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Arizona activists accuse DJ of wearing blackface at charity event before discovering he’s black

Activists who accused a primary school of racism for hiring a DJ “wearing blackface” have had to backtrack after finding the musician was in fact a Black man.

Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen, the two diversity advocates from Arizona, hit out at the Scottsdale Unified School District’s Hopi Elementary PTA for its decision to hire 56-year–old local DJ Kim Koko Hunter for a charity event.

According to the Arizona Daily Independent, Hopi PTA president Megan Livengood wrote a message in response to Lassen, confirming that this was the case.

“It is insulting that you feel myself or PTA condone racist behaviour or encourage it by posting on social media,” she wrote. Lassen, who is a librarian, reportedly responded by saying that Ms. Livengood was “right.”

“We should’ve reached out and inquired before making such accusations,” she said. “I cannot fathom the hurt, anger and frustration you felt after you and others volunteered countless hours on your event. Again, I truly apologize.”

Rhoden made an attempt to justify his comments. He went on to post a side-by-side image of Mr. Hunter on Facebook in a bid to show that the DJ darkened his face even if he is black. “Let me be clear, a black man, apparently in black face, is an entirely different discussion than a White person,” he wrote on Facebook.

Hunter said they had clearly thought that he had been in black face. “Wait a minute, in their defense,” he said to his friend who was on the Facebook Live with him, “how many chips in the ice cream did you see?”

“They were probably thinking the same thing I am: Wow, there are no black people here,” he said, laughing. Hunter went on to ridicule the accusation that he was a black man doing blackface, asking if he was “not Black enough.” He added, “How black do I got to be for people to know that I’m an actual Black person.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BLACK ENTERPRISE

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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