A white UPS worker in Ohio dressed as “mammy” with blackface and red, exaggerated lips for Halloween.
The unidentified woman worked at Sharonville location until a picture of the offensive costume was posted to Facebook. In the image, the woman was dressed in blackface, with an oversize red coat, thick red lipstick and a red bandanna in her hair, which many people likened to the minstrel caricature of “mammy.”
Quickly after, the image was deleted and UPS revealed they terminated the employee.
“The company has strict policies against harassment and discrimination, and has terminated this individual’s employment with the company,” UPS spokeswoman Kim Krebs told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “UPS has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or prejudice.”
Although Krebs said she was unsure if the woman had gone to work in the costume, a fellow coworker posted that she did go to work dressed in the outfit.
“She’s a white woman and she came to work at UPS in Sharonville,” the post read. Another person commented that the woman was told to go home soon after appearing at work.
Eric Jackson, program director of black studies at Northern Kentucky University, said seeing the costumed evoked the same pain felt by many in the Jim Crow era.
“It’s taking African-American images and moving it to a stereotype and brings it to the forefront,” Jackson told WXIX. “It’s the most obscene negative over-the-top images.”
Jackson believes some are unaware of the impact of blackface due to lack of education.
“I know it’s not taught in school because that’s one of the periods during the Reconstruction Period that no one really talks about,” Jackson told WXIX.
However, given the specificity of the UPS worker's "costume" one could assume she knows plenty about the history of blackface.
(Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)