What was meant as a time of celebration quickly turned into anything but. Yesterday afternoon, the Krewe of Nereids rolled for its annual Mardi Gras parade and one of the throws caught attention Coastwide.
“It’s a deplorable act and when I heard it was with a 12-year-old child it made it that much worse.” Waveland Mayor Mike Smith is talking about a young paradegoer who received this throw during the Krewe of Nereids Parade Sunday afternoon. “First of all, it broke my heart then it made me angry and we don’t tolerate that type of behavior. Even though this was in the City of Bay St. Louis and not in Waveland, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Allegedly during the parade, a float was tossing black dolls dressed in what many are considering ‘traditional mammy’ attire that dates back to the 1930s with a beaded noose around her neck. Something Gulfport resident Jeffrey Hulum says is outrageous during a family friend event. “It hurts for a person who fought for this country to come back and see the same thing steady going on on a day-to-day basis.”
“No one in their actual right mind can think this is right. It opens up unhealed wounds from the past from the Jim Crow Era. There’s no other way around it. The dry humor, it’s not funny. The insensitivity of people’s feelings is unwanted,” said Hulum.
According to Smith, the float accused isn’t affiliated with the Krewe of Nereids organization.
Hulum says he hopes to prevent this from happening to anyone else on the Coast. “A letter was given to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors today, another letter will be given to the City of Council of the City of Gulfport, and what we are doing is asking them until the situation is rectified or that person is brought up to face with what they have done that float should not be allowed to participate in upcoming parades here in Gulfport.”
Both Smith and Hulum are encouraging whoever is responsible to step forward. “I think that person should step forward, admit their wrong doing, and try to resolve it.”
“It’s a teachable, learanable moment by holding the person who did it accountable. The people who refuse to bring that person forward is just as guilty as the person who committed this infraction upon the African-American community.”