A white town councilman who put on blackface for a costume and posted a picture to social media is now apologizing in the wake of backlash, NBC12 reports.
Faron Hamblin, of Richmond County, Virginia, apologized, saying, "I made a post that hurt a lot of folks and that was not my intention."
In his initial post, Hamblin wrote: "In honor of my late friend, I went out as the legendary Randy Watson tonight. Give it up for my band Sexual Chocolate." The post was in reference to a scene from the movie Coming to America. Hamblin has since removed the photo, although he says he doesn't think there was anything wrong with wearing the dark makeup because it was a show of "respect."
"Like Eddie [Murphy], or Dave Chapelle I don't go walking on eggshells, worried about hurting someone's feelings. But I never intended it to be a racist issue," Hamblin wrote in a Facebook post, which was captured by NBC12.
Speaking to NBC 12, Dr. Andrea Simpson, a political science professor and diversity dean at the University of Richmond, explained the racist history of blackface.
"The characters they come up with, Jim Crow, which was sort of a lazy, step and fetch it kind of character, and Zip Coon, who was someone who dressed up and used a lot of big words incorrectly so all of the characters developed through minstrelsy played into stereotypes," Simpson said.
"When you don't know what the history is, it may seem to you based on your knowledge of where we are today, it may seem to you that this is harmless and we're all just having fun, but in doing that, we're actually hurting people," Simpson said.
After removing the post, Hamblin was disappointed people were calling him racist.
"I try to be a good person and help others regardless of who they are," he said.
Watch NBC12's report below:
VA Councilman blackens face to portray movie character www.youtube.com