Robbie Gatti Takes To The Radio To Explain His Blackface Photo, But Does It Wash?

Gatti, a Republican candidate for the HD-8 seat vacated when Mike Johnson was elected to Congress in December, went on 710 KEEL in Shreveport this morning to give context to and an apology for his having attended a party in blackface – he says he was going to a party as Tiger Woods – and having his picture taken. That picture appeared here at The Hayride Monday, and soon was picked up nationally.

Here’s video of that on-air appearance…

There is something of a problem with Gatti’s timeline, as his story is that the photo was taken with a digital camera rather than a phone, because it was taken before people had cameras in their mobile devices, and it was 15 years ago when the picture was taken.

But Gatti also said this on his Facebook yesterday…

Did you catch that part where Gatti said “Shortly after this event, I was ordained into the church” in the middle of the statement?

That’s a bit of a problem, because Gatti’s bio at First Bossier Baptist Church, which is still live at the church website even though he was asked to leave last year, says he “joined the church staff” in 2014.

We’ve asked around among a member or two of that church, and nobody has come up with a way to explain how First Bossier Baptist Church “ordains” anyone but ministers. He wasn’t ordained as a minister until 2014 – and no, nobody thinks of eight years later as “shortly after.”

Nor four years later, for that matter, because we’re told that the actual year the picture was taken was 2010. Tiger Woods was in the news then not as a champion golfer but as a guy who had destroyed his marriage – his wife divorced him in August of 2010 – through infidelity. And for Gatti to have attended that Halloween party as Tiger Woods wouldn’t be some positive tribute to a great athlete, as he’s framed this, at all; instead it would have had to be a bit darker motive; making fun of someone whose sexual indiscretions had ruined his marriage. That Woods is black and his ex-wife is white probably adds a little extra bit of a racial tinge to this controversy which isn’t great, either, particularly given Gatti’s insistence that he had no idea blackface was considered racist.

Which in and of itself is difficult to take at face value.

And, if it’s correct the photo was taken in 2010 the statement about digital cameras also doesn’t wash.

Perhaps Gatti is simply misremembering when the photo was taken. But it wouldn’t appear his story is accurate. And that doesn’t make it appear he has come clean about the incident which has put his candidacy for the state legislature in jeopardy.

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