It's not every day you stumble across racially offensive blog fodder in your inbox…unless you work at the Weekly. Then, of course, it's most days. As if that little UCI scandal last spring didn't remind us that racist tropes of the Jim Crow era are still in vogue around here, we bring you…OC Blackface: Halloween Edition! This week's offenders: the front man of a local hardcore band and some social media guru who loves West Coast hip-hop a bit much.
The first guy (shown above) is Media Blitz singer Jason Schwartz. He was tracked down on Facebook by a tipster who brought us this photo of him dressed as Trayvon Martin for a Halloween costume party, Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea and all. We've written about Schwartz and his band several times over on the music section. Despite this boob's reputation as someone who will do just about anything to get a laugh or a reaction out of people, he promptly took down the photos of him and his friends, who also didn't seem to mind posing with him. Guess mocking a murdered black teenager really wasn't as funny the morning after, huh?
We were able to reach Schwartz by phone after receiving the photo and he was immediately apologetic and told us he's already receiving loads of rightful backlash from OC's hardcore punk scene. A statement from Schwartz below:
I have never felt worse in my life. It was never my intention to hurt peoples feelings. I have always had a morbid sense of humor and I think that it is from trying to cope with the horrors of the world. I am Jewish and even have made light of something as dark as the Holocaust in order to come to an understanding of it. I have never intentionally done anything to hurt peoples feelings and I am not going to start now. I have black cousins and friends. They mean the world to me. I am not a person of hate. I don't mean to hurt anyone and I hope people can forgive me.
He even promised to talk publicly to various DIY hardcore communities in the area and apologize for his little costume. Hmm, if only that kind of racial sensitivity had come a few days sooner.
And now, behold Tupac!
The next contestant is some guy with the Instagram handle @mykalfakerich. He's a Tupac fan. Can you tell? He's also not black. Proof here (yikes). This guy apparently handles social media for his site Fake Rich–specializing in party and event photography–and others. And this year for Halloween, he did more than give us a little Al Jolson, going whole-hog by painting his body as well (black…torso?). Those detailed Sharpie tattoos repping "Thug Life” would make Makaveli himself want to rise from the dead and do a new version of "Hit 'Em Up.”
Now, dressing as 2Pac for Halloween has become a thing over the past couple of years, but the people who do that almost universally know better than to put on the blackface. But like any good social media spokeshole, this guy dutifully passed this shot around on Instagram and Twitter, as well as a photo of him at this costume party at the Crosby. Because when insulting the legacy of the West's biggest rapper, not to mention African Americans everywhere, best use all the social outlets you can. "Oh, it's just a tribute to Pac,” you say? Well, then this guy must have the balls to rock this ensemble at a costume party in Compton, right? Yeah, probably not.
Happy Halloween, guys! And OC: stay classy as always!