A remorseful pastor in Kentucky is feeling the heat after performing in what he thought was a harmless church skit that was posted to YouTube last Friday. The pastor, posing as famed 1980s actor Mr. T, made the foolhardy choice in donning blackface to pull off his costume.
Assistant Pastor Joseph Pickens wore the blackface at the Clay Mills Road Baptist Church 2014 National Young Fundamentalist Conference,not realizing the racist history of the getup. When the video reached social media channels, the comments were naturally scathing which upset Pickens. Lead pastor Jeff Fugate told a local news outlet that Pickens and the church didn’t know that blackface was offensive and has since apologized.
When this boxing skit hit YouTube Friday it showed Lexington Assistant Pastor Joseph Pickens dressed in blackface. Much of the feedback was not positive.
“They said, ‘What are you doing with blackface?’ And I really didn’t know what they were talking about to be honest,” said pastor Jeff Fugate.
Fugate says he watched Pickens perform in blackface twice this week and didn’t have a second thought until he started receiving emails about it.
“I’m not trying to be ignorant, but I guess I am,” he said.
The skit, complete with a boxing ring, was supposed to teach teens certain values in a comedic fashion but didn’t have the desired effect outside the congregation. In fact, Pastor Fugate claims that none of the Black members of his church complained about the skit.
“I’m not a racist, and I sure am sorry if I’ve offended you or anybody,” Fugate said in earnest fashion.
Lesson learned, but come on, you’re in the Deep South and never heard that blackface is offensive to people of color? Sir, you might need more people.