Bethel president apologizes after Lil Wayne blackface uproar

Categories: Racism

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No imitations, please
Bethel University President Jay Barnes has issued a formal apology in the wake of outrage over a student's recent blackface-and-dreadlocks impersonation of Lil Wayne during a campus fundraising event.

"The incident of racial insensitivity at the Mr. BU event violated Bethel's biblically rooted core values," Barnes said. "Intentional or not, it hurt members of our community and does not reflect the type of place we are trying to become. I am deeply sorry that this happened, that people were hurt, and that we live in a world where the sin of racism is still prevalent."

Some of the outrage can be found in the comments below the Blotter item we posted about the skit o May 11, here.

History professor Ruben Rivera told the Star Tribune the blackface skit was part of "an expression of deliberate and unconscious racism in America."

The Bethel statement included an apology from the students.

"Our intentions were not, by any means, to hurt or offend anyone. However, we realize our skit was offensive and hurtful. We are saddened by the fact that we caused pain and offense to our brothers and sisters. We are taking the appropriate next steps to addressing the issue as a whole and are hoping to learn and move forward from here," the students' statement said.

"As reconcilers, we know that confession is a crucial first element in healing," Barnes said. "Paul's counsel to the Galatian Christians was that we should gently and humbly help others onto the right path while being careful not to fall into temptation ourselves. We must harvest the painful lessons from this time to help us reach our goal of becoming an antiracist, reconciling, justice-seeking community where God's grace is evident in our interactions with each other. This is hard work that we must do together."

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