Thursday, June 07, 2007

Racism in Riverdale?

Are Whites still putting on blackface? Yes, right in our back yard--Riverdale, CA. White men and women had 'brown faces' depicting slaves during the Civil War at Riverdale Christian Academy's Senior Prom & 2007 Graduation Celebration. The skits and characters were part of the entertainment.

Riverdale, CA
Population: 2400 (2000 Census)
Ethnic Make-up:1.2% African-American, 51% Hispanic and 40.1 % White- non Hispanic.
Location: Approximately 20 miles south of Fresno, off Fwy 41 between Easton and Lemoore

The really sad part about this situation is that characters were performed at a church-sponsored event as the Academy is under Riverdale Assembly of God. Just when we think the we have truly begun the reconciliation process between the Church of God in Christ-COGIC and The Assembly of God (Assembly of God member-churches were originally a part of COGIC until they broke off in 1914 to establish a predominately-White denomination), we see that many still need deliverance from racism and prejudice. Racism and prejudice in the church has to be dealt with. John, one of Jesus disciples speaks false love for God in I John 4:20(NIV):

If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

This is not merely a theatrical production emulating fictional characters, but a purposeful demonstration of disregard for the seriousness of the black American slave experience. It trivializes slavery, it celebrates the ungodly and unfounded Biblical justification of this Era (similar reasoning used in stripping land for Native Americans and the encampment of Japanese-Americans during WW II), and further characterizes rural and small town America as unwelcoming to people of color.

Charles Spencer is the Pastor of Riverdale Assembly of God, it appears that he and his wife were present at the event.

This type of behavior is totally unacceptable, especially when sanctioned by a church. I believe the church leadership, Academy administration & staff, the characters and students involved need to admit the action was wrong and prepare a formal apology to the African-American community.

Obviously, one of the Academy's staff though it was harmless enough to post the pictures of the event on the web [the albums and the account were deleted after this post]

http://www.bebo.com/PhotoAlbumBig.jsp?MemberId=324058667&PhotoAlbumId=4570626144&PhotoId=4570686461

Riverdale Christian Academy at The Riverdale Assembly of God http://www.rivdal.org/


133 comments:

Anonymous said...

Forgive my ignorance on this topic. Please explain why people would dress up in this manner and why it is considered offensive, but somehow not offensive in their minds?

I have seen this sort of thing in my life before, and I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

That's not blackface. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface has some examples of blackface. Merely adding dark makeup to represent black skin when in a play or performance does not constitute blackface.

Anonymous said...

Shame on this school for subjecting children to this. To make light of the suffering of thousands is beyond my understanding!!!!

Brandon said...

I'm a high school teacher in Fresno and found your blog as linked to from fark. as a white Christian, inner city teacher (with a black apartmentmate!), this story makes me upset.

something i've been involved with in Fresno to make a difference:

http://www.fresnopal.bravehost.com/TriatholonTeam.html

(i also coach water polo @ McLane - we had a shared practice with Edison this Monday actually!)

Anonymous said...

The gene pool that this pathetic group of racists crawled out of must have been very shallow.

Tracy said...

Unbelievable. Do these people think they're living in 1957, when that sort of thing was still considered a good chuckle? I hope the larger news organizations pick up on this one and nail them to the wall - it's a much more interesting train wreck than that of Paris Hilton's jailhouse blues.

Anonymous said...

So Ted Danson should apologize to the entire African-American community, too, then?

Of course it seems racist. People make racist jokes to their friends all the time.

Do they all need to apologize to the African-American community, too? What about other 'black' people? How about some very close friends of mine, who are both Jamaican and British? How about some Haitian colleagues? I guess they don't count, though, right? They're not the 'right' kind of black. (You also can't say, 'Well, their ancestors weren't slaves' because yes... yes their ancestors were. Literally. Checked up on it.)

Your specification that they should apologize to 'African Americans' is racist in and of itself. How about you apologize to the HUMAN community? I'm sure they'll be glad that you are guarding the African-American dignity for them, as the African-American community itself is unable to do so. Thank you for guarding those who cannot guard themselves!

Do you realize how presumptuous this is?

Anonymous said...

"pathetic group of racists" pretty strong words for a school that has just almost as much, if not more Hispanic students than White Students...

Anonymous said...

Should the apology be directed to same African-American community that call each other the N word a thousand times in their rap songs...Should white people be offended at the Dave Chapelle skit where he paints himself white and gets all kinds of laughs while making fun of profiling a white news anchor? Why don't you get rid of the racism in your own race before attacking other so-called "racists"

Anonymous said...

(I am catching up with this via Fresno Famous.)

A couple of things that I found surprising:

1. that anyone would go this far in depicting slavery in 'blackface,' (even as part of a church skit,) is disturbing, but racism here in the valley is not often seen as 'racism.' (I'm initialy from the East Coast, (NYC area,) and I hear stuff said and done regarding other races that are considered quite normal (out here,) that would never fly back east.

2. Also:
As far as I understand it: the Assemblies of God was founded actually over in NY state and was a split off from the Christian and Missionary Alliance, (I was in school there studying to be a pastor from '96 to 2002.) This decision was made at NYACK College (it was probably called NYACK Missionary Training School at the time,) and I've spent tons of hours seated in the same auditorium where the decision was made.

-The key reason for 'A.O.G.' was when A.B. Simpson (PS. Simpson College upstate from here is a sister school to NYACK,)
-A.B. Simpson, when asked about the whole issue of 'tongues,' as a required sign of 'being saved,' -having prayed for the gift, (but did not receive it,)
stated:
'Seek not this gift as a requirement sign of being saved, but Do not Forbid it if someone has it as a gift as it's from the Lord.'

--There were folks there in attendance at the meeting where this was declared by Simpson (in Pardington Hall, actually,) who felt that this was 'not definitive enough,'
--and felt that speaking in tongues was a requirement and proof of salvation
--so they broke away from the Christian and Missionary Alliance and started A.O.G.

--This (early,) stance of A.O.G. also clearly put them in the catagory of 'Penticostal,' not just 'Charasmatic.' as well.

(Though not all A.O.G. believers adhere to this early definition of 'saved.')

E. Field, Fresno.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing more than a boring blogger scratching the bottom of the barrell to garner hits on his site. Obviously, he knows nothing of Riverdale or this school - neither was he present at the event to know the manner in which the characters were portrayed.

A shame that channel 47 would air such demeaning accusations on so little evidence - I guess they were running low in ratings too...

Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote
"...pretty strong words for a school that has just almost as much, if not more Hispanic students than White Students..."

The census figures are for the city of Riverdale not the school.

Anonymous said...

The "pathetic group of racists" comment was directed at the school. I wanted to clarify that the statement was false. How can the school be racists when there are more hispanic students than white students?

Anonymous said...

"How can the school be racists when there are more hispanic students than white students"

Oh geee I dunno, maybe by BEING RACIST. Seriously, whats going on in those pictures is racist and pathetic. I wonder why they didnt get some black people to play the slaves. You know why, because they knoew what they were was racist from the beggining,

Anonymous said...

So what

Anonymous said...

In pretty bad taste and they should have known better.

Anonymous said...

Tate, man, where on earth did you find these pictures. Never even heard of bebo.com.

Mike said...

Don't act so surprised. The christians used the buy-bull to justify the rule by kings (during the Revolutionary War), slavery, suppressing women, and not allowing different ethnicities to marry. Segregation and christian mythology go together like George Bush and a banana.

Anonymous said...

Everyone go out and rent "White Chicks"...

Now, y'all feel better...?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I wonder how much press this would have gotten if you hadn't blogged this.

I found it on FARK and I added the contact information for the church. I imagine they're proud of their actions and would love to share how to carry out a recreation of the period of American History where humans enslaved and demeaned their fellow humans. If people contact the following address, phone number, they'll have the chance to explain. Maybe even share remorse:

Riverdale Christian Academy
Po Box 547
Riverdale, CA 93656-0936
(559)867-3503

Greg said...

