Hal Patton is the current mayor of Edwardsville, Ill. He’s also a GOP state Senate candidate, and he’s an asshole who either doesn’t understand why blackface is bad or doesn’t care.
A Halloween photo of Patton dressed as a “rapper” is making the rounds. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, the photo was taken some 10 years ago and shows Patton dressed as a generic rapper, which might be the whitest, most stereotypical thing that Patton could’ve done. Instead of choosing a rapper to emulate, Patton just painted his skin black, wore a bandanna on his head and put on a goofy-colored jersey. You can see the photos of Patton in blackface here.
In case Patton or his constituents are reading and making the “I don’t get what the big deal is” face, please read this explainer.
The funny thing is, Patton actually just looks like an asshat with black shit on his face. Nothing about him says “rapper,” but this is what happens when you put a generic Halloween costume idea in the hands of an idiot. Why couldn’t Patton have just dressed up like a slutty cat or a thotlike angel, standard Halloween garb for the people of Edwardsville? (Fine, I don’t know if the town of Edwardsville dresses as thot angels or slutty cats.)
“There was never any intention for it to be an act of racism or racial commentary,” Patton said in a statement given to the newspaper. “At the time, Run-DMC and others were rappers. That was the look. I hate to say I regret a Halloween costume, in the sense it wasn’t meant to make a statement about anything in politics or anything in race relations or anything in that nature.”
How dare Patton invoke the good name of Run-DMC in his foolishness? Also, are Run-DMC the only rappers that white people know? When was the last time Run-DMC was on the radio? Also, Run-DMC were fashion gods and would never have been caught dead in the goofy getup Patton was wearing.
Patton added, “I’ve certainly lived my life above board and with the best principles that you can. I have lots of friends from every race and every country—that is how I’ve always lived my life.
“I’ve never had a racist bone in my body,” Patton said. Then he added that all of this—not the wearing of blackface paint and allowing himself to be photographed wearing blackface, mind you, but the publicizing of said photo—was really just a sinister plot by Democrats to keep him from winning the open Senate seat.
“The real embarrassment ought to be on my opponent,” the candidate said of Democrat Rachelle Aud Crowe, the News-Democrat reports. “She’s never served a day in office, never been elected to anything.”
Yeah, but as far as we know, she also hasn’t dressed in blackface, so at least she has that going for her.