A traditional Halloween dog parade in Ohio received massive backlash after one of the participants dressed in blackface to portray Tiger Woods.
The event hosts a costume contest where people and their dogs dress up in matching outfits. A video posted by the organizers of the event received scrutiny after people saw the blackface costume.
Alison Meredith wrote in a Facebook comment, “The participant should have been stopped at registration, and when that failed should have been pulled from the parade at whatever point an organizer saw it, even at the risk of causing a scene.”
She added, “The tepid response and shrugging off of responsibility [is] making a terrible situation much worse. You allowed a blatant and disgusting display of racism in your event that was advertised as being for the community.”
“At the absolute least the community is owed an apology and a clear plan for future events that includes advertised guidelines and a firm zero tolerance of racist costumes, speech, actions, etc, and accountability from the organizers and event team that they will not allow something like this to happen again,” she said.
Lakewood Alive responded with this statement on their Facebook page.
“LakewoodAlive is a non-profit community development organization whose mission is to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. At the heart of Lakewood’s vibrancy is inclusiveness and diversity,” the statement reads.
Adding, “An individual marched in Saturday’s Spooky Pooch Parade with his family in a costume that is not consistent with our values as an inclusive organization and community. We apologize for not addressing the issue.”