A Kentucky Baptist church pastor is pleading “ignorance” after one of his staffers appeared in blackface during a National Young Fundamentalists Conference skit this week.
Pastor Jeff Fugate oversaw the NYFC at his Clay Mills Road Baptist Church in Lexington. The theme of the three-day conference appears to be "Contend."
Fugate’s assistant, Joe Pickens, wore blackface to play Mr. T in a boxing skit. A black teenager played Pickens’ stunt double. In the skit posted below, the white contender “Curly” wins.
Fugate apologized for the skit on Friday, claiming the blackface was misconstrued.
“If we did something to offend someone, it was out of ignorance and I apologize,” Fugate told the Daily Mail.
“I apologize if I offended someone, I don’t even know as a pastor what those skits will be,” he added.
Fugate, head of the church for 23 years, said Pickens plays the villain in the skit every year.
“It was innocent, I promise you,” he added.
He also defended Pickens.
“[Pickens] just graduated last year from our bible college,” said Fugate. “That guy is just a young assistant, he is not even a pastor… he’s just an assistant.”
Pickens tweeted an image of himself wearing blackface and boxing robe.
“#NYFC 2014 fool! It’s about to go down! Who thinks they can contend with the champ?” he wrote.
His tweets have since been privacy protected.
"There are no words. Oh wait… there’s one. He actually used it himself, ‘fool.’ Racist also works," replied @RevDaniel.
“I just don’t understand a PASTOR of all people not understanding the wrongness of this,’ @Rev Daniel added.
Fugate says all skits will now be cleared by him first.
Vogue Italia released a feature this week with a Dutch model wearing blackface and posing with animals commonly found in Africa.
"We're thoroughly confused as to why the magazine didn't think this type of editorial would be offensive and why they didn't just use a black model in the first place," writes Julee Wilson of the Huffington Post.
Sheriff Sent Cops Violent Video Game Premised On Shooting Mexican Children, Pregnant Women, DOJ Says
Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina sheriff accused of illegally targeting Latino drivers also shared a bloody video game with employees where players shot Mexican children, pregnant women, and other “wetbacks” who attempted to cross the border.
After a year-long investigation, the Department of Justice found that Alamance County Sheriff Terry S. Johnson sent his subordinates a link to a game “premised on shooting stereotypical Mexican figures, including pregnant women and children, as they attempt to cross the U.S. border.”
“Blood splatters on the screen as the figures are shot, and the final screen of the game shows how many ‘wetbacks’ one has killed,” the government motion said.
Johnson and his staff are accused of a long list of racist policies including ticketing, arresting and searching Latinos for more often than others.
“After a stop is made, Latinos are 250 percent more likely to receive a citation, 50 percent more likely to face arrest, and 20 percent more likely to be searched than comparable drivers from other ethnic backgrounds. Infra at 12. And Latinos comprise 37 percent of drivers stopped at ACSO’s checkpoints despite making up less than 9 percent of the driving population,” the motion stated.
The DOJ says several deputies and supervisors shared the link to the violent game along with racist jokes.
“Sergeant Darryl Myers and Lieutenant Wesley Anderson each forwarded an email joking that when Davey Crockett saw ‘hordes of Mexicans’ approaching the Alamo, he asked ‘are we having landscaping done today?’” the court filing said.
In another email training officer Richard Longamore complained about temporary visas being given to foreign nationals when they are victims of violent crimes like rape, incest and torture.
Johnson is not charged with a crime and the federal court has no way to remove an elected official from office.
Johnson is currently seeking re-election to another four-year term this November.
American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina staff attorney Raul Pinto says Johnson should settle the federal suit and take any recommended sanctions.
“The abhorrent and unconstitutional practices outlined in this motion should not be tolerated in our state and cannot be allowed to continue,” Pinto said. “All residents of Alamance County deserve fair and equal treatment from their law enforcement officers.”
Long Island high school football players say they were beaten and taunted by a predominantly white opposing team and that referees did nothing to stop it.
Five Amityville High School varsity football players are suing Suffolk County’s Comsewogue High School after they were allegedly called the N-word and assaulted during a November game.
"They swarmed our players. They tried to hurt us. I was swarmed by not one, but 3 to 4 players, you know," Travon Duncan told WABC.
“Before the halftime break, the kids were getting in our faces, like ‘Yeah, it’s coming for you, all game, all game, n----- this, n----- that,’” said another player, Ricky Jean-Michel.
They claim the players weren’t the only ones participating in the brawl.
“Their coach comes up to me and he grabs me viciously by my left shoulder pad and said, ‘N-----, I’ll kill you,’” Duncan said. “I wouldn’t lie about something like that.”
“I remember the coach, in my face, grabbed my chest plate and say ‘I’m gonna f------ kill you,” Jean-Michel added.
“The coach grabbed me and I was choking, so he’s choking me and then does nothing to stop his player from still attacking me, so his player was hitting me,” said Niem Harvey.
An Amityville coach confirmed in a witness statement that he saw Comsewogue coaches “throwing punches, shoving and preventing our players from getting up from the floor.”
