A conservative student senator at Colorado State University, who is black, was kicked out of a student government meeting for wearing “blackface” as part of his Halloween costume mocking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Colorado State University (CSU) student senator Koby Peters was removed from a student government meeting which took place on the day before Halloween, because he wore a costume depicting Justin Trudeau in “blackface,” according to a report by the Collegian.
The motion to remove the student senator passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 29-1-2. Peters, who is black, said that he arrived at the meeting wearing the blackface Justin Trudeau costume in order to start a conversation.
“I was truly hoping, I guess you could say, to open up a dialogue,” said Peters of his costume.
Seriously????? After having a Black Face incident we have a SENATE member wear Black Face at a Halloween themed meeting YOURE JOKING RIGHT??? pic.twitter.com/s6kRS4h2k3
— juicy jay (@jaymfline) October 31, 2019
“It is sad to see that white liberal men can participate in blackface and either retain the position of Governor or even be re-elected as Prime Minister on the back of the endorsement of Obama, but a black conservative man who does the same is chastised and deemed racist by the College of Engineering and the University,” Peters told Breitbart News.
“God forbid a black man makes fun of the newly re-elected Justin Trudeau,” he added. “I hope my university will acknowledge its mistreatment of me and apologize, and I hope that black conservatives everywhere will continue to speak up and show the world we do exist.”
The student senator who called for the motion to remove Peters, Alejandro Benitez, told the Collegian that “this is not what we stand for as an organization nor is it the kind of change we want to see on this campus.”
The report added that Peters mentioned he is now facing in-person attacks over his choice of costume.
“I have been accused by other senators of quote-unquote ‘coonery,’ which is a roundabout way of calling me an Uncle Tom and a race traitor,” said Peters. “I’ve not name called, I’ve not attacked anyone, yet this is what I face.”
The college council will now hold a meeting on Tuesday to decide if Peters should keep his leadership position, according to a recent report by Campus Reform.
The report added that in the meantime, CSU’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers sent an email to its members, referring to the incident as “another recent issue with disrespect towards people of color,” but had refrained from mentioning that Peters is black.
Moreover, CSU college of engineering dean David McLean reportedly sent an email to students to address “another incident of hate and bias,” and applauded the student senators who voted to remove Peters from the meeting.
“This is example to us all on how we must remain steadfast in our commitment to immediately speak out against incidents of hate, bias and racism,” said McLean, according to Campus Reform. “As a community, we in the College of Engineering abhor racism and bias, and we unequivocally condemn blackface.”
“There is no place for hate in our college or at the university,” he added. “This behavior does not reflect our values and our Principles of Community of Inclusion, Integrity, Respect, Service and Social Justice. Acts of bias and racism, whether committed in ignorance or with malice, are harmful, degrading, and have long-lasting impacts.”
“These acts are against our values, and we must continue to call out and condemn such acts,” said McLean. “We must foster a sense of belonging in our college and continue to speak out against instances of hate, aggression and bias.”
Peters said that as a black conservative, he feels specifically targeted and silenced at student government meetings, according to the Collegian.
“I don’t understand why the school and campus goes up in arms over individuals who, in the moment, have no power, but we don’t make a fuss about someone who actually currently is in a position of power,” he said.