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Ebony Denied

Has anyone ever seen a minstrel show?

I didn’t think so.

Back in the 1800s, riverboats and vaudeville shows would often offer black entertainment performed by white performers in black face make-up. Later, that was a trademark of the famous theatrical performer Al Jolson. Many of the sketches and much of the comedy was based n the racial stereotypes of the day.

That’s why it’s not done now. It would be tasteless. But now comes a story from Colorado Springs, Colorado that represents what happens when racial sensitivity reaches a level of insulting stupidity.

A second grader was pulled out of class last week because he wanted to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wax Museum Day. His parents brought him to school in a black suit, white shirt and black tie with a moustache because that’s what M.L.K. looked like in the child’s picture.

but the student doing the tribute was white, so he wore black make-up. The school labeled his choice as offensive.

All the 7-year-old white child wanted to do is show his respect for Martin Luther King, Jr, who, I have no doubt, spent last Wednesday shaking his head in wonder.

I’m Pat McMahon.