Usually I'm against this kind of thing, but they were going for a sense of "historical accuracy" and achieved it. It wasn't an outrageously offensive portrayal. It was stage makeup. What's the difference between the faculty and the Wayan's brothers "White Chicks" movie? You can't deny history... that would be worse.

(The could/should have picked a totally different theme though.)

Amadi said...

The website for the church has now become "temporarily unavailable."

My parents were (are, in my mother's case) ordained pastors and missionaries in the Assemblies of God, serving for decades in positions here and abroad. My father died while out on the mission field; his work is studied in A/G Bible colleges and there is an endowed scholarship in his name at the school that he attended. While I am personally no longer an A/G member, most of my family members are and I currently have three nephews training at A/G colleges toward pastoral roles.

My family, I might note, is not white.

That said: this behavior? This outrage? This is not something that corresponds in any way with the modern A/G church that I know.

This is the face of a select group of ignorant people, acting in disregard to history, in a manner that may have not been intended to be racist, but most certainly is.

But let us be clear: this lay on select members of the staff of Riverdale Assembly and Riverdale Christian Academy. Not on the Assemblies of God as a denomination, not on white people overall, not on Christians overall, and that is where our concern should be focused.

I anticipate that there will be a full explanation and a proper and meaningful apology from the pastor and school administrators very soon. If not, thankfully, I know where to turn next. (Hint: each A/G church is an autonomous body, but churches do answer to a local board of presbyters and a larger district of overseers.) And I will not shy away from doing so if need be.

Rob said...

Poor taste isn't illegal, Tate. Nor should it be.

I was born and raised in the Valley myself, and left, btw.

RandyCodger said...

Great find, Mr. Interlocutor!

Michelle said...

I notice a lot of people claiming that the school can't be racist because it has almost as many Hispanic students as white.

No it doesn't. Of the 125 students, 91 are white. 34 are Latino/a. There are likely no black students since the town only has a 1.2% African American population. Mind you, racism isn't a binary system so even if the school had more students of color that wouldn't absolve it of the blatant racism inherent in this display.

Anonymous said...

To the people who are saying that they CAN'T be racist, because the city has a large Hispanic population... bigotry has never been exclusively white.

Congogirl said...

None of the Bebo photos are available, and the other weblink is currently down. I guess they've been embarrassed, and rightly so.

Even if I could in good conscience agree with those who cite "historical accuracy" and "stage make-up," I think the captions say it all.

And again, what does this have to do with Prom and Graduation?

As for commenter the first, go educate yourself.

Anonymous said...

If only some student had displayed his/her opposition to the event by showing up in a white robe and hood... I wonder how that would have been received?

trev said...

I am currently living in another state and working in another church, but I attended RAG for years. I worked a bus route for at least 10 years. By ratio, 85% of my riders were black or hispanic. Many people in the church have helped some of these who were in need financially or with food and clothes when they were going through hard times. They loved us and what we offered their kids.
Someone needs to ask about the outreach to children that many of the young people carried out in West Fresno. Anyone familiar with the demographics of this area knows that it is primarily African American. They provided a good environment, great message, and good food. The kids loved them. Parents were thrilled for the opportunity to send their kids to a place where the environment was wholesome and safe.
We did, and still do not see people by their color. We see them as individuals created by God. We believe everyone is created in the image of God and treat them as such. We even supported Alan Keyes for President in 1996 because he was the most articulate, most moral in his social views, and clearly the best, and yes he was black. Some of you responding probably could not and did not support him because his views were to conservative for your taste.
Before you start throwing the race card and everyone gets bent out of shape, you need to look at the track record and find those that have been helped. Hopefully, you will give equal time and energy to the great things that have been accomplished as you have to blast a church you really know nothing about!

Anonymous said...

Honestly.... who gives a fuck? Are they hurting you? Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Mammies? Runaway slaves being "caught"? And there are seriously people out there who see nothing wrong with this? I weep for you, America. Your country truly is in ruins.

Anonymous said...

^ Eurofag is a eurofag

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with you people?

They just want to be loved.

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb287/htyugj/d795290a.jpg

Anonymous said...

rofl, you got owned.

Anonymous said...

Hey - a bunch of black actors and actresses for years have been trying to look white (what was the recent horific Wayans movie?).

Take a breath - I am sure the acadmeny had dozens of blacks to fill the roles.

You oversensitive people that get worked up over nothing, such a tough life you are going to have to live in a country that most still embrace free expression, even if it is offensive.

Anonymous said...

The jew Al Jolson made it fasionable to do the blackface thing. Maybe you all should look into jew racism before you give Whitey crap. After all it was jews who ran the slave trade and owned the ships that brought you all over here.

Anonymous said...

This is really being blown way out of proportion...

Anonymous said...

racism is so much more omnipresent than i believe many of you understand. it is not a simple matter of "being 'A' racist"... racism shows itself in many ways, all over our country, every day. somebody asked "are they hurting you?" yes, they are hurting me. i love my country and i want it to live to its potential. failing to address these issues hinders that, and adds to the emotional (and other types of) pain endured everyday by many people with whom i share my homeland. it really freaks me out, the way people talk about racism these days. it is not about accusing individuals of being "evil" people... it is about facing our demons, i guess.

M said...

Racism is a concept; it is not solely owned by any particular race. They should apologize; not to the African American community, but for themselves. Racism (and more generically, hatred) is within many ethnic communities. Pointing to rap music and offbeat comedy does not excuse their actions.

Jack's Shack said...

Maybe you all should look into jew racism before you give Whitey crap. After all it was jews who ran the slave trade and owned the ships that brought you all over here.


That is patently false, but your lack of commentary on the post is telling. Not very impressive at all.

Sean Santa said...

51% hispanic school and what do you write? "Are Whites still putting on blackface?"

typical.

Jim said...

Mr. Hill,

Get that chip off your shoulder and try to laugh at some of these people.

Some of us are pigment challenged and we need help to look black.

You puff all up when that happens and you prove that you take yourself way too seriously.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes things need to be taken seriously.

In my opinion, this kind of thing can not be taken "too" seriously.

"race card" = cop out

"calm down" = cop out

"you're being too sensitive" = cop out

"don't be so serious" = COP OUT

LET'S ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF. IT IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say I know this school is not races nor do they teach racism But I will say that they have African-American &Hispanic in their School as well in their church so how can you people say they are racits this church nor school in this case did not mean any harm.Look at hollywood,comdyshow,rap singers they call racits names the n word ,hommies no that is not racits but being a christan school and doing a skit that is racits? come on & 47 new should be ashame to air this before getting all the facts I went to this school and this school surly didn't mean to afend nor hurt anyone feeling {CALL THIS SCHOOL BEFORE JUDGING THEM 559-867-3503} THEY ARN'T RACIST

Anonymous said...

51% hispanic school and what do you write? "Are Whites still putting on blackface?"

typical.


The 51% statistic reflects the number of Hispanics who live in the area. We do not know the racial makeup (pun unintended) of the school.

Anonymous said...

Hey - a bunch of black actors and actresses for years have been trying to look white (what was the recent horific Wayans movie?).

And white actors/actresses have been trying to look [insert non-white ethnic group here] for as long as there have been moving pictures. What's your point?

M said...

The school could be 98% Hispanic and still have students there who are racist. The institution's demographics do not forgive or endorse racism.

Anonymous said...

MR Tate the people in this school they love all no matter what race they are.They apologized on tv that they did not mean any harm,they took the pic off the internet so why don't you remove your pic???? that would the right thing to do right??? Then you need contact RIVERDALE CHRISTAN ACDAEMY AND TALK TO THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Hill
I am a young man from Riverdale Ca I attended this school all of my School years. I am not white, yet I do not find any of What happened offensive Because unlike you I attended this Event and saw what really happened. Before you jump to Conclusions and start posting your own personal Issues that you have with the white race. Maybe you Should call the people and hear their side of the story. You are an ignorant Intollerant person.

Anonymous said...

