Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned Thursday after a local newspaper uncovered photos of him in blackface at a 2005 Halloween party.
While the appropriateness of blackface remains a hotly debated topic, Ertel is unlikely to receive sympathy from either liberals or conservatives. That’s because he didn’t just wear blackface — he wore it as part of a “Katrina victim” costume just two months after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and killed hundreds.
Ironically, in 2012 Ertel was given the Martin Luther King Jr. award by the city of Longwood to honor his efforts to expand voting rights.
Leftists will spin Ertel’s resignation as vindicating their slanderous “Republicans are racists” talking point, but the real lesson here is that freedom of expression doesn’t insulate one from the social fallout of being an insensitive jerk.
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