Nothing good can come from a bunch of white girls with slathered black paint all over their faces. The image evoked all sorts of historical references that make any of us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But a high school powderpuff football team decided to go for it by sporting full on blackface and posting the pictures on Facebook. What makes matters worse is the fact that the city of Sullivan where the high school is situated is only 60 miles away from St. Louis. And as USA Today pointed out, this complicates things when you consider the racial tension erupting in Ferguson in response to the Michael Brown shooting.
But the school’s principal, Jennifer Schmidt isn’t so quick to fault the girls, she expressed her opinion to the Riverfront Times, a bi-weekly publication in St. Louis,“Oh, they don’t mean anything by it. Just let it go. No one thinks anything of it”.
She goes on to say that the team had no intention of being racially insensitive but rather were aiming to represent their assigned colors – black and gold (but somehow they forgot to include the gold this year). Apparently it is an annual powderpuff tradition to paint your face with school colors. This is done as a scare tactic for the benefit of the freshman and sophomore class.
“So that’s what they wore,” says Schmidt. “There was nothing racial about it. They didn’t have any other intention other than to just try to intimidate the underclassmen.”
“I can assure you they will not be wearing black face paint again,” she says. “In fact, we’re probably just going to end the face-paint thing, and nobody wears any at all.”
Needless to say, this was not a wise decision and it is clear that the culprits are too far removed from the grasp of reality to understand the serious implications of their actions. It also doesn’t help that the principal is willing to give them a pat on the back and a promise that they will no longer be allowed to paint their faces in the future – “I can assure you they will not be wearing black face paint again. In fact, we’re probably just going to end the face-paint thing, and nobody wears any at all”.
Sounds like a wise decision.