I happen to Know that not all of the People who put this makeup on were White. This is just a poor excuse to play the race card. So your comment "are whites still putting on black face" Is inaccurate. Maybe you, Mr Hill should also make a formal appologie, for being so, Oh I don't Know "STUPID"

Jordan Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Racism: An excessive and irrational belief in or advocacy of the superiority of a given group,people, or nation, usually one's own, on the basis of racial differences having no scientific validity.
Mr Hill,
Racism Runs both ways. I'm surprised that a man of your education would make damaging and hurtful statements before investigating the matter at hand.
I've attended RAG for 25yrs and I've ran bus routes to pick up little boys and girls of all colors. My route covered the Lanare and Linda Vista area and all of Riverdale. We see no color we are all Gods children. We have one purpose and one purpose only and that is to share Christ to as many as we can.
We have fed,clothed,housed and spent gas money to bring people of color to a church that loves them inspite of their station in life.
Why would we put so much time,effort and money into those people. It is because the Love of Christ constraines us to go.
The same Christ that died for you and me is the same Christ that died at the hand of false accusers who had an agenda.
I trust this is not the case with you. Sir you are welcome to come and experience the truth. And after that make your own judgement.

Anonymous said...

racISM: societal prejudice + POWER

nobody is calling anybody a bad person

racism is a part of this country

this country was founded by racist people

racism is everywhere, it's like an invisible spirit that shows itself in many different situations

it is INSTITUTIONALIZED

this is about more than the realization that we are all the same

this is about the experiences of people in our country for the last 400 years

i find the discussion on racism at the moment to be extremely dangerous... history repeats itself, as they say, and it IS and WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO unless we LOOK (LIVING) HISTORY IN THE FACE STRAIGHT ON

it is not just about YOU, individually, or anybody individually

Anonymous said...

Ok, Mr. Hill,
What about all of the Rap songs that are out there? And the folks who put up provocative pictures on internet sites such as Bebo and MySpace and other chat sites? The pornagraphy sites that are so accessible to children? Are not they discriminatory toward women and children? Now what? Mr. Hill. Are you doing anything about that?
Probably not... You are just looking to sink anyone you do not approve of... In Christ's name, of course... That in itself is rather discriminatory, don't you think? But you probably have a self rightous justification for this- After all, you did say on local tv that you are a Christian...(Little Jesus, by definition) Have you even considered praying for them? For us? For your fellow Christians? Or just attacking a church, (who are doing much to bring in lost souls) as a means of your self justification? (It was the religious "leaders" of Christ's day that placed Him on the cross) How about talking personally to the administrators and pastors-
Nope. I think you will not- Be that as it may, read your Bible through Mr. Hill. It talks of folks who turn brother against brother for the slightest provocation. And maybe you should take a good look in the mirror... my Brother...

Larry Snell

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tate,
Matthew 5:23-24 talks about what to do when your brother has aught against you. The Bible says to go to them and reconcile. Handling a situation this way simply drags the name of Jesus Christ through the dirt. You say these people did something wrong, and you obviously feel like something needs to be done about it. I saw/heard the news on channel 47,KRZR(a local radio station), and different places. Those organizations are not Christian organizations, so who would expect anything better? But you claim the name of Christ, so maybe you should let your actions show it now.


An apology was made by the principle of the school on Channel 47. If you were seriously offended by what happened, the apology was made, now it is time to forgive them. Not see how many comments, or hits you can get on your blog, that is only make things worse. Matthew 6:14-15 are good verses on that subject.

Anonymous said...

M said,
Pointing to rap music and offbeat comedy does not excuse their actions.


Actions are never justified by somoene else. The point is, Why isn't Mr. Tate's blog aimed at them(rap music and offbeat comedy), which has been going on for years. It is a double standard. At least be consistent in your beliefs.

gbrown said...

What the HELL were these people thinking, if thinking is the word?

Anonymous said...

If Riverdale Christian School has NOTHING TO HIDE, then they should release the video of the entire drama that is in dispute? The very idea that these people are allowed to teach young, innocent children is beyond my comprehension!!!!

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness of their actions does not equal forgetting. Regardless of the Church's usual works, the civil war context in which this was done, the rappers diminishing others, black and 'white' face being prolific - they all display an insensitivity toward humanity. An insensitivity that this country (and a lot of the world as a whole) has had continual problems with. Forgiveness moves us forward in the eyes of God, but He does not expect us to go so far as to be simple-minded in regard to forgetting what people are capable of at times.

Anonymous said...

Can I hold a pen?

Anonymous said...

Even other AOG churches do not identify with "Spencer's Church"- they are racist- they have a large percentage of poor- many are Hispanic, that they soak for their tithe so the Spencer's can build their son a home on the grounds of the school, buy themselves a motorhome and most will consider how wonderful it is that they have their school- well it isn't even certified- and most of the teacher's aren't either- so the parents or sponsors are paying so the Spencer family can benefit financially from the attendance that doesn't benefit the students. Promoting any action that denigrates a class of people is morally wrong- but since the Spencer family hides behind their religion for financial gain- nothing they do surprises me.

Erny55 said...

To the person behind the previous comment. I think it's sad that you are using this as a spring board to lauch you own little anti-RAG campeign. What makes it even more pathetic is that you are a faceless coward hiding behind your anonymous slandering comments.

Anonymous said...

Stop!!! I AM AFRICAN AMERICAN! I went to that school from K-12. I have never had a problem with that school as far as race. My brother also went to the school and my little sister WILL go to that school. You want to talk about RACIST then let's talk about how YOU are talking bad about these white people who you call racists. Some people need to learn to lighten up. They are not being disrespectful or racist to anyone. They are not making fun of us African Americans. Every year they try to do different stories for their Graduation Celebration. You are the one with the problem not them. And if they do apologize that just shows that they weren't trying to be offensive and it does show that you just have issues that need to be dealt with and you need to take you underwear out of your butt before you get even more butt hurt.

Anonymous said...

What this school did was way out of line. Too teach those kids it's ok to go around in black is just sad. That pastor needs to have his head check because that was not right to do this at a graduation no less. Even though only one black student there that student deserves an apology as well as any other student at the school. Me being a young black female it hurts me to see any one doing something like this. After talking with my great-grandmother growing and her telling me all the story of when she and her brother and sisters growing up in the south. How they were treated back then and now to have a pastor do something after all the struggles we as African Americans have been is not cool. Michael Richards had to apologize for his remarks at the comedy club and Mr. Imus lost his job for his stupid comments come on people it is time to grow up and live right.

Anonymous said...

The problem with that last comment was that the "one girl" was not offended, neither was her mother who was also there. I might also add, she does not even attend that church. Perhaps you should check out what went on (actually) instead of everyone jumping to conclusions. Call someone at the church. The number has been given on this site several times already. How can everyone be so offended at something they know nothing of????

J said...

Im sure all the participants didnt act with hate or malice- just ignorance- but that doesnt excuse it. The disregard, disrespect, and blatant racism reminds me of the clan, who also claimed to be men of God. Whats so hard to understand? Do people do Holocaust reenactments and call them comedies? There is no excuse for this level of ignorance. And, yes, this is blackface, stupid. Wikipedia is not the end all be all of definitions...

nadia said...

i just read the first dozen or so comments and i'm already so mad i'm going to have to stop there. the "festivities" taking place in the initial post are disgusting enough; it is laughable that people are attempting to make excuses for it (well it would be laughable if these people weren't representative of many of the decision makers in our country). UGH!

good for you for exposing these fools.

Anonymous said...

First of all, it's really sad to call someone stupid who you do not know. The whole point of the blog is that this person feels wronged. If you agree with him, then you should stop belittling others. You are right though. Here is the dictionary definition of it...
Blackface
black makeup used by white performer: makeup to blacken the face and other exposed areas of skin, used by a non-black singer or other performer, especially formerly in minstrel shows

Not necessarily a derrogatory thing. It's all in the context of how they were portraying them.
They were portraying actual slaves, not mocking them. How in the world could you compare this to the clan, who killed people simply because of the color of their skin. I'm really surprised no one has asked in what context this was done. Has anyone bothered to question what the skit was about? It was a depiction of slaves being freed from the plantation, not a satire of slavery, as has been inaccurately depicted by this blog and several media sources.

