Well, it isn’t even Halloween yet, but blackface incidents have come out to play.
France’s general inspectorate for the national force is investigating a group of French officers after they allegedly put on blackface for a themed party, The Guardian reports.
Photos from the “Negro party,” which surfaced on June 2, show multiple officers with the offensive makeup on. One officer was shown sitting in an apelike pose, scratching his head and underarm, a bunch of bananas in his lap and his hair plaited. Other officers donned curly Afros or long dreadlike wigs, their lips painted bright pink or red.
The photos were apparently posted on the Facebook page of one of the officers and leaked by Claudi Siar, a former ministerial delegate who was in charge of making sure that citizens of France’s overseas territories have equal opportunities available to them. Siar said it was his “duty as a citizen and an activist,” according to Channel 4.
“Someone I know told me of the existence of these photos on the Facebook account of one of her friends,” Siar told BFM TV, according to The Guardian. “In my presence, she called this friend and told them she was shocked. The friend was taken by surprise and tried to play down what had happened, saying that they were just having fun with friends in private and that it was a ‘Negro party.'”
According to Siar, the friend quickly took down the photos, but the damage had already been done and screenshots had already been taken.
“The behavior of these custodians of the public force is unacceptable! And the pretext of private party is not admissible,” Siar blasted in his own Facebook post about the offensive photos.
The country’s Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires (Representative Council of Black Associations) demanded that an explanation be given “without delay” and, if the allegations turned out to be true, the offending officers be fired immediately.
The council’s president, Louis-Georges Tin, expressed concern over the photos that seem to show that “police who are responsible for the fight against racism are busier make fun of blacks than defending them,” Channel 4 reports.