US School Staffer Wears Blackface In Covid Vaccine Protest

US school staffer wears Blackface in Covid vaccine protest

Los Angeles, Sept 21 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Sep, 2021 ) :An elementary school staff member arrived for work in Blackface claiming to be portraying Rosa Parks, in protest at Covid-19 vaccine mandates in the United States, local media reported Monday.

Special educational assistant Lauren Pefferle told colleagues she was channeling the Black civil rights icon, as a way of highlighting her opposition to rules making the shots compulsory for school staff, Oregon's Newberg Graphic newspaper reported.

Pefferle said she had used iodine to darken her face in order to look like Parks, whose dignified refusal to cede her seat to a white bus passenger was a pivotal moment in the battle against racial segregation in the United States.

Blackface -- where non-Black people wear dark make-up to portray a caricature -- is generally considered highly offensive.

Oregon is one of a growing number of jurisdictions in the United States that require staff in schools to be vaccinated against Covid-19, as the country grapples to reverse a surge in case numbers.

While the rules are popular with the majority of Americans, a small but vocal minority continues to protest against both vaccines and other mitigation measures, calling them infringements on individual liberties.

Pefferle's actions earned her a rebuke from her employers.

"Last Friday, one of our employees reported for work in Blackface," Newberg School District said in a statement, which did not identify Pefferle.

"The employee was removed from the location, and (human resources) has placed the employee on administrative leave.""It is important to remember how Blackface has been used to misrepresent Black communities and do harm. We acknowledge the violence this represents and the trauma it evokes regardless of intention. Blackface has no place in our schools."