Aldermanic candidate apologizes after controversial photo surfaces

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CHICAGO  — An aldermanic candidate has apologized after a controversial photo of him from 2013 surfaced.

Daniel La Spata, who’s running to unseat Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno in the 1st Ward, can be seen in a photo wearing a banana costume surrounded by friends in monkey masks and a group of African American boys. The photo was taken near Millennium Park in September 2013.

“It hurts my heart tremendously. To see that photo and out there and it feels like a betrayal of people I have loved and have campaigned with,” La Spata said.

There are calls on social media for La Spata to leave the race.

Incumbent Ald. Moreno, who’s had his own run of bad publicity, said his campaign did not leak the picture but has been flooded with calls about it.

“I do not need to wait for La Spata’s rationalization of this behavior to state that this type of intolerance and insensitivity has no place in Chicago, the 1st Ward or anywhere,” he said.

Ald. Roderick Sawyer condemned the photo as racist. He said La Spata needs to understand that the photo was racist and offensive.

La Spata said the photo stemmed from some innocent hijinks during his bachelor party.

“And it is my fault that I did not recognize then the harmful, racial overtones that are portrayed in that photo,” he said.

Sawyer, the chair of City Council’s Black Caucus said he’s seen more than enough in Chicago and the country.

A photo of two white Baton Rouge police officers wearing dark makeup has prompted an apology by the police chief of the Louisiana capital city.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the state’s Attorney General Mark Herring both admitted earlier this month to wearing blackface years ago. They remain in office despite varying calls for their ouster.

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