Diversity Experts Accuse Black Man Of Wearing Blackface At School Event

Photo: Getty Images

Two diversity, equity, and inclusion experts are coming under fire after wrongly accusing a Black man of being a white man wearing blackface at an Arizona school charity event.

Diversity advocates Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen wrote complaints to the Scottsdale Unified School District's Hopi Elementary PTA over its decision to hire Kim "Koko" Hunter for a fundraiser event. Rhoden and Lassen spotted Hunter, 56, in a photo from the event, only to later find out that he is indeed Black, the Arizona Daily Independent reported.

"The DJ that Hopi PTA hire[d] was, in fact a Black man," Hopi PTA president Megan Livengood wrote in response to Lassen obtained by the outlet. "It is insulting that you feel myself or PTA condone racist behavior or encourage it by posting on social media."

Lassen followed up with an apology to Livengood, stating that the two "should've reached out and inquired before making such accusations."

However, Rhoden, who is an instructor at Arizona State University, posted a side-by-side photo of Hunter on Facebook and continued to accuse Hunter of darkening his skin.

"Let me be clear, a black man apparently in blackface is a different than a White person," Rhoden wrote on Facebook. "However... it seems at the very least he is in darker make-up if not 'Black face' or I am completely mistaken and it's the lighting of the patio."

According to the NY Post, Hunter went on Facebook Live and said that one of the event's organizers reached out to him to confirm his race. Hunter also called out Rhoden for his accusations about wearing darker make-up.

"Was I not Black enough? How black do I got to be for people to know that I'm an actual Black person?
Hunter said in the Facebook Live.

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