FREWSBURG, NY (WNY News Now) – A costume is prompting outrage from some residents in our area, after two people dressed in what appears to be “black face” this Halloween.
On Tuesday, we spoke with a local mother who took to social media to raise her concerns.
“They took the time to make these by hand, to make them as offensive as can be,” explained Paula Rondeau.
Pula Rondeau says she was horrified when people dressed in what appears to be “black face” as their Halloween costume.
“It’s insidious, it is this tone that’s becoming the norm and engrained in everything and then it turns into this bullying mentality where if you do speak out against it, you’re the problem, you’re the snowflake,” said Rondeau.
The images were taken at two Halloween parties at the Carroll Rod and Gun Club and Frewsburg America Legion. They mimic what’s known as a lawn jockey statue.
According to Ferris State University, over the decades the prevalence of black versions of the figure touted exaggerated features that was often symbolic of racism and racist imagery.
“This isn’t just about Frewsburg, this is an issue were seen nationwide,” said Rondeau. “When my children saw those pictures, their jaws hit the floor, tears were in their eyes, they couldn’t understand why adults were doing this in public, and they were happy about it.”
While the two pictured have not been publicly identified, the Carroll Rod and Gun Club released a statement in response, saying in part, “We are a private club which consists of over 1,100 members of ALL ethnic groups. The photos shared were taken out of context by Paula Rondeau. Our club does not condone any bullying or prejudice behavior.”
“Yeah it’s a private club, but you work in the community and if this is the mindset and attitude, I don’t understand why they’re upset?” questioned Rondeau. “It’s a way to deflect and distract from the real issue.”
In the end, Rondeau hopes that speaking out will help address the issue and prompt more people to speak up about injustices, not just in our community, but around the nation as well.
In full transparently, Rondeau says she since moved out of Frewsburg and to nearby Russel, Pa. following a fire at her home last year.