Hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow is known as being one of the first rappers to take hip hop mainstream in its infant stages. It would be understandable those who grew up with the legend would like to honor him. However, he wasn’t exactly pleased when it was revealed Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring had once donned blackface at a college party to “honor” the rapper. On Thursday (February 7), Blow sat down with TMZ and expounded on his feelings toward the insensitive costume.
“I find it totally offensive and disrespectful, degrading,” he said. “It’s ugly. I’m praying for my man Mr. Herring right now. It’s very important as a Christian that we forgive each other for our mistakes. It was definitely a mistake on his part.
“It’s a teachable moment nowadays and we all should learn from this. I think if you can, forgive him. He owes some kind of retribution or just a commitment to help out African-Americans since he has been in this situation right now.”
Kurtis Blow went further with another statement to expound his dissapointment in the whole ordeal.
“It is unfortunate that in this current climate we are confronted with the use of blackface as a barometer of where we are as a society,” Blow said. He continued by saying “I am a Black man, a father, a husband, a minister, and a pioneer of Hip Hop. It is my hope that these regrettable actions can be turned into teachable moments. Moments that lead us to an increased understanding of how certain acts can impact others and reopen historical scars.
“We are in trying times as a country, and I ask that we come together and focus on our commonalities and not our differences. Love is the answer. Love defeats hate. Love conquers all.”
Herring issued a statement to Twitter on Wednesday (February 6) copping to the act and took “full responsibility.”
“It sounds ridiculous even now writing it,” Herring wrote. “But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes—and because we did not have an application for the experiences and perspectives of others—we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup.”
He added he was “deeply, deeply sorry for the pain that I cause with this revelation.”
Gucci was also feeling the wrath on social media earlier this week after the luxury fashion brand was called out for a $890 sweater that strongly resembled blackface.
The company quickly issued an apology after pulling the item from its website and all retail stores.