The play was not considered to be offensive to anyone involved, anyone present, or anyone who heard about it. It wasn't offensive until the creator of this blog used this platform to misrepresent what actually happened to serve his own racism. Yes, I said it, an African-American who is a racist. Take everything said in this blog with a grain of salt. I happen to know the person behind this is not even the person you see on the blog. It's someone who has a problem with the church and is willing to exploit anything that can be misconstrued to their advantage. The are using this man to exploit a vendetta. Most people should mind their own business, and if you don't understand something, don't criticize it until you have all the facts. Find a few African-American people that have attended the church and have gone to the school. Get some information, then you can get back on the world-wide-web and apologize to the school instead of the school apologizing to everyone in the world who's looking for a reason to feel wronged.

belledame222 said...

Excuse me? A black man is saying he finds blackface racist and you're telling him that you know what's "racist" better than he does? This gets better and better.

So Ted Danson should apologize to the entire African-American community, too, then?

Frankly, yes. And to the rest of us while we're at it, for the abomination that is "Three Men and a Little Lady." Among other things.

belledame222 said...

What about all of the Rap songs that are out there? And the folks who put up provocative pictures on internet sites such as Bebo and MySpace and other chat sites? The pornagraphy sites that are so accessible to children? Are not they discriminatory toward women and children

What -about- them? What about the penguins starving in Antarctica?
"They do it too, why're you picking on MEEEEEE" is not an excuse that generally works past the second grade or so.

Anonymous said...

It's really great that "the one" Black girl and her family were not offended by this display. That makes me feel SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better about this whole thing. If that one Black girl thinks it's fine, it must be! All of us who are offended must be wrong... after all, she's BLACK! She knows exactly how all Black people must feel! Phew!

Anonymous said...

Okay, here's what I want to know:

What EXACTLY was the point of this, in the first place? I still haven't figured it out. I've read that it was "just for fun," that it was "an educational experience," and a couple other things I believe. So what was it? What was the goal?

Anonymous said...

"How can the school be racists when there are more hispanic students than white students"

Like Hispanics can't be racist?

if you seriously think that only Caucasians can be considered racist, then um...wow.

Maybe they didn't mean to hurt anybody, but it WAS in bad taste and they should have known better.

-Liz

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone bothered to question what the skit was about? It was a depiction of slaves being freed from the plantation, not a satire of slavery, as has been inaccurately depicted by this blog and several media sources."

I would love to see a video of the entire thing. The pictures posted here certainly do not depict "slaves being freed from the plantation" - in fact, one is labeled "Bringing home the runaway slave."

Furthermore, it's more complicated than whether or not it was "complimentary" toward slaves, or whatever. The simple act of dressing up in blackface (YES IT IS BLACKFACE) is a part of a LONG tradition that has been anything but "complimentary." As somebody else pointed out, it's not just about the intention - it's about the reality, which is that blackface offends many people, FOR A REASON.

circa_survive2007 said...

Look here i have been to this church many times and have attended a few of these graduation celebrations, all they are doing is trying to have fun out there, they were not trying to dicriminate against any race, or trying to be racist, this was just about having fun, have we forgotten where we live, what are founding fathers fought for and fought against, can anyone just have fun anymore without someone making a big deal out of something small,why dont we just ban all comedy shows, all movies all music, people make fun of mexicans but people dont get mad and offended, people make fun of white people but no one gets offended people make fun of african americans but no one get offended, this was nothing more than an educational play, i mean almost no one knew about this before some idiot person happen to stumble upon some pictures because they had no life and had nothing better to do other than single out a christian school just trying to have fun, a christian church that wanted to do some good for their school children. And obviously they are not racist, especially since i am hispanic and they did not single me out, i have seen african american's go to there church as well, if this church and everyone who goes to this church is so bad why is it still around, if they were so racist so predjudice, so everything you say they are why do they still have people coming to the church, they still support they church, all colors and they support the church, so yes please next time you want to try and make a big scene get the whole story first, go to the event in question, go to the church, investigate, educate yourself on whats going on first before you run around like a chicken with its head cut off causeing a ruckus

Anonymous said...

I am so confused, I thought racism was saying or at least acting like you hate someone or something. I am missing the racism in what these people did. They depicted a time in the past and how it was reconciled. HOW WAS THAT RACIST????? Is there anyone on this blog that was a slave???? I don't think so. You're blaming these people for something that happened...what!??? not to you???Amazing. Taking on someone else's burden, how...how.. Christian of you. While you're at it, go for blood.

Anonymous said...

What did our founding fathers fight for? The chance to "have fun"? The chance to have slaves (which a majority of our "founding fathers" did have)? Huh?

AGAIN, Nobody is calling anybody "BAD." We (who are offended) are calling people ignorant, and we are calling the ACTIONS racist.

Anonymous said...

SOMEON PLEASE explain how the play was racist! Please! who actually saw it to know it was racism? Everyone says this and that... You know it's funny cause I'm African American too and what I think about this is that all you other African Americans are racist yourself. That's why you have a problem with white people playing the role of a black person. But it's ok for a black person to play a white person? No. You wern't there, you don't know and you only agree with tate cause he's African American not because he's right.

Anonymous said...

Who is hurt from what happened???? Nobody was hurt or offended unless they chose to be. Stop venting these vendettas against people of a different race. It has already been said, it's not offensive for the roles to be reversed. Get over what happened. People do skits and depictions of bad things that have happened in history. There have been plays about the holocaust, no one would be offended. If anything, it would raise awareness of what happened, to act as a reminder. There are things that happen every day that could be "offensive" some just choose to not wear feelings on their sleeves. This is not Michael Richards screaming the "N" word in a crowded theatre. To my knowledge there is no accusation of inappropriate words or actions other than their faces painted black.

And....hasn't this church already issued a statement saying that they are sorry if they offended ANYONE. That is a very blanket apology. Raise your hand if you want them to come visit your house and kiss your feet. Perhaps that would make you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Where is Tate anyway? He has nothing to say apparently.

Anonymous said...

people who are offended, grow up, get a life, they apologized, you got an apology like you wanted, but like i did say before you don't care if they didn't mean any harm or if they apologized because you are racist against the white people, and I hope you don't call yourselves Christians because the Bible says to FORGIVE AND FORGET!!!

Anonymous said...

These people didn't invent slavery, just discussed it and depicted it in a play. I believe that is what is being blown out of proportion.

They didn't even use the "N" word????? That would have been a more accurate depiction, and it would have been racist. Oh wait... that must be why they didn't do that!

Anonymous said...

So yeah, America's doomed.

You poor, poor people. I truly pity you. I know this sounds condescending, but it's beyond anything like that. I'm just sad. We're hopeless.

AMERICA IS RACIST
AMERICA IS RACIST
AMERICA IS RACIST
AMERICA IS RACIST
AMERICA IS RACIST

Anonymous said...

Well God bless all of the church members jumping on-line to defend themselves and their chuch. Is it really necessary? Do you have something to hide? Your defense is how many people you have helped, or children you have picked up and taken to church, and Ron that gas money, don't worry I'm sure they get to write it off at the end of the year. The point is good deeds alone don't get you into heaven.

This is a church who is building a new sanctuary with money that has been collected for years and years from loyal churchgoers. (by the way, can a member request a refund when they choose to no longer be a member?) Well at least the money left over after supporting all their kids for years and years who don't have paying jobs. (Yes I know you are doing the work of God and it is your full-time job) The church is also offending many of the business owners in the community because they find that building a new building is more important than paying debts owed on tabs at many local businesses.

To erny or rather should I say Ernest spouting off when your mother is rumored to have had innapproprite relations with the pastor of this church. No I'm not making a false statement against you, I am only relaying a rumor! Come on dude it is not like you went to law school!

