A Sunderland city councilor has apologized for any violation caused after sharing a blackface video from his Facebook profile.
Councilor Keith Jenkins, who represents the Redhill neighborhood, admits he shared a Tik Tok video on June 18 on his Facebook page.
The video shows a man dipping his head into a bag of black powder, which then covers his face. Laughs can be heard in the background.
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A caption written on the clip reads: ‘New BLM Tutorial for England Players’, purported to refer to the Black Lives Matter movement in football which saw Gareth Southgate’s side kneel down before every game to wrestle against racism.
Weeks after sharing the offensive video from his account, Councilor Jenkins changed his profile picture to a photo displaying the words ‘UK Against Racism’.
Responding to suggestions that the video was racist, Councilor Jenkins says that by sharing the video, the handwriting was not there.
He said: “This writing was not on this video. It was shared jokingly.
“I’m mortified it was there, but 100% it wasn’t on the Tik Tok video when I shared it.
“I’m mortified that it was there, I’ll take it off. I’ve never been a racist.”
When asked by ChronicleLive if, even without the writing, the video was bad enough, he replied, “You have to laugh sometimes, I share a lot of videos on my social media.
“I laughed at it, I laugh at a lot of things but since then it has been updated.”
Commissioner Jenkins fiercely denied being racist and apologized for any infractions.
He said: “If people think I am a racist, my daughter was dating a Muslim. I am not a racist, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a racist.”
“I sincerely apologize for offending anyone.”
It comes after England players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were all targeted with racist messages after missing penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
Gareth Southgate called the hatred directed at gamblers “unforgivable”, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson told officials to “push back under the rock you came out of”.
Councilor Jenkins condemned the racial abuse players have been subjected to and said everyone should have photo ID if they want a social media account.
He said: “The best thing is if you have a social media account you should have photo ID in case you break the rules, it’s that simple.
“Everyone should have photo ID if you want to go to Facebook or Instagram.
He added that those who share offensive hate speech online “should be dragged along and treated with severity.”
A spokesperson for Sunderland City Council said: “All councilors are required to adhere to a code of conduct that sets standards of behavior.
“Procedures are in place for any suspected violation of this code to be reviewed by the city council’s standards committee.
“It is not appropriate to comment further on the matter.”