(Reuters) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey acknowledged on Thursday she wore blackface throughout a school skit within the 1960s and she or he apologized for the episode, changing into the newest U.S. politician to be embarrassed by a racially-charged incident from a long time in the past.
FILE PHOTO: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey indicators into legislation the Alabama Human Life Safety Act, after each homes of the legislature handed the invoice, in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., Could 15, 2019. Workplace of the Governor State of Alabama/Handout through REUTERS
Ivey, a Republican, made her apology after an audio tape emerged of a 1960s radio interview she and her then fiance, Ben LaRavia, gave when she was a pupil at Auburn College in Alabama. Within the interview, LaRavia described a latest comedy sketch that they had been in.
“As I take a look at my fiancée throughout the room I can see her that evening, she had on a pair of blue coveralls and she or he had put some black paint throughout her face and we had been performing out this skit referred to as ‘cigar butts,’” LaRavia mentioned within the interview.
Ivey, 74, who’s white, mentioned in an announcement on Thursday she doesn’t bear in mind the skit however that, primarily based on the radio interview, it could have occurred at a Baptist Scholar Union social gathering.
“Though Ben is the one on tape remembering the skit – and I nonetheless don’t recall ever dressing up in overalls or in blackface – I cannot deny what’s the apparent,” Ivey mentioned.
“As such, I absolutely acknowledge – with real regret – my participation in a skit like that again after I was a senior in school,” she mentioned.
Alabama State Consultant Juandalynn Givan, a Democrat and an African-American, referred to as on Ivey to resign, in line with native media outlet AL.com.
“I don’t settle for her apology,” Givan was quoted as saying by AL.com.
However Alabama Senate Minority Chief Bobby Singleton, a Democrat who is also African-American, instructed AL.com he thought Ivey’s apology was honest.
Six months in the past, Virginia politics had been thrown into turmoil when a racist picture emerged from a 1980s medical college yearbook for the state’s Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat.
The picture, which was on Northam’s web page on the yearbook, confirmed one particular person in blackface make-up and one other within the robes of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.
Northam, 59, initially admitted to having appeared within the picture and apologized. He later modified his story here saying he didn’t consider he was pictured, however had carried out in blackface to impersonate the singer Michael Jackson at about that point.
Virginia Lawyer Common Mark Herring, 57, additionally a Democrat, admitted in February that he wore blackface at a celebration within the 1980s.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; modifying by Grant McCool