The community of Riverdale is 22 mi. south of
The principal in the CBS-Channel 47 (View News Interview) stated that these were jokes and the skit was pointed to make fun of the students. That was the exact purpose of Blackface: to get a good laugh at the expense of blacks. How does whites painted to portray black slaves jest white and Hispanic students? The bigger question is would the same skits and characters if they had black students or black families in attendance? Hopefully, no. But their embarrassment demonstrates that they knew it was inappropriate and that that why the picture have been removed and the school site is ‘temporarily down’.
Does the presence of ethnic minorities diminish the opportunities for racism and prejudice?
No. In many southern states, there were (and still are) large percentages of blacks and Latinos but were home to the some of the most legally and socially segregated communities. Jim Crow started in the South it an effort to control the lives of the many blacks there.
The community can’t be racist because they have a large Hispanic/Latino population.
What? Have you been in
My Riverdale Knowledge
I have been to Riverdale a few times, in high school and college because I had black friends whose family that lived there and still do. I even had an opportunity to visit Boro Farms that is headquartered in the community.
Assemblies of God & Church of God in Christ
Let me make this clear—this is not an attack on the denomination. However, given the historical background of that body that broke off its affiliation to a black-led organization due to racial tension; it is an action that must be dealt with to further the reconciliation process. Also, for setting the facts straight, I have reference several sources including
The Assemblies of God, or A/G for short, was founded in 1914 at Hot Springs, Arkansas. The early founders were licensed white ministers of the Church of God in Christ, the largest African-American Pentecostal body founded by Charles Harrison Mason in 1897 . Their affiliation with the
“Since many white pastors had formerly been part of Mason's church [Mason was the founder of
There is truth in some comments that what was demonstrated was not blackface is its true or original form. Yet, if one looks back at the historical content of the practice, its purpose and its targeted audience you will find all of those elements present in the Riverdale incident.
Expert from “The Guardian”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1878318,00.html
Blackface is "a form of racist caricature invented by white Americans in the minstrel-show days of the 1800s," says American academic John Strausbaugh in his book, Black Like You. Blackface minstrelsy became one of the
"It was a deliberate attempt to suggest that black people had no humanity," says Caryl Phillips, whose latest novel, Dancing in the Dark, looks at the life of Bert Williams, a light-skinned Antiguan-born black man who became
Yes, we are American have freedom of expression—to the laws limit. People can say and do what they want but its not without consequence. I am especially disappointed about this situation for three reasons:
(1) While a private school, it is still an educational institution. What examples, images or messages did the faculty, staff, church leadership send to those students, who already have few opportunities given the area's demographic, about black Americans?
(2) Whether one is Christian or not (am I and a member of Church of God in Christ), in general, we as a society hold churches as moral-teaching institutions. What morals were taught that allowed such practices to take place at an event purposed on celebrating the accomplishment of young men and women completing one phase of the educational careers?
(3) How do these images affect the way, we as a community-- the Central Valley viewed internally and externally? Obviously, the images have been distributed across the country within a short of time (this event happened just last week) and made their way back to the Valley. Now what are we going to do about it? Are we willing to face the issue or do we continue to sweep such situations under the race rug? Time will tell.