One of these days, people will learn that blackface is never OK. And one student and fraternity at the University of Central Arkansas learned that their school isn't playing when it comes to handling racism.
Brock Denton was expelled from the university after dressing up as Bill Cosby for Halloween. Now, he could have just worn the Coogi sweater, but he went an extra step and decided to put on blackface paint. Along with being expelled, the chapter of Denton's fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma, was suspended as well.
“Being black is not a costume,” UCA senior Brenton Johnson told KARK-TV. “I instantly was upset. I got angry. Right now, the minority and the black community is really offended by this.”
The university issued a statement on Twitter and said it did not condone Denton's actions:
The university's president also issued a statement about the costume and called it “highly offensive and repugnant.” He said, “This representation goes against all we at UCA believe in and stand for."
Denton apologized in a horribly written Instagram post and, of course, said he's not racist but also has received death threats:
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.
Well, too little, too late.