26-year-old white man, Cameron James Kennedy, has been charged with robbery after holding up a casino in Las Vegas wearing a blackface to appear black.
In the early morning of January 10, Kennedy showed a cashier a handgun that was tucked in his waistband during the robbery at the New York-New York Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, reports local media Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“I want all your hundreds, and don’t mess around,” he told the cashier before leaving the casino in a taxi with more than $23,000, according to the complaint.
The police said the cashier noticed Kennedy was not black because his skin tone was “off” and “blotchy” as he used makeup to appear black.
READ ALSO: White men wearing black faces: don’t be fooled by hyper-realistic masks
Kennedy, who was already under federal supervision on prior bank robbery charges, was arrested on January 25 after phone records placed him near where the robber was dropped off from the taxi on the morning of the robbery.
He was charged last Friday in a federal criminal court with robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Blackfaces are offensive to people of colour as in the early nineteenth-century, Blackface performers entertained white people by painting their faces with burnt cork, greasepaint or shoe polish and exaggerate their lips to represent uneducated slaves on the plantations.
The history of slavery in America is an unforgettable episode in the history of the United States and it is inappropriate to retrace this dark past through mockery of the race.
However, the Blackface phenomenon is worse today with the advent of the controversial hyper-realistic silicone masks that look and feel like a real black skin.
Some few years ago, a white man robbed several Ohio banks wearing a hyper-realistic mask of a black man he ordered from Hollywood mask-making company SPFXMasks. He also ordered a matching set of black hands which he used to rob the banks.
An innocent black man was arrested for Conrad Zdzierak’s crimes and was identified falsely in a lineup by six of seven eyewitnesses including his mother after watching the surveillance footage of the crime.
He was jailed, until after some months when the actual bank robber’s girlfriend called the police after finding the mask and a huge sum of money.