Trev, Trev, Trev, you yourself say that you are no longer attending this church, your info is just as second hand as anyone elses. Plus aren't you the guy who wasn't sure where to stick it on your wedding night? Guess you can't be blamed since you had never seen a woman naked before. At least that is what they say. wink wink!

They make terrible fun of students every year, some people would probably call it hazing or roasting. That's bad enough, but the theme, come on! By the way to those refering to the event as a prom. No can do! members associated with this church are not allowed to dance, unless of course it is in the spirit. Spririt of what you may ask, I'll let you be the judge.

And to Larry going on about rappers and pornography when it is rumored that when you were off looking for your biological mother you were actually holed up in some hotel room watching porn and eating chocolate. Of course leaving your wife and children at home alone.

To all of you defending a pastor and his wife who teach that sin is a woman wearing pants, cutting her hair, or wearing makeup. God forbid you listen to non-religious music, have a television, or have sex before marriage. Oh wait, their son is the one who knocked up a girl, chose to have a big wedding, then let the cat out of the bag, or bun out of the oven, or whatever that saying is.

Shit has finally hit the fan!

What I am saying is there is plenty of dirt. I'm just glad that it finally got to be too much to sweep under the rug!!!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe how this was blown out of proportion. As a white American, if I complained everytime someone (other ethicity) offended me, I would be on the news everday. I have visited RAG and specifically noticed the mix of races and was impressed. I think someone needed a little air time and thought this would be a good way to get it!

kateg said...

I one more person mentions 'White Chicks" I'm going to scream and turn blue. ITS NOT THE SAME THING (as the "historical" recreation should demonstrate to any remotely sentient being.)

Anonymous said...

To the comment above..."What I am saying is there is plenty of dirt. I'm just glad that it finally got to be too much to sweep under the rug!!!" Please don't talk trash about the people of that church. I do not attend that church but do know some of the people there, and would gladly have a casual conversation with you about any of your slanderous statements. Email me at arlieafton@aol.com. If we truly wanted to correct this situation, the best thing to do would be to contact the church, let them know what they did wrong and how it is harmful to you and/or the general populace and then help them figure out how to correct their offense. Going on a blog and letting skeletons out of closets is not helpful and does nothing to alleviate the situation. Don't call them on the carpet anonymously and rally other people to your lynching party. Either confront them yourself personally, or just shut up.

Anonymous said...

To respond to that I will say if you do not attend the church, then obviously you would not know what goes on.Talking to the leadership figures in the organization does not work, believe me, years ago I tried that and it didn't work, it just made it worse for myself. Guess that might be one of the reasons I left! I'm not asking anyone to agree with me , or calling them to the carpet. These are people who opened their mouth to defend when they should have kept their mouths shut, Maybe I should too, but unless you have been through this organization first hand, you have no idea! Is everyone in that church bad, absolutely not, but the leadership is off track, hello look what started this all in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I do not attend the church so I concede: Point taken. But I will state again, you are not helping anything, just making a bad situation worse. Please, email me and I can help you go about things the right way and hopefully help you find resolution to your problem, and theirs. Again, I am not hiding behind an anonymous entry. Here is my email address: arlieafton@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I'm black, and I think this is pretty funny. I'm not mad at them. Their country is in serious and unstoppable decline, and it's becoming painfully aware to them. How do they react? Well, look at the pictures, lol. Don't y'all see that this is a sign of pathetic weakness? This is a reason for us to gloat at them, not get all distressed, LOL.

Tom said...

It's obviously racist.

Slavery isn't funny. Do I have to say that?

People who have defended this ... How would you like to see a fun little "skit" about your own ancestors trying to escape from horrible conditions, and then being captured, brought back ...? For flogging or death, because that's what it would have been.

What is wrong with this country, that people rush to defend "jokes" like that?

kateg said...

Calling racist crap racist crap is NOT nor is it even metaphorically comparable to a "lynching party." As for not calling people out in public, yeah, its embarrassing, but these morons should be embarrassed. I'm not sympathetic.

Rachel's Tavern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel's Tavern said...

Sorry had to fix a typo...

Tate, Keep up the good work.

To all of you anonymous commenters, who want to spew your racist nonsense behind the anonymity of the internet, you folks certainly aren't acting very Christianly.

I think the principal's comment on the local TV station speaks volumes about the "skit." This was part of a graduation party. What does graduation have to do with slavery? Can any of the racism apologists on this thread please tell me the connection.

Then the principal went on to say that the purpose of this skit was to roast the graduates and poke fun at some of their mannerisms. How in God's name does invoking slavery do that?

The reason this is so offensive is because slavery is not funny, and if you think slavery is funny, you're one sick puppy and a pretty hypocritical Christian.

The school officials and students should apologize for their insensitivity to African Americans.

Again, what is so funny about slavery. If you think the skit is funny, then you should be able to articulate what about slavery is humorous.

Moreover, whether or no the school or affiliated church has black or Latino members is irrelevant. This subject here is the skit. Let's focus on that.

silk said...

I cannot believe the amount of dumb racist apologist. Lets get a couple of things clear:

1) This graduation "event" IS racist. Racism is not only reserved for KKK card carrying members, it also applies to a general ignorance and lack of senstivity towards people of other groups. So no, even though this is a staged "production," the matter is people who trivializes slavery is racist. We all slip up at some point and commits something deemed as racist or ignorant, but the difference is that some people are able to admit it and learn from it. What bugs me even more are people who comes up with stupid excuses to cover themselves when being called on.

2) How can a largely Hispanic school be racist? By doing stupid racist things like this. Look, you don't have to be anglo-white to be racist. So the school's demographic makeup does not excuse this act of racism.

3) And so what rappers call each other ho's and nig--r? That still doesn't give people the right to commit racist acts. Does a small minority represented by rappers a ticket for you to join in the fun? No. If your father is abusive and calls your mother a whore, does that give someone else the right to call your mother a whore? No. Oh yeah, and last time I checked, my African American friends don't call each other nig--rs; they call each other by their given names.

4) For those who bring up "White Chicks," so you are saying that the Wayans speak for the entire Black community, and since they did something along the same vein, it is ok for others to do Blackface and we should shut up and accept it? Wrong! Again, just because

5) "Get over it?" "Minorities are sensitive?" Who the fuck are you to tell us to get over it? Since when do you speak for us whether this is or is not offensive to us?

5) And on the same line, for all of you minorities who is ok with this racist caricature: just because YOU don't find it offensive, does not mean other people don't. Your blessing is not a ticket to practice racism.

6)Freedom of speech? Freedom of speech does not imply freedom from consequence. And if you want to get technical, here's a good synopsis of free speech from the good folks at reappropriate.com ( Thank Jenn--- http://www.reappropriate.com/?p=690 ).

In short:
"The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by THE GOVERNMENT."

So in this case, where have the Riverdale's party-goer's free speech been violated? No one is being put in jail? We are only asking them to recognize that their party theme is a stupid one.

Furthermore, I cannot put it in a better way than Jenn here:
"This misguided interpretation of the First Amendment is motivated primarily by privilege: a privilege that states that one need never consider the oppressed minority community victimized by one’s speech; that one will never be the victim of similar oppression based on one’s own race, ethnicity or gender; that one has the unabashed right to appropriate, misinterpret or disrespect a foreign culture or tradition; that one is never hurting real people just like oneself; that the victims of one’s actions are less important than one’s own interests; that the targets of one’s hatespeech should “suck it up and deal”; that one need not treat an Other with basic respect and dignity. This misguided interpretation is based on a narcisstic, ”me”-centred outlook of the world, that conveniently white-washes the interests of all non-mainstream minorities who cannot afford to pretend that the law will always protects the basic human rights that mainstream Americans take for granted."

Similary, I can practice MY freedom of speech for calling you out for being a racist dumbass.

Anonymous said...

"I hope you don't call yourselves Christians because the Bible says to FORGIVE AND FORGET!!!"

The Bible says to forgive; it does not command us to forget.

God is well aware that He did not give most of us the ability to selectively erase our memories.

MomEtc. said...

