It’s almost March, but the ghosts of Halloweens past still haunt us. Every year, without fail, particularly on Halloween, there is that one (usually more, let’s be honest) white person who seems incapable of coming up with a creative costume of a black individual without resorting to blackface. By now we shouldn’t be ignorant of the repercussions, yet somehow, Robbie Gatti, the front-runner in the race to represent the 8th District in Louisiana’s House of Representatives, has found himself embroiled in scandal for exactly that.
The Hayride, a local conservative politics site, first released the photo of the retired physical therapist-turned-politico dressed as Tiger Woods at a Halloween party several years ago with his face completely smeared with black paint.
As the Hayride notes, Gatti, the brother of state Sen. Ryan Gatti, currently has a slight lead in the Louisiana House race over Duke Lowrie and Raymond Crews. Though at this point, how long that lead will be maintained is unknown.
According to the report, Gatti was with several members of the First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La., when the controversial photo was taken. Gatti was an associate pastor at the church until last year.
Gatti responded to the surfacing of the photo via the Shreveport Times, accusing his opponents of turning a “good night at church” into “negative political mud.”
The aspiring politician said that the photo was taken some 15 years ago at a fall festival at his church, where the volunteers were told to dress as famous people.
“Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity, as a world champion, and that was who I was dressed as,” he said. “Shortly after this event, I was ordained in this church. As a medical professional, ordained minister and military officer, I live my life seeing only character, and I stand by that.”
I mean, no one’s mad that you dressed as Tiger Woods ... but that fact seemed to leap right over Gatti’s head.