"The district is extremely concerned and disappointed with the actions that took place at Comsewogue,” the Amityville assistant superintendent told WABC.
Comsewogue would not comment on the matter due to pending legal action.
A West Virginia man fatally shot and killed his two black neighbors with a rifle as they surveyed a piece of land he mistakenly thought he owned.
Rodney Bruce Black, 60, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder after he shot and killed Garrick Hopkins, 60, and his brother Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, Saturday afternoon.
The pair were inspecting a building on a piece of property Garrick and his wife had just bought. The couple planned to begin building a new home in a few weeks.
"He shot first and then called 911," Sheriff Tom McComas told the New York Daily News. "He said they were breaking into his house but it wasn't his property.”
The building had once belonged to Black's family, but doesn't any longer.
McComas said the structure didn’t contain anything of value.
Authorities found dozens of guns in Black’s home, according to the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department. They are currently investigating if they are all legally purchased.
“He used one gun,” McComas said. “Yes, he owned numerous guns, but he only used one gun.”
The sheriff said there is no indication that race played a factor in the shooting.
"It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy," he said. "We're still trying to figure all of this out. … Hopefully we'll find out his reasoning as the investigation continues."
Black is being held without bail at Cabell County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 4.
The Iowa Republican Party posted a controversial chart on their Facebook page Friday night mocking racism.
“Because it’s Friday night and we don’t need serious political posts on Friday night was are sharing this,” the Iowa GOP wrote. “Happy Friday and LIKE and SHARE! Unless you think the chart is racist, then don’t.”
The infographic “Is Someone A Racist” suggests that if someone is white and you like them “they are not racist,” but if they are white and you dislike them “they are racist.”
At the bottom it says, “Note: if you think this flowchart isn’t funny, then this flowchart is racist.”
The chart was quickly removed from the Iowa GOP page, but it was already captured by Ben Jacobs of the Daily Beast.
"Earlier tonight, a contractor of the Iowa GOP made a post referencing a discussion on race that the GOP believes was in bad taste and inappropriate," the Iowa GOP said. "We apologize to those whom were offended, have removed the post and are ensuring it does not happen again."
The Republican National Committee announced a strategy for the 2014 midterm elections last week to appeal to African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.
In December, the RNC celebrated the 58th Anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on an Alabama bus by stating that racism is over in America.
“Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism,” the RNC tweeted.
It later tweeted, “Previous tweet should have read ‘Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism.’”
A Washington elementary school principal is on leave as the district investigates a complaint that she repeatedly used the N-word to explain its meaning, the Kitsap Sun reports.
Poulsbo Elementary School Principal Claudia Alves is on “leave of absence while we investigate a situation that occurred recently,” according to a letter sent home to parents by Superintendent Patty Page.
“We are working diligently to have an acting principal in place as soon as possible, and will notify you as soon a[s]the person has been identified,” she added.
Shawna Smith, mother of a fifth-grader, said students in her son’s class were uncomfortable with the word “Negro” when rehearsing for a play on Martin Luther King. The teacher tried to explain the historical context of the word and asked Alves for assistance.
Many of the children still were not comfortable with using the word, according to Smith, who is white and is married to Matthew Smith, who is black.
Her son and a classmate refused to be in the play. When he acted up during a rehearsal, Smith’s son was sent to the principal’s office where Alves once again tried to explain the difference between the words.
When the student said he was still uncomfortable with the word “Negro,” Alves told him it was not the same at the N-word, only she used the actual word, according to Smith.
Smith complained to the district on Jan. 15. In subsequent phone calls between Alves and Smith and later her husband, the principal used the N-word again.
Page said it is not acceptable for a district employee to use the N-word even if it is to explain its meaning. Alves was placed on leave on Jan. 21.
“I did use that word, and that word is upsetting. I thought in the context of what we were talking about, it was alright,” Alves told the North Kitsap Herald. She said while what has been considered appropriate has changed over time, the N-word is never appropriate “no matter the period of time.”
On the NK Education Facebook group, Smith wrote she and her husband have no intention of suing the district over the incident. She said she does not want Alves to be fired and prefers that she and others go through cultural awareness training.
Sources: North Kitsap Herald, Kitsap Sun
A rancher in Brazil was shocked to discover that rich, crazy Nazi sympathizers once owned a farm he worked at, and even more disturbing, that it was used as a labor camp for abandoned, non-white children.
Jose Ricardo Rosa Maciel discovered bricks engraved with swastikas after a wall broke while he was working on the Brazilian farm.
“One day the pigs broke a wall and escaped into the field,” said Maciel to BBC. “I noticed the bricks that had fallen. I thought I was hallucinating.”
Maciel says he became even more disturbed when he came upon a picture of a soccer team on the farm holding a flag with a swastika on it.
“Nothing explained the presence of a swastika here,” said Maciel.
Eventually, history professor Sidney Aguilar Filho was able to piece together the dark history of the ranch.
