Best Blackface: Bobby Berger

Over the summer, Ebony magazine exposed a fundraiser for the so-called “Baltimore Six”—the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray—which would feature Bobby Berger, a former cop and Al Jolson impersonator, at Michael’s Eighth Avenue. Berger, who performs as Jolson in blackface and has been doing so since the ’70s, doesn’t seem to see anything in poor taste or racist about it. In fact, he told Jamilah Lemieux of Ebony, some black people really dig it, including boxing legend Joe Frazier. See, he’s not being racist by wearing blackface, he’s just dressing up like Al Jolson. Berger was totally alone on this one. Even the embattled FOP, who frequently put their foots in their mouth on issues of race and other sensitive issues, couldn’t defend a former cop wearing blackface in 2015 at a cop fundraiser for six cops involved in a case in which issues of race are at the center. The police union said they don’t “condone any performance representing the iconic racist figure that is Al Jolson.”

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