Blackface in Blevins: Furor at school board | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 12, 2016

Blackface in Blevins: Furor at school board

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 7:19 PM

click to enlarge HAPPY HALLOWEENT: Blevins School Board member Ted Bonner blackened his face and made this sign to celebrate Halloweent. Many aren't happy about it.
  • HAPPY HALLOWEENT: Blevins School Board member Ted Bonner blackened his face and made this sign to celebrate Halloweent. Many aren't happy about it.

click to enlarge BEFORE HE LEFT: Ted Bonner at School Board meeting. - KATV
  • KATV
  • BEFORE HE LEFT: Ted Bonner at School Board meeting.
Check @katvnews on Twitter for the evolving story on a meeting of the School Board in tiny Blevins, Ark. (Hempstead County) where people want to talk about School Board member Ted Bonner and his Halloween getup in blackface waving a "Black Lives Matter" sign.

The NAACP was initially denied permission to speak, KATV reported, not  being a resident of Blevins. The conversation grew heated. "Shouting and crying" was heard. Bonner left the meeting. for a time. Cops have been called. The sheriff, credit him, says the public is welcome at a board meeting. He said his office been informed that people had been  unruly. His remarks indicated the complainant wanted critics of Bonner removed. But he said everyone had acted responsibly.  "It's their First Amendment rights. They have those rights. There's really nothing we can do  unless somebody's been causing a disturbance. There's been no disturbance. People have acted responsibly. That's it."

Hold that Nobel Peace prize for the sheriff of Hempstead County, James Singleton.

One white attendee challenged those from the NAACP in attendance. He said it was just a joke, adding, "You want to get your panties in a bunch over something like this?"

Well, yes.

Nothing can happen officially. There's no procedure, apart from public recall, for other members of the School Board to remove a member — even for gross stupidity and bigotry. Somebody with a conscience might remove his or herself.

I've reported Bonner's political leanings before. He "leads" a district with about 480 students, about 80 of them black.

Bonner's actions were eventually addressed at the meting. He declined to answer a question about why he'd dressed in black face.

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