I am so saddened and dismayed to think that anyone would find this behavior acceptable. I am glad you copied the pics here because apparently they've been taken down from their original location. This kind of behavior should be punishable by law. Period.

PS: I am the mother to Chinese children and am considering adopting from Ethiopia. I spend my time, money and resources fighting this garbage. The rest of us, the GOOD decent Americans who care about each other, will not let our country be destroyed by racists!

Rhomea said...

damn what the fuck!! I never understand white people's fascination or perhaps obsession with blackface or minstrel culture. I mean we black people don't have parties and functions where we dress up like white people. It is not only racist but it is weird too.

d. said...

And on the same line, for all of you minorities who is ok with this racist caricature: just because YOU don't find it offensive, does not mean other people don't. Your blessing is not a ticket to practice racism.

I wholeheartedly agree, and would just add that there are many "self-hating" minorities out there: People who despise their own race because they are brainwashed by bigots, racists and apologists. I don't care if the entire school is hispanic, the actions were insensitive, to put it lightly.

Also, I don't think they meant to insult black people...I don't think black people were even on their radars, which is very telling. They "didn't mean to offend", but they also didn't give a crap if they did!! When you take actions like that, but then refuse to bear the consequences, you are cowardly. Saying sorry, but then blaming the victims for being too sensitive is not apologizing, that is tossing the burden onto their shoulders. Trying to give the bigots a way out of the trouble they caused by supporting their organization, or backing what they did, is adding to the problem, not actively working to fix it. As a poster stated before, it's "copping out". It is actually derailing a conversation that could be progressive.

To the students and faculty involved: You reap what you sow.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say?

White chicks

Hispanics

And the Jews did it is not a good defense.

So easy are humans to point a finger at someone else when clearly you need to be pointing at a mirror.

I know what it will take to make whites understand.

All the other minorities in America need to throw a party and we can dress up like white women in black clothes and pretend we are jogging at night. Then act surprised when we get hit by cars or robbed. Then we can get the guys to dress up like white men and set up scenes where they killed there whole families because we all know for a fact white people are crazy. I'll put a fake head in a pot and carry it around because that what "they" do. We can also run around stealing from other people and causing destruction at other parties we find going on because those people are uncivilized according to our standards.

If this was a real party and the pictures were posted on the internet it would be racist. Even though all those events are historically accurate and they really happened it would still be resist and highly insensitive.

Except the part about all white people being crazy that’s simply not true but it’s the things people assume that make you a racist not the facts. Like assuming that a school with Hispanics in it can’t possibly be racist or assuming that a group of minorities can’t also be racist.

Anonymous said...

The entire concept was racist and shows just how ignorant people are abourt U.S. History.
If they wanted to depict the days of slavery did they represent:

Tom Jefferson and his Black mistress with their 5 kids,
Young Black men and women being raped repeatedly by slave masters
Women and men being whipped til their blood flowed onto the ground
Pregnant slaves being whipped on the ground after having a hole dug in the ground for them to place their bellys
Thousands of families being torn apart and relatives sold at the whim of the masters
The pain of working from sun up till sun down
The torment of those who came over on the filthy ,croweded slave ships
Phyllis Wheatly,writer
Benjemin Banneker,archetect
Fred Douglas,slave, writer whos spoke aboutbeing a slave child who only had 2 shirts to wear all year no shoes, socks or pants during the winter
David Walker whose writing was imitated by the authors of the Declaration od Independence
The success of Reconstruction before the poor whites/KKK commited terorrist acts and voted in Jim Crow laws
Etc...
If they wanted to have a theme day how about the accomplishements of all Americans from various ethnic groups
Since the are Christian, why did someone not dress as Jesus in blackface ???

Dumi said...

Brotha Tate, thanks for posting this and getting the word out. I came to your site through Rachel's Taver. I have neither the time nor energy to respond to the more ridiculous comments some folks have left about the non-racist nature of this "spoof". Keep spreading the world and challenging bigotry. Peace

Angel H. said...

The sadest thing about this incicent is that the school is affiliated with a church!

Seriously, though, I am not even surprised any more.

atlantic said...

I attended the school during the late 80's, early 90's. When I left there was a big controversey going on too, but nothing of this sort. What I have read does not surprise me. I remember athletic practices, school events and just classroom talk where the "N" word was used by students and never punished or corrected by the Supervisors and Monitors(their terms for teachers). I believe that the pastors used to preach against inter-racial marriage as well. Whoever you are Tade Hill, thank you for standing against this kind of trash.

Natasha said...

This is so offensive. Just when I think things can not get any worse, someone does something like this. And what's worse, is that Douglas Spencer, Principal, Riverdale Christian Academy said "The point of the skit it to roast the graduates and poke a little fun at their mannerism and different things like that." How DARE HE attempt to defend this event with that statement. It was offensive and he exercised poor judgement.

If that's the case, why is it that we never see Holocaust-themed parties? This time it's Southern plantations, the next time it's concentration camps. The Germans used Jews as slaves during that era, and they were treated as property the same as Africans were. Just as Jews died in concentration camps, Africans died during capture, transport, sale, escape, etc.

I do not understand why it is taboo to poke fun at other historical atrocities, but for slavery, it's ok. Obviously, the penalty for this kind of behavior is not steep enough to deter these kinds of offensive acts.

I refuse to be silent on the issue, and urge others to speak up as well.

thenextgr8thing said...

So here we are. Sunday night... all the good Christians went to church today and the noble Bro. Tate probably received several pats on the shoulder from well meaning members as if to say “Good job! You really showed that predominantly white church how they should respect the black community and how their ignorance is beyond words. We shall speak about this matter at lunch today after church!"
Graduation Celebration. That's what it's called. It's a high school roast that takes place at RCC usually a week after graduation. Themes have varied from the wild wild west to 50's hot rod era.
While I did not attend this particular grad cell... I have attended others, after all, I'm an alumni. The theme of the grad cell in question was one of Civil War Era...NOT a slavery theme. There were slaves portrayed in the skits because, well there were slaves in that era. How can you begin to tell the story of the civil war era without slaves? They were just a part of that point in history. I figured a well educated man like Bro. Tate could see that. After all, he was there to see with his own eyes along with the other self rightous bloggers on this site. I mean having attended the grad cell they could have seen that the pics were taken out of context and twisted to reveal the bitterness of one man.
There, I said it. Bitterness. Tate seems to be so engulfed in this story of RACE, that any point he is trying to make becomes overshadowed.
True, it was naive of Riverdale to paint themselves black in an over offended society with little Sharptons running around scraping for every bit of attention they can bring themselves to further their own agenda. I would say that this choice of theme was, in fact, the wrong one.
HOWEVER, the attention this story is receiving due to one man whose quality of life was disrupted because he got offend over a graduation roast a week old is ridiculous! Why did Tate portray the black community as receiving a setback, portray himself as some high and mighty beacon of anti racism when he proceeds to relish on the unfounded fact that the Assemblies of God may have had some racial tension in the far past. " You know, I don't mean to point the finger at that predominately white denomination and say that they are all racists...but my bitterness is getting the best of me and so I must say that in 1914 at Hot Springs, Arkansas... blah,blah,blah."
And so I must ask, since you(you know who you are) where so offended, why did you go to 47 and not man up and go directly to Rev. Charles Spencer and calmly discuss the situation. And if you did, blog it!
Don't like what I'm saying? Email me at thenextgr8thing@yahoo.com

Quissa said...

For the white people that don't understand how this is racist let me say a few things to you...


What did that have to do with graduating? What if my church had a "skit" acting out how Columbus came over here, killed the indians and stole their land? How would you feel if we demonstrated how you go on spring break and act like complete whores? Or if they had a "skit" showing a father molesting his daughter or son? Or what about a "skit" where they shoot up a school?

How can u even try to compare the Wayans Bro's to these racist christians? Slavery was more than just a damn historical event so excuse me if I didn't think that shit was funny. Hell why didn't they have somebody hanging from a tree to top the shit off? And they didn't have to say the "N" word to be racist the party was enough to get the point across.

