He says he did it to point out the hypocrisy of the “Outrage Police.” It worked.
Koby Peters is a 5th-year mechanical engineering student who is a Senate member of the student government at Colorado State University. He also happens to be black and conservative.
At the October 30 meeting, Peters arrived dressed up as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface. He said that he did that in order to start a discussion about how blackface is ignored when worn by prominent people of a certain political ideology after the recent reelection of Trudeau on October 21. Trudeau won the election despite multiple photos of him dressed up in blackface and brownface at different events over several years and he has not ruled out more photos emerging. Peters also noted that it has been one year since Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal and he remains the Governor of Virginia.
In an exclusive interview with Jon Street, the Managing Editor of Campus Reform, Peters said that there was an immediate vote to remove him from the meeting without allowing him to explain why he was wearing the costume.
Peters said that other student government leaders voted to have him removed from the meeting without offering him the chance to respond. The leaders who told him to leave, he said, were of a variety of races, including white, black, and Hispanic.
While blackface is considered racist when worn by others, Peters noted the irony of him being attacked for wearing blackface, as a black man.
“As you can see, I cannot take off my blackface so adding on another shade, in my opinion, doesn’t change anything,” Peters said.
Peters said he didn’t wear the costume to offend anyone, but rather to start a discussion.
What discussion did he want to bring up? The question of hypocrisy. Peters says that he was inspired to wear it after former President Barack Obama endorsed Trudeau in the waning days of the very close Canadian election and that Trudeau was reelected. He says that in the wake of Obama’s tweet supporting Trudeau, we need to have a discussion of whether blackface is acceptable or not. He’s right. When a prominent black man is fine with ignoring blackface when it is worn by a prominent white man because they share a political ideology, there are questions
He also says that a black man wearing a costume of Justin Trudeau wearing blackface is objectively funny and that using humor as protest is incredibly effective.
“I was hoping there would be a lot of discussion because I chose this costume to bring out the hypocrisy that Canada re-elected Justin Trudeau on the back of the endorsement of Barack Obama so we really need to figure out whether blackface is OK or it’s not OK. The fact that I was voted out immediately just shows how hypocritical a certain side of the ideology is,” Peters said. “I think it’s obvious that the reason being that it’s been taken so offensively is because I’m a black conservative on campus, which aren’t supposed to exist.”
But this isn’t the first time Peters said he has been singled out as a black conservative student. He told Campus Reform that, in the past, he’s been called a nazi, a member of the KKK, and a race-traitor.
It wasn’t just the student government that was upset about the costume. The Colorado State University chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers was also very upset about the costume and sent out an email calling the incident “another recent issue with disrespect towards people of color.” Interestingly, the email didn’t include that Peters was black. Neither did another email that was sent out to students decrying the “incident of hate and bias.”
Similarly, CSU college of engineering dean David McLean sent an email to students to address “another incident of hate and bias.”
Without mentioning in the email the fact that Peters is black, McLean applauded the senators who acted to remove Peters from the meeting.
“This is example to us all on how we must remain steadfast in our commitment to immediately speak out against incidents of hate, bias and racism,” McLean wrote. “As a community, we in the College of Engineering abhor racism and bias, and we unequivocally condemn blackface. There is no place for hate in our college or at the university. This behavior does not reflect our values and our Principles of Community of Inclusion, Integrity, Respect, Service and Social Justice.”
“Acts of bias and racism, whether committed in ignorance or with malice, are harmful, degrading, and have long-lasting impacts. These acts are against our values, and we must continue to call out and condemn such acts. We must foster a sense of belonging in our college and continue to speak out against instances of hate, aggression and bias,” McLean added.
Source: Campus Reform
Peters may well lose his leadership position over wearing the costume.
The irony is that Koby Peters — the black man — is facing consequences for donning blackface but neither Justin Trudeau nor Ralph Northam did.
Watch his interview with Street here:
A vote from the college council that sent him to become a member of student government held a vote on Tuesday to determine whether or not Koby Peters will be able to remain in a leadership position. The results of this vote were not available before the publication of this article.
Peters did say that if he is removed, it will “definitely show how afraid they are of different ideas.”
ClashDaily is pulling for you, Koby!
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