SCOTTSDALE, AZ –Two local activists who specialize in “diversity, equity and inclusion” that were hired by an Arizona school district are now facing intense criticism for accusing the district itself of racism after they falsely accused a black DJ hired for a school event of actually being a white man in blackface.
The Scottsdale Unified School District’s Hopi Elementary PTA was initially blasted by diversity activists Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen after they hired Kim Koko Hunter, 56, to serve as a DJ for a charity event, who – after seeing his picture – wrongly claimed was wearing blackface; Hunter, in reality, is a black man.
Hopi PTA president Megan Livengood slammed Rhoden and Lassen for their unbelievable mistake, calling their unfounded accusations of racism “insulting.”
“The DJ that the Hopi PTA hired was, in fact a black man,” she said. “It is insulting that you feel myself or PTA condone racist behavior or encourage it by posting on social media.”
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Lassen responded, offering an apology and agreeing that the conclusion she and Rhoden had jumped to was completely wrong.
“You are right, we should’ve reached out and inquired before making such accusations,” Lassen said. “I cannot fathom the hurt, anger and frustration you felt after you and others volunteered countless hours on your event. Again I truly apologize.”
Rhoden, however, attempted to switch the narrative by claiming on Facebook that Hunter – despite actually being a black man – had nonetheless darkened his skin further for some inexplicable reason.
“Let me be clear, a black man, apparently in blackface is an entirely different discussion than a white person. However I did not state that the person was white. It was assumed that was my intent, and perhaps it was, but nonetheless, looking on his FB page, it seems at the very least he is in darker make-up if not ‘blackface’ or I am completely mistaken and it’s the lighting of the patio,” Rhoden said. “So here’s what I want to say. I apologize to dude for the implication, but the sentiment still stands, blackface by anyone, in this day and age is problematic.”
Hunter later poked fun at the blackface accusations on Facebook Live, saying
“Was I not black enough? How black do I got to be for people to know that I’m an actual Black person?”