Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be Halloween without a story about someone ignoring our constant warnings against wearing blackface. Fortunately, this is the only story we’ll be writing about it for Halloween this year.
Brock Denton, a sophomore student at the University of Central Arkansas, was expelled and claims he’s become the target of death threats after photos of him wearing blackface as part of a Bill Cosby costume began to circulate.
— UCA SPBC (@ucark_spbc) October 29, 2016
The photo’s reach expanded when a campus organization called Students for the Propagation of Black shared it and notified the university on Twitter.
According to the Washington Post, Denton was expelled by the Sigma Tau Gamma’s national chapter and is no longer a student at the university, after President Tom Courtway released public statement following the incident, bringing the cycle of “racist act -> public outcry -> punishment -> public apology” to a close.
Statement from President Courtway pic.twitter.com/BkUgxEXh0H
— U. Central Arkansas (@ucabears) October 29, 2016
Denton then took to Instagram to release his apology and attempt to explain his actions. He also went to great lengths to prove that he wasn’t racist and point out how people calling him out for his costume choice is actually making society a worse, less tolerant place… somehow.
There are a few things that should be brought to light and addresses accordingly. First off I have had to leave my work because of this whole ordeal, and that is why I have not been able to post this sooner….Within a matter of a few hours social media has made me out to be a monster, a racist, a supremacist and those are just three of the many hateful names I have been called. I have been sent death threats, threats to burn my house down. I am scared for my life, but none of that matters to me now.
What matters to me right now is informing people of who Brock Denton really is and more importantly what I am not. I am the farthest thing from discrimination, as a matter of fact I fight for equality everyday, I’ve been writing a book for the past two years on what it really means to be a good person. I wake up in the morning and pray to God that I can be just a little bit better than the day before.
And today marks the day that I have to be a lot better than the day before. Ask anyone of my friends and colleagues and they will tell you how I believe that nothing one is more important than the next, we are all equal in different ways. I am in no means better than ANYBODY else. Social media has corrupted society in regard to heated controversial topics such as this. People claim they want equality and for the racism and hatred of one another to end, but the accusations that have been made have only further divided us.
I apologize from the bottom of my heart and absolutely never intended this to happen the way that it did. I never EVER would have done this if I would have known the domino effect that follow. I swear to everyone that I have never stereotyped a person based on how they look. It’s not me.
I hope this situation will end with out me being killed over a Halloween costume, but if that does happen, I hope that people first know who I am as a person.
Please except my apology not because of me but because of the sake of this great nation. We will never achieve peace if we only react in violence. Please forgive me. That’s all I ask.
Writer Rebecca Theodore probably said it best in the following tweet.
Idea – a movie where every White person who wears blackface for Halloween can't wash it off…ever.
— Rebecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) October 30, 2016
Photo Credit: Twiter