Arizona diversity advocates Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen have criticized the Scottsdale Unified School District’s Hopi Elementary PTA for its decision to hire local black DJ Kim Koko Hunter
Activists who accused an elementary school of racism for hiring a “black-faced” DJ were forced to back down after discovering the musician was actually black.
Arizona diversity advocates Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen have criticized 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.
Both Mr. Rhoden and Ms. Lassen, who are involved in diversity work in the school district, were informed after their attack that Mr. Hunter is in fact a black man and did not wear a black face.
According to the Independent Arizona DailyHopi PTA President Megan Livengood wrote a message in response to Lassen and confirmed that was the case.
“It is offensive that you feel that I or the PTA condones or encourages racist behavior through social media posts,” she wrote.
Ms Lassen, a librarian, reportedly responded that Ms Livengood was “right”.
“We should have reached out and asked before making such allegations,” she said.
“I cannot understand the pain, anger and frustration you felt after you and others volunteered countless hours to your event. Again, my sincere apologies.”
However, Mr. Rhoden, who is a lecturer at Arizona State University, did not seem as apologetic as Ms. Lassen.
He went on to post a side-by-side picture of Mr. Hunter on Facebook to show that the DJ has blacked out his face despite being black.
“Let me be clear, a black man, apparently black faced, is a very different discussion than a white person,” he wrote on Facebook.
“However… it seems at least he’s made up darker if not ‘Black Face’ or I’m completely wrong and it’s the patio lighting.”
Ms. Lassen is co-chair of the Scottsdale Parent Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, while Mr. Rhoden is a member of the district’s Justice and Inclusion Committee.
According to a Facebook Live hosted by Mr Hunter, an organizer called someone he works with after the event to ask if he was Black.
Mr Hunter said they clearly thought he was black in the face.
“Wait a minute, in their defense,” he said to his friend, who was on Facebook Live with him, “how many chips did you see in the ice?”
“They probably thought the same thing I did: wow, there are no black people here,” he said, laughing.
Hunter went on to mock the accusation that he was a black man who went blackface, asking if he wasn’t “black enough”.
“How black do I have to be for people to know I’m actually black,” he said.
Mr. Rhoden did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/activists-accuse-dj-wearing-blackface-26741093 Activists accuse DJ of wearing a black face to school before finding out he's black