“I found a story of 50 boys aged around 10 years old who had been taken from an orphanage in Rio,” said Filho to BBC. “They were taken in three waves. The first was a group of 10 in 1933.” Filho went on to add that the boys were, ““subject to regular beatings with a palmatoria, a wooden paddle with holes designed to reduce air resistance and increase pain. They were addressed not by their name, but by a number.”
It was also discovered that swastikas were pretty much in plain sight all over the farm. Cows were even branded with the Nazi symbol. Surviving members of the Rocha Miranda family, the ones that owned the ranch, refute claims that the children were kept as slaves on the farm, but do acknowledge the owner’s support of the Nazi party.
The chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Arizona State University has been suspended for throwing a Martin Luther King Day party full of offensive racial stereotypes.
The fraternity was already on probation for attacking a black member of a rival fraternity, whien it threw the party. Guests wore what the Arizona Republic referred to as “stereotypical hip-hop clothes” and drank from cups made of watermelon rinds.
The party was promoted on social media with the hashtags “blackoutformlk” and “ihaveadream.”
Local civil rights leaders are calling for the frat to be expelled.
Rev. Jarrett Maupin said the party was "an assault on the black community and our student population at ASU."
He called on ASU to "stop pretending it doesn’t have an issue with racism."
ASU says the party was off-campus and not sanctioned by the university.
"ASU has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major university in the country, and it is unfortunate that a few misguided individuals held an offensive party,” the school said.
TKE, which bills itself as the biggest frat in the country, issued an apology on Tuesday and said it was working with the school to investigate what happened.
“Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory, and/or offensive,” it said in a statement.
“We apologize for any offensive actions that a few of our members might have participated in. We can assure all other parties that these actions do not represent Tau Kappa Epsilon and the beliefs of love, charity, and esteem that we have stood by for 115 years. We will respond to these individuals while holding the utmost respect for our principles of being Better Men for a Better World,” it said.
Chelsea Football Club owner and billionaire Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend, Dasha Zhukova, landed in some hot water after an online magazine published a photo of her sitting on a chair made from the mannequin of a black woman on Monday, Martin Luther King Day.
Claire Sulmers, editor of FashionBombDailycom, said that the photo was a clear example of “white dominance and superiority, articulated in a seemingly serene yet overtly degrading way.”
She wrote on her blog that the inspiration for the chair seems to have been taken from a collection designed by British pop artist Allen Jones in 1969.
"The art and fashion industries are the few bastions of society where blatant racism and ignorance are given the greenlight in the name of creativity," Sulmers writes.
“This is incredibly racist,” Organizing for Women's Liberation tweeted Monday, after learning about the pictures.
Zhukova and Duma both sparked widespread anger, and the image has since been deleted from Duma’s Instagram account and cropped out the chair on Buro 24/7.
"We are against racism or gender inequality or anything that infringes upon anyone's rights,” Duma's apology said. “We love, respect and look up to people regardless of their race, gender or social status."
Zhukova also released a statement saying: “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.”
But the apology hasn’t stopped Twitter users from expressing their outrage.
User Ric Caric wrote, “I guess Garage Magazine thought that today would be a great day to advertise their racism,” while Julee A. Wilson tweeted, “MLK is turning in his grave and I'm cursing these people's stupidity with all my heart and soul! MAJOR fail!”
User Nikia tweeted: “Extremely disappointed in Miroslava Duma and Buro247 for posting this nonsense, especially on a day like today. smh,” and Alex von Tunzelmann wrote, “Even in the grim, tasteless world of fashion photography, this revolting racist image- pub'd on MLK Day!- stands out.”
A new study found 49 percent of black men are arrested by age 23 and roughly 40 percent of all men have been handcuffed by the same age.
The study, published this month in the journal “Crime & Delinquincy,” reviewed arrest records and annual surveys from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics of roughly 7,000 young men, who answered questions every year from 1997 to 2008. The surveys asked questions about whether they had ever been handcuffed or taken into custody.
By age 18, 30 percent of black men, 26 percent Hispanic men, and 22 percent of white men reported being arrested, The Associated Press reported.
By age 23, 49 percent of black men, 44 percent of Hispanic men, and 38 percent white men had been arrested.
"Among criminologists, I don't think they're that surprised or alarmed by the findings," said study co-author Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina. "The alarm and concern is among people not as familiar with the patterns."
Arrests haunt young people, effecting their ability to find work, take out a loan or get a professional license.
"Many, many people are involved with the criminal justice system at this level," said Shawn Bushway, a University at Albany criminologist. "And treating them all as if they're hardened criminals is a serious mistake."
The arrests of African American youth creates a troubling cycle of crime, says Rev. Dr. Robert Waterman, a pastor at Antioch Baptist Church in Brooklyn. A criminal record makes it difficult for teens to find legitimate work.
"It really takes a toll on them and their futures," Rev. Waterman said. "Even the process of getting carried down to the police station — it becomes a custom or pattern that becomes part of their lives."
New York and North Carolina plan to change delinquency laws so that no one is tried in adult court until age 18.
Researchers plan to study convictions and recidivism rates as well.