A White town councilman is under fire for an image of himself in blackface for a costume.
Faron Hamblin of Warsaw, Virginia has since deleted the image, apologized for the offense he caused, but also doesn't believe he did anything wrong.
You can see the image in the video below:
In his initial post, Hamblin wrote:
"In honor of my late friend, I went out as the legendary Randy Watson tonight. Give it up for my band Sexual Chocolate."
Hamblin was dressed as the Eddie Murphy character Randy Watson from the movie Coming to America. This included a pastel blue suit, curly wig, and darkening his skin to match that of the Black actor.
After public outcry, Hamblin removed the photo from his Facebook page. However, that doesn't mean he regrets it.
He made a long post defending the costume.
In that follow up post, Hamblin said:
"But since I'm White it's considered by some as offensive to dress as a Black person. It's off limits if your a White person. I think that's ridiculous!"
"Like Eddie, or Dave Chapelle I don't go walking on eggshells, worried about hurting someone's feelings. But I never intended it to be a racist issue."
Commenters agreed it was offensive to darken your skin to dress as a Black person due to the racist history of blackface and minstrel shows in the United States.
Blackface has a long, racist history.
The extreme caricatures played by White actors and musicians were degrading and hurtful, often literally so, to actual Black people.
While some commenters tried to ask why reverse instances were okay, such as the movie White Chicks starring the Wayans brothers, it misses the well documented historical context of racist abuse that specifically comes from blackface.
Other comments tried to point out other politicians that wore blackface, but those instances have also been equally condemned.
Other commenters couldn't help but joke about the situation.
Hamblin eventually made another post that was half apology, half lament over people thinking his racist act was racist.
In it he said:
"...Today I was called a racist. Yeah that cuts pretty deep. I made a post that hurt a lot of folks, and that was not my intention."
"Sorry to those folks I offended today included my family."
Maybe next time he'll use just a little common sense before deciding to dress in such a controversial costume for Halloween.