Town Councilman Robert Ryan apologized on Wednesday for attending a recent Halloween party in blackface.There are a lot of white folks, middle-aged and older, who grew up surrounded by blackface, minstrel-style performances, and other racist imagery. It was a ubiquitous part of American culture at the time.
“I am ignorant to what I did, I guess,” Ryan said during a Town Board meeting. “I am ignorant to things. I chose a stand-out character (who) stands out like a lot of other celebrities, and I dressed like him at a private Halloween party, and I am so sorry I did now. I really am sorry I did.”
But things change. Today, such images are considered highly offensive, and rightly so. Ryan did the right thing in apologizing for his mistake. In doing so, he shows that he knows how to admit when he's wrong, which is a big improvement over a lot of other elected officials.