South Carolina Sheriff In Hot Water Over Racist Halloween Costume

Captain Melanie Thornburg, of the Gaston County Sheriff's Office, in South Carolina, is facing major criticism for being photographed wearing blackface as part of her Bob Marley Halloween costume. She was also wearing a dreadlocked wig and T-shirt with the word "High" that had a marijuana leaf.

Thornburg said she was looking for a last-minute Halloween costume. She already had the wig and the shirt. She apologized saying she didn't do it out of disrespect.

She added, "I wouldn't have ever tried to mock anyone." Blackface became popular in the mid-1800s, when white actors taking part in minstrel shows would paint their faces to play plantation slaves and free blacks, who were portrayed as foolish, ignorant or menacing caricatures.

Both Thornburg's superior, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger and Gaston NAACP chapter president Chris Thomason have accepted the captain's explanation and apology.

Thomason also said, "I empathize and sympathize with [those offended] and would hope that they could take a step back out of their self and realize that this is a holiday and there are going to be some costumes that may very well be offensive to individuals."

Photo: Red Raiders, Rolling Out

Sheriff in trouble over controversial costume choice.

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