Allegedly Dressed as Black Mafia Family Kingpin Big Meech, Republican South Carolina Sheriff Candidate Admits to Blackface

Republican sheriff candidate Craig Stivender posted this undated photo within his election campaign video of him dressed in blackface at an alleged Halloween party.
Photo: Facebook

Something is always rotten in the cotton—in the Dirty South.

Another white person in the political arena is fessing up to their use of blackface.

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This time, it’s a rural South Carolina fireman who’s running for sheriff, who said he dressed up as imprisoned Detroit drug dealer Big Meech during a party a decade ago.

And get this; he said he had no idea what “blackface” was back then, and didn’t have any bias since he was attending a party with a black woman he’s been friends with since the sixth grade.

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(Please note: The said “friend” does not appear to be in a costume in the photo. Nor the people in the background. It begs to question whether or not this dude was the only one dressed in costume. But we since we now live in a world where we can’t call a thing a thing, we’re supposed to take his word for it.)

Craig Stivender is running for Colleton County sheriff in South Carolina and opened his 2020 campaign by immediately addressing so-called “mistakes” he’s made in the past, most notably the “blackface” incident.

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On Oct. 8, Stivender posted a four-minute video to Facebook where he claims he “learned the values of faith, family and honesty at an early age” and that’s the reason why he’s telling his constituents at the very start of his campaign “some things that politicians would try to hide. Things my opponents may try to use to tarnish my integrity.”

After rattling off a list of misdeeds—including a traffic ticket he got as a teenager, losing his temper on the job, and “fender-benders that was his fault”—the married, divorced and remarried South Carolina native reveal the most unfortunate incident—that he publicly acknowledges: the alleged costume he wore to an alleged law enforcement Halloween party a decade ago.

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At the “party,” which he shares a photograph of in the video, Stivender was supposedly dressed as notorious drug kingpin Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory, who along with brother Terry “Southwest T” Flenory brought the Black Mafia Family to the forefront of cocaine distribution via their hip hop music enterprise during the early aughts.

Stivender darkened his face and skin to accentuate the look, which also included a goatee, a baseball cap, a long golden chain, and diamond-studded earrings.

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He looks more like comic actor Tim Meadows (of The Ladies Man fame) at a Drake concert.

In 2008, allegedly around the time the photo was taken, both Flenory brothers were sentenced to 30 years in prison for their alleged illicit crimes.

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“I did it to disparage a criminal whose actions hurt our community and country,” Stivender says in the video. “That was a different time.”

South Carolina sheriff candidate Craig Stivender started his 2020 campaign by immediately addressing blackface history.
Photo: Stivender For Sheriff
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Currently employed by the Walterboro Police Department as a fireman, where he was voted Officer of the Year in 2014, the Republican candidate has come under fire for reportedly spending $1,500 of taxpayer money on a hotel room for his children while he attended a conference in Myrtle Beach, according to the Post and Courier newspaper.

Gif: YouTube
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“Today we understand that type of costume is troubling to many,” Stivender, who has reportedly worked for law enforcement for 15 years, said in the video.

“If I dressed up in blackface today, it would definitely be an issue because we know today that people are very easily offended over things that were maybe not so much 10 years ago,” he told NPR.

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Oh. Ok. Sure.

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About the author

Karu F. Daniels

Hailing from "the thorough borough" of Brooklyn, Mr. Daniels has written for The New York Times, Associated Press, CNN, Essence, VIBE, NBC News, The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News and Word Up!