Michigan students wearing Blackface raise community concern
Blackface-clad students at a football game at Ionia High School have raised concerns in the community.
Lindsey McKee, a local social worker, was also in the student cheering section when she spotted onlookers with black face paint. She submitted the video to ABC-13 in Grand Rapids.
“We were immediately like ‘Oh my gosh they can’t do this,'” she told the TV station in the video below, “especially with everything going on, besides this ‘is just racist. “
McKee noted that the September 10 game was considered a “ban” game and recognizes that the colors of the Ionia Bulldogs school are black and blue. Still, she was troubled that school officials saw nothing wrong with the students dressed in blackface.
“There were several administration staff watching the crowd and they didn’t ask them to remove the blackface or durag,” she added, “they just accepted it saying that it was a “blackout” game. “
In a statement, school principal Ben Gurk said the district promotes an environment free from racism and said the students were just trying to show support for their team.
“The administrators investigated and determined that this was an effort by the students to support their bulldogs by wearing black eye paint and / or a black outfit …”
McKee says she hopes the students weren’t trying to be racist or offensive.
“I’ve seen how it affects people’s mental health and how it can really tear people apart when they’re almost mocked and mocked just for their skin color and culture,” McKee said.
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