And to the black people that are not offended by what they did that's you and you have a right to feel that way. But what you should realize is that at the end of the day you are still just another "N" to them. And I am from the south where racism is stronger than it ever was so I speak from experience. Don't tell me I don't have a right to express my feelings about something I think was uncalled for.

Quissa said...

And to whoever said that black people are trying to be white you must haven't taken a look at your culture lately.

I can't go anywhere without seeing some white girl with her hair braided, sounding ignorant because she's trying to talk like us, getting implants in her ass and getting skin cancer just to be brown like me, sucking off every Tom Dick and Harry so her baby can have brown skin. Or the white guys that ride around bumping rap music louder than a black guy, wearing a bunch of fake ass jewelry with a mouth full of platinum. So don't come on here with that bull****.

kristen said...

"pathetic group of racists" pretty strong words for a school that has just almost as much, if not more Hispanic students than White Students..."

By Anonymous, at 11:14 PM

Whites are not the only people who can be racist. And i do not recall seeing any "hispanics" in the photos


"Should the apology be directed to same African-American community that call each other the N word a thousand times in their rap songs...Should white people be offended at the Dave Chapelle skit where he paints himself white and gets all kinds of laughs while making fun of profiling a white news anchor? Why don't you get rid of the racism in your own race before attacking other so-called "racists"

By Anonymous, at 11:26 PM

here we go,
most, or a large percentage of, blacks do not use the N word. In fact I am surprised by this comment that you didn't just use "nigger"...i know you want to...

Dave Chappelle does not represent black people any more than you do whites (i am assuming, correct me if i'm wrong). It is incredibly presumptuous and ignorant to take one or two attributes committed by individual persons and apply them to the entire group. It's called stereotyping for a reason.

one more:

"Stop!!! I AM AFRICAN AMERICAN! I went to that school from K-12. I have never had a problem with that school as far as race. My brother also went to the school and my little sister WILL go to that school. You want to talk about RACIST then let's talk about how YOU are talking bad about these white people who you call racists. Some people need to learn to lighten up. They are not being disrespectful or racist to anyone. They are not making fun of us African Americans. Every year they try to do different stories for their Graduation Celebration. You are the one with the problem not them. And if they do apologize that just shows that they weren't trying to be offensive and it does show that you just have issues that need to be dealt with and you need to take you underwear out of your butt before you get even more butt hurt."

Blacks do not call themselves African Americans- except in limited circumstance. and the fact that you are anonymous, leads me to believe that you are a white person who is posting as BLACK to apologize for these ignorant, racist whites. and the fact that they did not understand why what they did was racist, makes it even more so. It's like saying, "Well we DID tie a rope around his neck and DID hang him from the tree, but we didn't know he'd DIE!"

thankgodi'mnotamerican said...

America is trully a lost country. Hopeless, full of low intellect, useless people. tsk tsk.

Anonymous said...

I know who left all this garbage about the church and God will handle you. How dare try and hurt church members and listen to rumors you will get yours. What goes around comes around.It is good that the pastor's little innocent grandaughter can't quite read don't you even care if you hurt her all,you are concern about is hurting and destroying other people. You are so full of hatred God have mercy on your son those that live by the sword live by the sword die by the sword.

Braving the Arirang said...

Just the mere portrayal of another race for the sake of laughter is wrong. It doesn't matter whether it's done by the same race, a different race, or whatnot. Yes, okay, Dave Chappelle was wrong. But so were the dumbf*cks who did Kung Pow and thought it would be hilarious to dress a white boy up in karate outfits and have an Asian woman with one boob. So were the old black and white movies where there were white actors portraying black people with black make up and asian people with "asian eyes" taped back and yellow skin and black hair.

All of it is wrong. I think this is utterly ridiculous and have been horrified at the amount of public displays of racism have occurred in the past year - the Johns Hopkins incident at Halloween was also ridiculous - and the "ghetto" parties that were thrown at college fraternities.

It's all wrong. Unfortunately, you can't cure stupidity.

Chet Alvisov said...

They did absolutely NOTHING amiss. THAT is how it was back then and there is no use changing it to a lie to appease some fools. There was a huge divide and it was depicted. NOTHING wrong with that at all. To have done otherwise would have been a lie.

Anonymous said...

This is so offensive. Just when I think things can not get any worse, someone does something like this. And what's worse, is that Douglas Spencer, Principal, Riverdale Christian Academy said "The point of the skit it to roast the graduates and poke a little fun at their mannerism and different things like that." How DARE HE attempt to defend this event with that statement. It was offensive and he exercised poor judgement.

If that's the case, why is it that we never see Holocaust-themed parties? This time it's Southern plantations, the next time it's concentration camps. The Germans used Jews as slaves during that era, and they were treated as property the same as Africans were. Just as Jews died in concentration camps, Africans died during capture, transport, sale, escape, etc.

I do not understand why it is taboo to poke fun at other historical atrocities, but for slavery, it's ok. Obviously, the penalty for this kind of behavior is not steep enough to deter these kinds of offensive acts.

I refuse to be silent on the issue, and urge others to speak up as well.

Anonymous said...

I have responses to various comments:
1) It is offensive because it's a caricature of black slaves. What a "riot" it is to have these happy slaves sell lemonade and to reenact the return of runaways. Hopefully no further explanation is necessary?

2) Who cares whether it's technically blackface or not? How about the underlying mockery going on? It's just not right, call it blackface, brownface, racism, ignorance, or good ol fun.

3) It doesn't seem racist, it is racist. And no, it is not racist to ask for apogies to African Americans, because they are mocking American slavery--which affected Africans in America, or African Americans. But yes, you're right, while they're at it they should apologize to humanity in kind, because this effects us all. Let's not let the fact that it indirectly affects us all blind us from the fact that this is a direct attack on black people, specifically African American black people.

And finally, my two cents: WHAT DO WE DO NOW? Besides, I mean, pray for these people.

Ron said...

Not funny.

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh, how does Jerry Maguire say? Oh yeah....."I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!!!"

Anonymous said...

Dirt? You havent heard the best of it yet. So it has been HEARD...the pastor's son chuck spencer (also the highshchool teacher) has sexually harrassed students in his department. Asking questions and making comments that should only be made to his wife (who still doesnt know). If it was you daughter Larry Snell what would you do...tell her to eat some twinkies? Ernest if it was your sister tell me you wouldnt get pissed? Trever if it was your wife tell me you would still stand behind the pastors? If it was my kid... you dont even want to know what would happen to him. I know this is FACT... you know why? I have personally asked the pastor and his wife if this was true? You know what they said... YES but GOD forgives and forgets, so should you. Me? What about the student it happened to? I wont even tell you if it was a boy or a girl! You know chuck has kids...


It has also been HEARD that jason fox likes to molest 14-17 year olds. Whether they clean house for them or work for them it doesnt matter he'll let you know that he isnt happy with his crippled wife! you know the family gave one of the girls money for her wedding because they wanted to keep her mouth shut? one of the girls lived next door to him and still she watches his kids... do they learn. the other girl was told she was good looking in a very uncomfortable way by him. he even tried to hit on his own sister in law. SPENCERS KNOW about this too!ASK him.

you know in both these cases you might say... " well if they dont do it again why tell the law? think about their kids and family?"
and i must tell you they should have thought about their family when they were doing it!

i say all this to say... all this hidden, it is about time everything catches up with this church who says the are honest. racism is SIN... so is sexual harassment and molestation!

John Hedtke said...

I agree with an earlier comment that poor taste isn't illegal, nor should it be... but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be condemned for being in poor taste. Freedom of speech certainly allows folks to hold whatever opinions they like and even to share them. But it also allows me to say that the event seems to have embodied a rather impressive amount of insensitivity.

I can't say I'm surprised that a bunch of self-selected white conservative Christians would do something as tacky as this, but I am disgusted with them. It wasn't funny or appropriate.

Anonymous said...

