Blackface halloween costumes represent a perfectly-formed bubble of bad ideas. Everyone knows they're widely condemned as racist and everyone knows you can get in trouble for doing it. But a frozen peach-flavored witches' brew of indifference, ignorance and inchoate spite leads a certain sort of person into doing it all the same. Then they go viral and are made examples of in exactly the way that they knew they risked.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A nurse lost her job with a Kansas City, Missouri hospital Tuesday after a Facebook photo of her in blackface went viral. A photo of Shelbi Elliott-Heenan reportedly shows her dressed in blackface as Beyonce, standing next to a man in blackface as Jay-Z. Saint Luke's Health System, where Elliott-Heenan worked, released a statement about the matter.
"While it is against Saint Luke's policy to comment on specific personnel matters, we can confirm that this individual is no longer a Saint Luke's employee," the statement said.
This is a common failure state of examined privilege: they know who what, but don't know who whom.