Pub-goer who dressed as a Minstrel at a Christmas party claims he had ‘no idea’ it would be deemed racist

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A PUB-GOER who blacked up at a work do claims he had “no idea” that his minstrel costume was racist, a court heard.

Brian Davies, 62, from Cardiff, was convicted of racially aggravated harassment for wearing the costume and singing Al Jolson songs to a black colleague.

Brian Davies blacked up at a work do (pictured) but claimed he had 'no idea' why it was racist
Wales News Service

Brian Davies blacked up at a work do (pictured) but claimed he had ‘no idea’ why it was racist[/caption]

In February he was fined £120 and ordered to pay £300 in costs, but is appealing the conviction
Wales News Service

In February he was fined £120 and ordered to pay £300 in costs, but is appealing the conviction[/caption]

Loretta Doyley had told the court she burst into tears and fled the pub after Davies started singing.

In February he was fined £120 and ordered to pay £300 in costs, but is appealing the conviction.

Mr Davies told Cardiff Crown Court this week he had been “naive and stupid” to wear the costume, but said it was “just a laugh”.

He told his appeal hearing: “I went to the fancy dress shop in Barry. Originally I was going to dress up as Michael Jackson to do Thriller but there was no way I could get the music to do the dance.

“So I asked about the Black and White minstrels and the shop owner showed me how to do it.

‘JUST A LAUGH’

“They never mentioned anything – they even offered me whiter cream to paint the circles.

“I know I am naive and stupid and dumb but I wasn’t intending to be racist – it was just a laugh, a bit of fun.”

Davies insisted he would “never dream” of doing anything to upset his colleague Ms Doyley – a “dear friend” who he described as his “second mum”.

He added: “I regarded her as a dear friend and only wanted her to come because I didn’t want her to miss out on a fun night.

“I’d never dream of upsetting her. She was like a second mum to me – she used to make me sandwiches and pancake mix.

I know I am naive and stupid and dumb but I wasn’t intending to be racist


Brian Davies

“If she had told me that she was upset I would have stopped straight away.”

Ms Doyley told the original hearing that Davies had sung a song from the Black and White Minstrel show at her.

She said: “Everyone was laughing — laughing at me because your actions were directed at me.

“You were mocking me. You sang Mammy. You didn’t sing an ordinary song, you sang a racist song from the Black and White Minstrel Show.”

‘YOU WERE MOCKING ME’

The following Monday, Davies argues that he made every effort to apologise to Mrs Doyley.

He said: “The first thing I did was say to her, ‘Loretta, I’m so sorry that I’ve upset you, it wasn’t meant to be like that’.

“And I just tried to apologise but she just walked past me.”

When asked about the Black and White Minstrel Show, Davies insisted that he didn’t know the show had been pulled because of its racist connotations.

He said: “I didn’t realise it was racist.


“I realise now that I was stupid and naive but why would I ever want to racially abuse one of my colleagues on purpose.

“I wasn’t thinking of anything racist – I was just dressing up.”

In February Cardiff magistrates found him guilty of racially aggravated harassment.

The hearing at Cardiff Crown Court continues.

Loretta Doyley had told the court she burst into tears and fled the pub after Davies started singing
PA:Press Association

Loretta Doyley had told the court she burst into tears and fled the pub after Davies started singing[/caption]


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