You'd think by now people know not to wear blackface under any circumstances.
But one student, who is a white man at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., thought it was a good idea to do so for a sports-themed party he recently attended.
And who was he mimicking with this racist getup you might ask? "Serina Williams :)," he wrote on Snapchat.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the tennis superstar has been lampooned by having people dress as her using blackface.
The action ignored the very real insult that comes with wearing blackface.
Back in 2016, two fans showed up to the Australian Open with their faces painted, holding up a sign reading, "Keep Calm and be Serena." The action ignored the very real insult that comes with wearing blackface.
Blackface rose to prominence in 19th century America, when white entertainers painted their faces black to act in Minstrel shows, where they portrayed discriminatory stereotypical behaviours in an effort to shame and ridicule black people.
At least in the 21st century, this type of behaviour doesn't go unnoticed. Sunchi Chen, a nuclear engineering student at University of Birmingham, noticed the Snapchat and took to Twitter to call the rugby player out for his discriminatory costume. And the school soon responded, echoing her points.
This is a student of Anglia Ruskin. A member of the rugby team. This was shown to me by a friend in Cambridge. Blackface is still a thing. pic.twitter.com/w5ec2BeFTl— ThatBlasian👅 (@SunchiiChenn) May 6, 2017
@SunchiiChenn Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Anglia Ruskin does not condone or tolerate any form of racism and will look into this.— Anglia Ruskin (@AngliaRuskin) May 7, 2017
University of Cambridge's student newspaper The Tab reported on the ordeal, but chose not to expose the man's name. Meanwhile, Chen told the publication that she got harassed via Twitter for taking him to task, being called a "dumb bitch," and even "racist."
The athlete, did, however, offer up an apology directly to Chen and said he recognized that what he did was wrong.
"Firstly I would like to let you know how deeply sorry to have caused offence with this photograph," he began. "The idea was just to be a fancy dress for a sporting [theme] social. The makeup was quickly removed as we saw that offence could be taken. I can assure you I'm not racist I promise you and it was an error in judgement."
He then explained that he was willing "to do anything to rectify this silly mistake" and admitted he deserved to be shamed for his "pathetic" action.
"In essence, he’s sorry he got caught."
Nonetheless, Chen still questioned the authenticity of his apology.
"A part of me thinks that if I hadn’t posted the picture publicly he wouldn’t have seen any problem with it," Chen told the student paper. "In essence, he’s sorry he got caught."
We'll file this one under wearing blackface is something you should never do, ever.
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