CHICAGO (CBS) — A picture that some see as racially insensitive has rocked Chicago’s First Ward aldermanic campaign.
First Ward aldermanic candidate Daniel La Spata was uncomfortable and embarrassed Tuesday.
A photo, taken six years ago at La Spata’s Millennium Park bachelor party shows La Spata dressed in a banana costume, his friends in monkey masks, joined by a group of black children.
“I apologize for any offense we’ve caused,” said La Spata. “It was silly. It was ridiculous. The kids in the photo were watching. They thought it was hilarious and so they wanted to take a photo with us and so we let them.”
“I think the photo in the context with those young men is what causes the offense. Because I do recognize the harmful racial stereotypes that are portrayed in that context,” he added.
The picture was on La Spata’s public Facebook page. But it was circulated and highlighted by his political opponent, Ald. Joe Moreno. He told CBS 2 “this type of intolerance and insensitivity has no place in Chicago, the 1st ward or anywhere.”
But, La Spata claims Moreno’s simply trying to change the subject.
“I would not put it past them to distract from the implosion of Moreno’s campaign under the weight of his own ethical behaviors,” La Spata said.
Moreno is still under investigation by Chicago police for falsely reporting his car stolen by a girlfriend. It was later revealed he’d allowed the girlfriend to drive the vehicle. But La Spata’s not dodging blame for the photo.
“I apologize for that,” he said.