For the last time (and I know this is not really the last time), it is possible to depict a black person without having to wear Blackface. It’s shockingly easy, in fact.
However, yet another person has lost their job after a photo has surfaced of them partaking in the time-old tradition of lazy racism.
University of Missouri police officer Marcus Collins was fired on Tuesday just a few hours after a photo of him dressed in Blackface was sent to the school, the Columbia Tribune reports.
The image showed a man dressed as rapper Flava Flav, decked out with a humongous clock chain but because the iconic piece of bling was not enough to get the point across, Collins – who admitted that he was the man in the photo – decided to smear his face and arms with dark makeup.
The university quickly denounced the photo, with Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright releasing a statement saying, “Racism, hate and insensitive behavior have no place on our campus. We are committed to our values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, and to making our campus a place where everyone feels welcome and protected.”
“This type of behavior is not tolerated at Mizzou, and we understand how this impacts our entire community profoundly,” he added.
Collins was hired by the university police in Jan. 2018. The university was sent the offensive image by an anonymous source. It is not clear when exactly the photo was taken, but that didn’t matter.
“Once we were able to verify it was Collins in the photo and Collins acknowledged that, shortly after a discussion with top university officials, he was terminated,” spokesperson Christian Basi said.
The swift and unapologetic action by the university drew praise from a local activist group, Race Matters, Friends, the Tribune notes, although some did question how thoroughly the incident was investigated, with action being taken so quickly.
“Any time you have gotten a photo by 9 a.m. and by 11:30 that person is fired, it had to have been a hell of a conversation,” Stephen Graves, the director of undergraduate studies in the MU Black Studies Department said. “I think you do society a disservice when you don’t allow for conversation and the police officer involved to explain himself. That person needs to step in front of a camera and explain the behavior, the who, what, where, why and when.”