A New Orleans resident said she was shocked and appalled after someone handed her 4-year-old son a pair of blackface figurines during the Krewe of Endymion parade over the weekend.
“I was just totally perplexed,” Carmen Cousin told local station WWL-TV. “I didn’t know what to think!”
Cousin said her son was propped up on her fiancee’s shoulders near Canal Street when someone from one of the floats handed him bubble–wrapped package. Inside were two black–faced dolls; one resembling a “Mammy” character holding a serving tray and the other, a male doll with a hat in his hand.
Cousin’s son wasn’t the only one who received the offensive figurines, however. Parade-goer Gregory Hawkins said he initially tried to make sense of the dolls when he first got then but grew angrier the more he thought about what the figures represented.
“I was searching my mind for like, an explanation,” Hawkins told the station. “… I thought maybe they were salt shakers or something. Or that this was some sort of historic thing for the Endymion crew specifically.”
Both Cousin and Hawkins soon realized this wasn’t an isolated case, as several other parade-goers took to Facebook to complain about the racist dolls, WWL-TV reported. Outraged residents, including Hawkins’ girlfriend, contacted the Krewe of Endymion’s Facebook page directly, but to no avail.
“What would your message be to the people who did this and to those who think that this is okay? Cousin said. “How would you feel if you, or your child had received something like that?”