Kinsey blasts Mummers for use of blackface for second year in a row

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3 State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, called the use of blackface by members of the Froggy Carr Wench Brigade during the New Year’s Day Philadelphia Mummers Parade racist.

“It was just last year, almost exactly to the date, that the Mummers stirred controversy with an incident of similar nature. PLBC representatives met with them and attempted to use that as a teachable moment on how hurtful and racist these character portrayals are, but this year, we’re through,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “We’re through with trying to reason with an entity that is essentially a modern minstrel show laced with hate speech, xenophobia and the denigration of Blackness under the guise of entertainment. We can no longer tolerate having our humanity and skin color repeatedly mocked and donned as costumes.”

Kinsey applauded Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney for censuring and subsequently disqualifying the Froggy Carr Wench Brigade but pressed for more substantive consequences for performers who engage in racially insensitive behavior.

“I am pleased that Mayor Kenney immediately stepped up to condemn the use of blackface; however, as chairman of the PLBC, I’m calling on the mayor to impose more harsh penalties that are swift and severe for any performer or troupe who indulges in this disgusting spectacle. Funneling taxpayer dollars in the form of city employees and support staff for this mockery must end,” he said. “It’s imperative that we confront and condemn this disparaging behavior to convey the message that this racist buffoonery will no longer be tolerated in our city!