Kansas Mayor Apologizes for Appearing in Blackface Drag

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The mayor of a Kansas town issued an apology Thursday for appearing as a drag-queen in blackface last weekend as part of a fundraising event, according to the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Arkansas City Mayor Mel Kuhn participated in and won a drag queen contest held as part of an annual fund raiser sponsored by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an agency that supports foster children in the court system, the NAACP said on its Web site.

Kuhn appeared dressed as a character which he called "Smellishis Poon," with his face painted dark for the event, the Arkansas City Traveler reported.

According to the NAACP, he also had suggestive back-up dancers for the talent portion of his performance, which he called the "Red Hot Puntangs."

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James W Loewen - 10/3/2008

In 1885, Arkansas City attempted (and probably succeeded) in driving out its lone Chinese resident, a laundryman.