The Jury Talks Back

8/29/2019

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey: I’m Really Sorry I Wore Black Face In College Skit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:46 pm

[guest post by Dana]

At this point, shouldn’t we just assume that every white politician in the Deep South who is over 40 years of age wore black face during their college years, at least once? Because, you know, it sure seems like a thing:

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday issued an apology for appearing in a racist sketch during her time as an undergraduate at Auburn University in the 1960s.

Audio surfaced of a 1967 interview given by Ivey and her then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, in which LaRavia recalled a party at Auburn’s Baptist Student Union. Ivey participated in at least one sketch at the party, where LaRavia said she wore blackface.

“She had on a blue coveralls, she had put some black paint all over her face, and we were acting out this skit called Cigar Butts,” LaRavia said in the interview, which the governor’s office released with Ivey’s statement. “I could not go into a lengthy explanation, but to say the least, I think this skit, it did not require a lot of talent, as far as verbal talent. But it did require a lot of physical acting, such as crawling on the floor looking for cigar butts and things like this.”

LaRavia says Ivey got a “big reaction” from the audience. Ivey then says “that was just my role for the evening” before turning the discussion to a story about being unable to remember a joke for the end of the show.

Although Ivey doesn’t remember being in the skit, she nonetheless apologized for her participation:

“[I] sincerely did not remember the sketch” but said she would “not deny what is obvious.”

“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later.”

“As such, I fully acknowledge — with genuine remorse — my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college.

Ivey informed the leaders of the Alabama Legislature to express her regrets. Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, who is African American, said after Ivey called him to personally apologize, that:

If the governor “could take ownership of it,” they could move forward.

Dear Gov. Ivey,

It’s okay. Nobody cares. Not really. Sure, you may have to endure a few difficult days or weeks of criticism and media scrutiny, but when the hullabaloo dies down, you’ll still be the sitting Governor.

*waves at Gov. Northam*

Oh.

Wait.

Sweet home Alabama, I forgot…

Ignore what I just said…

…you know, Gov. Ivey, it’s just a crying shame about that pesky “R” after your name because, little lady, you’re really screwed. But be sure to pick up a copy of Roots anyway…

–Dana

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