVER jives with me. But that's on the stupid parents.

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Response to vaberella (Reply #10)

Mon May 21, 2012, 11:13 AM

13. How do you feel if you don't understand something, or make a mistake, and others call you stupid?

Do you actually know those parents are stupid?

Or are you assuming they are, without any more information about them as individuals, other than what you see on the internet?

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:10 AM

11. the school tried to educate my child: alert the media!

i dont get it, if someone is offended and the school asks him to remove the makeup, it seems to me like the normal reaction would be to just remove the makeup.

This parents reaction seems odd, calling the local TV news station. It make me wonder if it really was a mistake after all.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #11)

Tue May 22, 2012, 06:43 PM

15. Sometimes the heckler's veto needs to be ignored

I asked last week if it was appropriate to suggest to a woman that she had her panties in a knot. I didn't say I was offended but I did asked if it was polite. If I had been offended should all of DU forever more be on guard over such complaints? I think maybe it was inappropriate but then I fear so many other things will be diminished maybe it's for the best to carry on.

The poster who said that to me deliberately intended to offend me. The child in the OP wanted to pay homage to Rev. King. That has to be worth considering.

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Response to ohiosmith (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2012, 06:48 PM

16. I did a blackface Halloween costume one year. A black pirate. I did such a good job on makeup...

 

...that several people, including a few real black people, were fooled at first.

The most interesting thing that happened, however, was when I walked up to a bar where I was a frequent customer. The bartender, who had served me beer dozens of times and knew me personally, didn't notice me until I spoke up - "What does a man have to do to get a beer around here?"

She was pretty embarrassed. I felt like I had been invisible.

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