Michigan Students Wearing Blackface Leads to Community Concern [VIDEO]
Students dressed in blackface during an Ionia high school football game have raised concerns in the community.
Lindsey McKee, a social worker in the area, was in the student cheering section as well when she spotted the spectators with black face paint. She submitted the video to ABC-13 in Grand Rapids.
"We were instantly like 'Oh my God, they can't do that,'" she tells the TV station in the video below, "especially with everything that's been happening, plus it's just racist."
McKee noted that the game on September 10 was considered a "blackout" game and acknowledges that the Ionia Bulldogs' school colors are black and blue. Still, she was disturbed that school officials didn't see anything wrong with students dressed in blackface.
"There were multiple administration personnel monitoring the crowd and they didn't ask them to take the blackface or the durag off," she added, "they just went with it saying it was a 'blackout' game."
In a statement, school superintendent Ben Gurk says the district promotes an environment free from racism and said the students were simply trying to show support for their team.
"Administrators investigated and determined that this was an effort by students to support their bulldogs by wearing black eye paint and/or black attire..."
McKee says she hopes the students weren't trying to be racist or offensive.
"I've seen how it affects people's mental health and how it can really tear people down when they're being almost mocked and made fun of just for their skin color and their culture," said McKee.