Arizona diversity advocates accused a DJ of wearing blackface, there was one BIG PROBLEM!

Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen attacked the Scottsdale Unified School District's Hopi Elementary PTA for hiring Kim Koko Hunter, 56, to host their event. 


                            Arizona diversity advocates accused a DJ of wearing blackface, there was one BIG PROBLEM!
Stuart Rhoden (L) and Jill Lassen (M) mistook a local Black DJ, Kim Koko Hunter (R) for a White man (LinkedIn/Stuart Rhoden;Google; Instagram/Kim Koko Hunter)
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Two local diversity advocates in Arizona have come under fire for falsely accusing an African-American DJ of wearing blackface at a charity event for the Scottsdale Unified school district. Stuart Rhoden and Jill Lassen, who specialize in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, attacked the Scottsdale Unified School District's Hopi Elementary PTA for hiring Kim Koko Hunter, 56, to host their event. 

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Hunter played at the Hopi Elementary PTA's 'Hopi Night Fever' fundraiser on April 9. The event was a success and brought in more than $300,000, according to Scottsdale schools activist Amanda Wray. However, after the fundraiser, Rhoden and Lassen, who mistook Hunter for a White man in a racist outfit, complained about the racist incident to the school's principal and the head of the PTA, who later clarified, Hunter is actually a Black man. Hunter wore a Disco-inspired attire at the event, complete with roller skates and a shiny, gold shirt. 

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After the pair's false accusations, Hopi PTA head Megan Livengood responded to Lassen and Rhoden that she was deeply offended by their email. Livengood said: "The Scottsdale Parent Council is an organization that claims to encourage diversity and inclusion, accusing the Hopi PTA and myself for hiring a DJ that participated in racist behavior is absolutely against your mission." Livengood added, "The DJ that the Hopi PTA hire was, in fact a Black man." The two Arizona diversity advocates have since apologized for their mistake. 

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Rhoden, an instructor at Arizona State University justified his claim by suggesting that Hunter was wearing makeup to make himself look darker in a side-by-side image of the DJ posted on Facebook. He wrote: "Let me be clear, a Black man, apparently in Black face is an entirely different discussion than a White person. However, I did not state that the person was White."

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Rhoden said: "It was assumed that was my intent, and perhaps it was, but nonetheless, looking on his FB page, it seems at the very least he is in a darker make-up if not 'Black Face' or I am completely mistaken and it's the lighting of the patio." He continued: "So here's what I want to say. I apologize to dude for the implication, but the sentiment still stands, Black face by anyone, in this day and age is problematic. I also apologize to folks who reposted and made other statements based on my assumption." 

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Lassen, a librarian apologized profusely in a follow-up email. She wrote: "You are right, we should've reached out and inquired before making such accusations. I cannot fathom the hurt, anger, frustration you felt after you and others volunteered countless hours on your event. She added, "Again I truly apologize. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me annd not harbor resentment towards SPC." 

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Hunter ridiculed the accusation of the two Arizona diversity advocates who claimed that he was a Black man doing blackface. During Facebook live, Hunter asked: "Was I not Black enough? How black do I got to be for people to know that I'm an actual Black person."

Meanwhile, netizens shared their opinion about this matter on Twitter. One wrote, "When you are so hell bent on pointing out everyone as a racist, only to uncover yourself as the racist." Another added, "A black man wearing black face! That’s rich! I needed a laugh!." A third commented, "We truly, truly live in the stupidest of times. So much for the internet making everyone smarter."

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Someone else remarked, '"OMG He's wearing blackface!' Um no he's actually black LMAO. This is just as good as when they called the creator of Cyberpunk a white supreme and didn't check to see if he was black first. lol."


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