Policy change at Duke following blackface incident


The school took down a photo of members of the women's lacrosse team dressed up in Halloween costumes meant to represent cast members of the Little Rascals movie and TV series.

One player was supposed to be the character "Buckwheat" and was wearing blackface makeup.

Marcus Benning, who heads up the Black Student Alliance on campus, told ABC11 Tuesday the incident raises serious questions.

"It definitely upsets me. It's upset many students in my organization," he offered. "Where is the line drawn between having fun and between offending your classmates?"

Benning called for continued dialogue.

"I'm confident that it's something the university student population can work through as we've worked through numerous other issues in the past few years," he said.

The day after the blackface scandal, the university announced plans to mark the 50th anniversary of black student integration. A Duke alum, who was among the first black students admitted to the school, has donated a million dollar scholarship for continued diversity.

Something that might keep similar incidents from happening again.

"I don't think we're advocating any type of reprimand - any type of suspensions or anything else - I think that's up to the university to decide. But, from a student perspective, we're happy to continue the conversations and I think we'll all be better for it in the end," said Benning.

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