"To all of you defending a pastor and his wife who teach that sin is a woman wearing pants, cutting her hair, or wearing makeup. God forbid you listen to non-religious music, have a television, or have sex before marriage."

So, you're advocating a position against freedom of religion? Cause their religious beliefs on pants have nothing to do with this debate.

KMB said...

No one has mentioned tanning salons yet?

Anonymous said...

I just hate that this is being associated in any way with Christianity. I seriously doubt that the pastor or the people meant any harm but this is a church known for its backwards ways and it's cult like beliefs. Not a main stream Christian church at all.

David Duke said...

"I know who left all this garbage about the church and God will handle you. How dare try and hurt church members and listen to rumors you will get yours. What goes around comes around.It is good that the pastor's little innocent grandaughter can't quite read don't you even care if you hurt her all,you are concern about is hurting and destroying other people. You are so full of hatred God have mercy on your son those that live by the sword live by the sword die by the sword."

Can children conceived in sin learn how to read?
I guess only if they're white

"you will get yours" does this sound apologetic? Even Christian? Or does it sound like a group of people used to getting their way by pushing people around?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Bet they wished they would have thought that stupid night thru alittle better now huh! Time to come into the 21st century people. Since you all seem to have computers get a life and learn to think for yourselves.

handelmans said...

As a minister ordained with the same organization as this school/church, I want to emphasize the fact that this is not how the Assemblies of God operates. I have known of this particular church for a number of years and their is a sad history of spiritual abuse that has been destructive to the body of Christ.

Their good deeds DO NOT cover the damage that has been done. Perhaps the individual above should give the same concern to the entire African American community that they give to the Pastor's grandaughter? How did this blatant disrepect and lack of judgement on the part of this institution hurt this community?

The Riverdale church and school owe a formal apology put their ignorance and spiritually abusive ways have prevented them from doing the right thing. Shame on the Pastor and the faculty.

Frank Z said...

I'm black and I'll say this is about the biggest yawner since Kramer said nigger. The deal with racism is this. It exists, it's always going to exist, but as long as I am breathing, live in a safe home, and have my belly full, it has zero effect on my life whatsoever. I really don't care that everybody in the world doesn't love me.

gkcmorgan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Why is this a surprise to anyone? I am not shocked, I am just saddened that people think this type of trash is funny. I could care less about dave chapelle or the wayans brothers. They cannot be compared to the garbage the students displayed. I am so tired of America turning a blind eye to racist and insensitive moments pertaining to bad history. Slavery was not, is not, and will never be funny. It was not a laughing matter for the ones who walked this land before me. It wasn't funny for the ones who were beaten, raped, babies killed, families seperated, not able to read or write just so I and other black people can have the opportunities we have today. That I do not find funny. I do not find funny the fact that it seems people all over the world hate black people. We are often imitated by others who make a buck off of us, yet we are told to get over certain things that have happened to our ancestors. I also wonder why no one makes fun of the holocaust. I wonder why no one makes fun of the native americans who were killed off by people who claimed they discovered a land already discovered. America is a place full of lies. It has a shameful past and it seems history itself is constantly being repeated. I could care less about some whiny whites who seem to think racism is no big deal. Yet these are the same ones who are probably a member of stormfront.org. White people will never get it, some black people will never get it, so why are some so inclined to make them get it? You know something, I wanted to be so much like brother Malcolm X. He was a strong man who stood for what he believed in, but he also got killed for what he fought for. I believe if Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey were alive today they would probably commit suicide. Seeing as how nothing has really changed in america at all. Racism is still here, and whites are still in power. Minorities are still feared, and why I do not know. Native Indians are still living on reservations, and mexicans are constantly being exploited for cheap labor. Really everyone, what's new?

Like I've stated america is not the land of milk and honey. It is the land of greed, racism, capitalism, and individualism. It is not a place I would ever want to raise children in. It is not a place I want to make friends. It is not a place I like socializing in very much. If Jesus were to come back for his people, I believe the majority of americans (especially white people) would be left here to die a horrible death on earth.

This is just a prime example of why not talking about race relations in america is damaging to everyone. Whether you think acts like this affect you or not, believe it does. Pretty soon there will be there will be a race war where everyone is against each other. I'll be ready too. This world is coming to an end fairly quickly, and you can see that when stories like this arise. In my honest opinion, God should have never put that darn tree in the garden of eden. Maybe then humans wouldn't be in the sick and sadistic mess they are in now.

Allison said...

Blackface, brownface, "colored" make-up... what's the difference? The make-up is not the issue, it's the completely ignorant and clueless way with which they portray one of the biggest struggles of our American history. Slavery is something every American, particularly those of the black and white races, should be educated on and be comfortable enough to address and discuss intelligently. It's not so much the act of enslavement that bring on shame to white Americans, it's the severe racism that followed during the struggles for freedom and acceptance as equal human beings, let alone equal rights deserving citizens.

For these people to trivialize slavery, to use it as ENTERTAINMENT for a school dance, to do so in a church whose religion supposedly preaches love above all else? That's the core of the problem here.

Please don't pretend this is about make-up; I don't even think this is a bout who-owes-who and apology. This is about a small group of people in a tiny town of 2400, of which about 29 are black ("1.2% African American" population). This is about small-minded people accepting their ignorance and ignoring what the rest of the world has to say about acceptable behavior – racist or not.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this?

"A company that provides translation services and cultural sensitivity training to other organizations is being accused of sex discrimination and racial insensitivity in its own ranks."

"To bolster her discrimination complaint with the state, Kelly included photos allegedly showing the company's top two human resources executives dressed up for the 2005 corporate Halloween party as a black pimp and a white prostitute. The "pimp," a white woman wearing blackface and sporting a fake gold tooth, won the prize for best costume, the complaint said."

http://ads.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8PMRCTO0.htm

HUEY P. NEWTON said...

COULD THEY NOT FIND ANY BLACK STUDENTS TO PLAY THESE ROLLS? I SAW A COMMENT ASKING YOU TO TAKE THE PICTURES DOWN. DONT TAKE THEM DOWN...THE PEOPLE THAT WANT YOU TO TAKE IT DOWN ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WANT IT TO BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG. PEOPLE WHO DONT WANT TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR OWN ACTIONS. LET EVERYONE SEE IT. I WANT MY KIDS TO SEE IT. I WANT MY MOTHER TO SEE IT. LET THOSE PEOPLE THAT DID IT SEE IT EVERY DAY. JUST AS A REMINDER THAT RACISM IS STILL A PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY.... NOT THAT THE POVERTY LINE, AFFIRMITIVE ACTION, AND THE PERCENTAGE OF BLACKS IN PRISON WHEN MORE "WHITE COLLAR CRIMES" ARE COMMITED THAN ANY OTHER DONT ALREADY REMIND US.

Anonymous said...

Here are the photos from a ripoff site of the diversity training company.

#2 HR rep Valerie Higgins dressed in blackface as a 'pimp'
#1 HR rep Janice Parvin dressed as a 'ho'
CEO George Ulmer (dressed as Satan)

Notice how both the CEO Ulmer and #1 HR rep Parvin are applauding and smiling at the racist blackface pimp costume.

http://tinyurl.com/32qdfb
http://tinyurl.com/37ejj8
http://tinyurl.com/34bfgl
http://tinyurl.com/3ca2du
http://tinyurl.com/2o88sx

Parvin is an elected official. Her identity can be verified from this photo:
http://www.mpacorn.com/News/2003/1030/Front_Page/

Ulmer's photo can also be verified online:
http://www.hsdo.net/about.htm

Anonymous said...

I think some people like this so called christian Tate Hill like to argue about stupid things. The way I understand it a black girl goes to school at Riverdale Christian and she was offended that a black man would make shuch a big deal about American history. She said the under ground rail road was the theme of the play. Some so called Christians like this Tate Hill like sowing discord amoung fellow belivers. I am not a Christian myself however I do know that God frowns no sowing discord True racism is when one is haiting. This was not an act of hate. Mr. Tate Hill please take another look at the dictionary and find out what racism is before you try to bring fellow Christians down.