Mummers parade

‘I Talk to Black People’: Mummer in Blackface Defends Himself After Mayor Boots Brigade

A Mummer who wore blackface while marching with Froggy Carr group said 'we ain't racist'

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Correction: This story has been updated to correct Kinkel's name.

A Mummers group was thrown out of Philadelphia's annual New Year's Day parade because at least one member marched down South Broad Street in blackface.

Froggy Carr, a wench brigade that dressed in orange-and-black colored costumes in what was apparently a motif honoring the Flyers mascot Gritty, got booted from the parade competition for best outfit design.

Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that the man's face paint was "abhorrent and unacceptable."

Kenney added that Froggy Carr was disqualified from the parade competition and "we will be exploring additional punishment."

The Mummer with Froggy Carr who wore the blackface defended his decision to paint his face when NBC10 found him after the parade. It was not known if any other members of Froggy Carr also wore blackface.

"I talk to black people. They told me, 'What are you talking about? You can wear whatever you want. That ain’t discriminating me. That ain’t racist to me,'" Kevin Kinkel said Wednesday evening. "That’s what they tell me."

Kinkel gave his name to NBC10 as "Hinkel," but a Froggy Carr website and his Facebook page -- which includes promotion for the brigade -- spells it "Kinkel."

Kinkel also said he was wearing blackface to honor a friend who died.

"I don’t do this a lot. My friend, he passed away. He wore blackface, so I’m doing this for him," Kinkel said. "I’ll be done with it after this year. But we ain’t racist and we don’t look for trouble."

The Mummers parade, which has been ushering in the new year for Philadelphia for more than a century, has caused controversy in the past for racist and insensitive behavior.

In 2016, one Mummers group made fun of Caitlyn Jenner while another painted their faces brown and dressed in ponchos and sombreros, or as tacos.

Last year, on New Year's Day 2019, one of the comic brigades showcased a black man leading a white man on a leash. The group defended it by saying the black man was role-playing as rapper Jay-Z and the white man was role-playing as Mayor Kenney. They described it as satire.

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