Minn. students wear blackface at football game, sparking larger racism conversation

A high school football game in Minnesota featured a disturbing sight in the student section when a group of white fans decided to dress up in blackface, with one even going so far as to don an Afro wig.

Yet while the Eastern Carver County Schools District, home of Chaska High where the incident occurred, has already spoken out against the display, the district won’t divulge whether the students faced any penalty. Now some are upset that the students who took the game’s “black out” theme a bit too far may be skating free of accountability for an ugly scene, according to Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP.

Most disturbingly, one of the students involved reportedly defended his costume in a text message to KSTP:

“It’s not racist at all,” he said.

That statement flies in the face of an official comment from Eastern Carver director of community relations Brett Johnson, who highlighted the racist history of blackface in condemning the actions of students who wore it.

“Whether or not these students were aware, a white person painting their face black has racial connotations that go back to America’s history in the 19th century,” Johnson said in a statement to the media. “Throughout that century, white entertainers would mock African-Americans in what were called minstrel shows. The white performers would cover their faces with black paint, an act known as blackface. This history is painful, and acts of blackface are mocking and insulting.”

Meanwhile, classmates of the students involved have a very different view of their blackout get up than the one who insisted it was all innocent fun.

“Your actions do have consequences, even if you didn’t mean it to be offensive, it is still offensive, regardless of the intention,” an anonymous student told KSTP.

More Football