Two woke activists in Arizona who are proponents of the left’s ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ efforts at the Scottsdale Unified School District made a fool out of themselves after accusing a black man of wearing blackface.
The incident stemmed from an April 9 fundraiser held by the Hopi PTA for Phoenix’s Hopi Elementary School. The PTA hired an entertainer to play at the 1970s disco-themed event: DJ Kim Koko Hunter, who is black.
Attendees of the fundraiser posted images of the event on social media, including a photo featuring Hunter in 70s attire standing with several other attendees.
Two woke activists, Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen, saw the photo and immediately began attacking the Hopi Elementary PTA, accusing them of hiring a DJ who was wearing blackface.
The two were quickly called out for their false accusations, and immediately tried to turn it around and blame the people holding them accountable.
Rhoden, who is an instructor for Arizona State University and a member of the Scottsdale Unified School District’s Equity and Inclusion Committee, did not appreciate being called out, complaining on Facebook about parents being “all up in my DMs” over his false accusations.
Instead of apologizing for being wrong, he went on to double down on the blackface accusations, claiming that Hunter, a black man, was actually wearing blackface because he supposedly appeared to be “in darker make-up.” Rhoden also attacked his critics for ‘assuming’ he thought the DJ was white, while also admitting that may have been his assumption, but he wasn’t about to actually fess up to it.
“Let me be clear, a Black man, apparently in Black face is an entirely different discussion than a White person,” Rhoden wrote. “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 (photos below), it seems at the very least he is in darker make-up if not ‘Black face’ or I am completely mistaken and it’s the lighting of the patio.”
The other woke activist, Jill Lassen, is the co-chairman of the Scottsdale Parent Council’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. Messages obtained by the Arizona Daily Independent reveal that she sent a letter to Hopi PTA President Megan Livengood, accusing the fundraiser organizers of using a DJ in blackface.
Livengood was obviously offended by Lassen’s letter, sending a response calling out both Lassen and the SPC.
“The Scottsdale Parent Council is an organization that claims to encourage diversity and inclusion; accusing the Hopi PTA and myself a hiring a DJ that participated in racist behavior is absolutely against your mission,” Livengood said. “The DJ that the Hopi PTA hire was, in fact a Black man. It is insulting that you feel myself or PTA condone racist behavior or encourage it by posting on social media. After such a successful event to support our school it’s disheartening to… believe in organization we pay to be part of [SPC] would send out such an aggressive response without checking the facts first or simply picking up the phone to discuss.”
“Your accusations are false and hurtful on both the PTA level and a personal level,” she added. “I know the goal of the Scottsdale Parent Council is to unite the educational community and you are doing the complete opposite. I will encourage Hopi PTA not to be part of this group in the future.”
Lassen, obviously realizing that vital funding for her organization was at stake, tried to make amends, according to an email published by the Daily Independent.
“You are right, we should’ve reached out and inquired before making such accusations,” Lassen said in the email to Livengood. “I cannot fathom the hurt, anger and frustration you felt after you and others volunteered countless hours on your event. Again I truly apologize. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me and not harbor resentment towards SPC.”
Hunter addressed the incident that revolved around him with good humor in an interview with James Harris posted on Friday, assuring Harris that he had never worn blackface.
The DJ revealed that his initial response to Rhoden’s accusations that a black man was wearing blackface was “Whoa” in a way that was “so loud that every horse in the nation came to a screeching halt.”
Hunter went on to add that he “would really love to know not just how but why” people would accuse him of wearing blackface, when it appeared very obvious that he was a black man.