A recent video of teenagers in blackface in a store in Cedar City, Utah on Halloween has gone viral on several social media platforms including TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
The video shows a group of teenagers at the local Walmart on Halloween with three of them wearing blackface dressed as prisoners. The others in the group were in costumes, including one dressed as a police officer.
The video, captioned “Meanwhile, in Utah…” has received more than 3,800 retweets and 7,514 likes on Twitter to date.
The individual taking the video calls it a “hate crime” saying that they will not get into college or get scholarships as a consequence. One teenager responds with, ”We all dropped out of high school it’s OK.”
Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox released a statement condemning racism. “We strongly condemn racism in all its forms and we call on every Utahn to reject such offensive stereotypes, slurs and attitudes. We must do better,” he said.
The Cedar City Police Department also released a statement through the city’s official social media.
“Our police officers were not aware of the incident taking place at the time and were not called on the scene. Cedar City Police Department and Cedar City officials do not condone this type of activity,” the statement said.
The CCPD encouraged everyone to be wary when sharing videos of minors, “including any cyber or other harassment that can accompany this type of incident.”
Blackface incidents have occurred in Utah before, including a BYU student in 2018 who wore blackface as part of his football costume on campus.
Southern Utah University posted a statement on social media in response to the incident.
“Events such as this affect our entire community. We stand against racism and denounce any kind of discriminatory behavior, including what is shown in this video,” the post said. They also confirmed that there were no SUU students identified in the video.
Internet users expressed their anger and disgust upon seeing the video of the Cedar City teenagers, making comments such as, “They’re clearly old enough to get it, and they just don’t get it. This country is a mess.”
The CCPD has started an investigation and is monitoring social media, according to their public statement.