August 30, 2019
Blackface is pure evil.
This woman – she is evil incarnate.
The skit was called “cigar butts,” and a couple of the university students who starred in it thought the performance was hilarious.
Then an Auburn University senior, Ben LaRavia, recounted the act on a campus radio show. It was 1967, at a Baptist Student Union party, and he was there with his fiancee at the time: now his ex-wife and Alabama’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey.
“Cigar butts,” LaRavia said, involved “crawling around on the floor looking for cigar butts and things like this, which certainly got a big reaction out of the audience.”
It also involved blackface.
LaRavia, chortling as he described Ivey’s outfit, said she wore blue coveralls, “and she had put some black paint all over her face.”
“That was just my role for the evening,” Ivey says later in the interview.
Fifty-two years later, Ivey is one of the state’s most powerful politicians, and on Thursday she apologized for participating in the racist skit while dodging calls for her resignation.
The Alabama governor joins the ever-growing collection of white politicians — from the North and from the South, from areas urban and rural, and from the Democratic and Republican parties — to face scrutiny and scorn for their caricatures of black people inspired by minstrel shows dating back to the 1830s.
“I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can — going forward — to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s,” Ivey said in a statement. “We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.”
She said she doesn’t recall the skit or the interview, even after listening to the tape. Ivey’s press secretary, Gina Maiola, told The Washington Post that Auburn University Libraries discovered the recording during its ongoing effort to digitize old audio. A university representative told the governor’s office on Tuesday evening, and Ivey listened to it on Wednesday morning.
“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later,” said Ivey, who is now 74.
No, it’s not who you are today – back then you looked great, and were feminine. Now you’re a shriveled old short-haired granny trying to boss people around like a man.
It’s terrible what happens to women as they age. It’s real horror.
She should resign for being a racist.
If it wasn’t a big deal, she wouldn’t have apologized.