An Indiana councilman has apologized for a photo that has surfaced of him in blackface appearing alongside a friend in a KKK robe. In a report from The Times of Northeast Indiana, Councilman Jeff Minchuk issued an apology about the photo on Facebook on Saturday. Minchuk explained that the photo was taken at a Halloween party when he and his friends were “all in our mid-twenties to early thirties at the time,” and that the costumes stemmed from a skit from Chappelle’s Show, specifically the Clayton Bigsby skit, in which Chappelle portrays a blind Black man who’s a white supremacist.
“After having a conversation with one of my good friends about the show, we had the idea to attend a Halloween party a dress up as characters based on the show. My good friend, who is African American, went as the black, white supremacist and I went as the opposite,” Minchuk said. “We thought that switching races for the party would be comedic, just like the show’s skit. We were hoping to show people that, even though this is comedy that we can all get along no matter what.”
Minchuck then apologized in his statement, saying that “There was absolutely no ill intent whatsoever with this idea or any harm meant. It was purely meant as humor.”
“……As I got older, I realized that this idea was a poor decision and I can see how the pictures might be viewed and questioned today,” he added.
“For those of you who have viewed these pictures and have questions, I assure you again, there were no bad intentions or do they reflect the person my friend or I am then, now, or ever,” he said toward the end of the statement.
Merrillville Town Council President Rick Bella told The Times that the Town Council will meet next week to decide how to move forward amid the troubling photo’s surfacing. Bella also said the costume and theme of the joke was “inappropriate behavior for anyone, at any time, and at any adult age, even if done for the sake of humor.”
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