Several of this year's participants have accused the co-founder of the beauty pageant Mrs. America of making degrading and racially insensitive comments, including the use of racial slurs and suggesting that black men are "drug dealers" and that "Black women must stop." Have babies with four baby dads. "
At a press conference on Monday, four participants of Ms. America's 2018 accused David Marmel, executive director of the contest, of delivering offensive comments during a pre-contest event in Las Vegas last year.
The participants, who were accompanied by the prominent women's rights lawyer, Gloria Allred, said Marmel had approached a group of four African-American women at the event, three of whom spoke on Monday, and started talking about what he had done for the blacks during the course. of his career, including his participation in the annual American Black Achievement awards.
During that conversation, Marmel used the word n at least twice, the women said. Once it was when he described the owners of Ebony magazine, whom Marmel said he knew and described as "the most racist people he had ever met because everyone used the term n **** r between them," NBC News reported. quoting the contestants.
The women alleged that Marmel said it was okay for him to use the term because Ebony's owners called him "brother," NBC said.
Brandy Palacios, the current Mrs. Missouri, affirmed that Marmel put her arm next to hers "to compare the color of the skin".
Marmel used the racial insult again when he related his time as a baseball player in the 1950s and saw signs that belittled the Jews and African Americans in the crowd.
Marmel, who is Jewish, has since criticized most of women's statements as "ugly," "false," and taken out of context. However, he confirmed that he had used the insult to describe one of these derogatory signs.
"For them to hold him in my use of that insult as some kind of epithet is disgusting and says something about them," he told The Guardian.
According to the women, Marmel said in the same conversation that "black women should stop having babies with four baby dads and all black men are in jail because they should stop selling drugs and kill each other".
Crissy Timpson, the current Mrs. New Jersey, said that the Las Vegas event had been the second time she had heard Marmel make such racial and insensitive comments.
Timpson said he had had a conversation with Marmel a few days before the party in which he had criticized Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality, as a "asshole who. .. need To stop disrespecting my flag. "
When Timpson replied that she did not believe that Kaepernick was disrespecting the flag, "David changed the subject and said:" Well, you should stop killing each other, we need people to educate the black community. " ; "he recalled, according to The Guardian.
"He told me that" you, black women, should stop having babies and have four baby dads, your men are drug dealers, imprisoned, in jail, receiving social assistance and killing each other, "he continued.
Marmel called Timpson's accusations "shit".
Allred, the women's rights lawyer, said Monday that the four contenders (Timpson, Palacios, Kimberly Phillips and Jeri Ward) had no "plans" to file a lawsuit.
Instead, the women sought an apology from Marmel and wanted him to undergo sensitivity training focused on issues of racial bias and stereotyping.
"[The four women] they feel it is their duty to share what they claim was their experience, since they do not want next year's participants to be subjected to what they consider to be racially offensive and degrading comments that have hurt them and caused them so much pain, "Allred said. According to The Associated Press.
Marmel told NBC News on Monday that he had a conversation with participants about the race during the pre-contest event last year, but that his statements had been "poorly defined."
He said he will not apologize or undergo racial sensitivity training.
"Based on my career and what I've done for the African-American community, do I seem to need sensitivity training?" He told The Guardian.