Arkansas City Mayor Apologizes for Blackface Skit

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ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ The mayor of a south-central Kansas
town is apologizing for appearing in blackface as part of a fundraiser.

Arkansas City Mayor Mel Kuhn won the drag queen beauty contest in which he not only appeared in blackface but also used sexually suggestive slang for his character's name. The contest was part of a fundraiser held over the weekend by the Court Appointed Special Advocates, which supports foster children.

Kuhn's apology came after a meeting Wednesday night with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The apology, posted on the group's Web site, said it was shortsighted of Kuhn not to see how offensive his actions were in the first place.

The mayor previously had defended himself to the local paper, The Arkansas City Traveler, saying he did not care what people thought.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Text of Mayor Kuhn's apology (from
"It has been brought to my attention how offensive this was and I absolutely agree that it was shortsighted of me not to see that in the first place. I am sincerely sorry and I sincerely apologize for the offensive nature of my actions. This was not CASA, this was of my own volition, and I take full responsibility for my actions. The buck absolutely stops here". - Mayor Mell H. Kuhn