A 12-year-old girl visiting a Mardi Gras parade in Mississippi was shocked when she was handed a disturbing doll instead of candy or beads, reports said.
Nicole Fairconenture and her family were posted in their usual spot for the Krewe of Nereids parade Sunday in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi when a white man wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey called her daughter over to give her the doll, CNN reported.
Pictures show that the black doll wore a red and white gown with an apron — characteristic of the “Mammy” stereotype which was pervasive after slavery and through the Jim Crow era. The “Mammy” caricature pictures an obese black woman with a smile and was meant to humanize slavery.
“She grabbed the item, put it to her chest, and was coming back and he called her back,” Fairconeture told the Biloxi Sun Herald. “When she turned around, he said, ‘That’s you.’”
The doll also included purple Mardi Gras beads in the shape of a noose around its neck.
Bay St. Louis Police Department and the Waveland Police departments are investigating the incident, as a possible hate crime cops posted on Facebook.
The Krewe of Nereids, which organizes the popular parade, slammed the incident in its own Facebook post.
“The Krewe of Nereids was shocked to hear of the incident of a racially offensive item being thrown from one of the truck floats which followed the Nereids’ parade on Sunday,” the organization wrote. “These floats are not part of, nor in any way affiliated with Nereids, other than parading on the same day.”
“The Nereids organization does not condone or agree with this behavior and has never approved of or supported any offensive conduct in the past, nor will such offensive conduct and racially divisive acts be tolerated or excused now or at any time in the future.”
The Krewe of Partytime Anytime — which operated one of the parade’s Saints-themed floats — said its group did not throw the doll to the girl. Lisa Moran, Partytime Anytime’s captain, said the Krewe has been wrongfully blasted across social media for being the perpetrators of the alleged incident as online vigilantes sought justice for Fairconenture and her family.
“I went today all I’m going to say all the people that slander my krewe organization and me and my husband name on social media will have slander charges against [them] tomorrow morning,” Moran posted on Facebook. “I have tons [of] screenshots and private message accusing my krewe. … I will stand firm for my krewe of Partytime Anytime.”
Fairconenture later made her own post on Facebook about the float.
“[On] behalf of my family and friends of the community, I would like to personally reach out to the owner of this float and truck. THIS IS NOT THE FLOAT!” Fairconenture wrote. “… BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY MY CHILD IS MY PRIORITY. KEEP YOUR NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO YOURSELF AND RESPECT MY CHILD!”
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