A New Year’s Day parade celebration in Philadelphia has quickly turned sour, after two white Mummers have been accused of marching in the parade with blackface.
What We Know:
- The Mummers are costumed entertainers that celebrate the new year. According to the parade’s website, for over 120 years, 10,000 adults and children celebrate New Year’s Day together in Philadelphia with the Mummers Parade in colorful costumes. Unfortunately, one organization’s members took their costumes too far. Mayor Jim Kenny has disqualified a Mummers group by the name of Froggy Carr, after two of its members were seen wearing black facepaint, reports CNN.
The use of blackface by someone affiliated with Froggy Carr today was abhorrent and unacceptable. This selfish, hateful behavior has no place in the Mummers, or the city itself. We must be better than this. The group was disqualified and we will be exploring additional penalties.
— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) January 1, 2020
- The gentlemen accused of wearing blackface deny the racial allegations. It’s being stated that the participants do not believe that they did anything wrong, they say that they were simply representing Philadelphia’s Flyer mascot, Gritty.
- “It has nothing to do about being racist to the black person or the white person or the yellow person. Whatever. It’s our tradition,” one man told a Philadelphia local station. When asked why wear blackface, another man said, “Cause I like it … Why not?”
- Stephen Pakech, the president of the Froggy Carr’s group, says that they do not condone the act. It is being speculated that while some deem the blackface to be a racist act, others do not, reports 6abc news. Philadelphia banned blackface from the parade in the 1960s.
Because of this incident, Rodney Muhammad, President of the NAACP Philadelphia branch, is requesting that the city rids itself of the parade in its entirety. There hasn’t been any word from the Froggy Carr organization about their dismissal.