Politics

Bush official lauded racially offensive Halloween costume.

Julie Myers, head of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, has apologized for “awarding ‘most original costume’ to a Homeland Security Department employee who dressed in prison stripes, dreadlocks and dark makeup for a Halloween gathering at the agency.” The AP reports:

jmyers4.jpg Julie Myers, assistant secretary overseeing Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, was part of a three-judge panel that lauded the costume, worn by a white employee, last Wednesday. She also posed for a photo with him. […]

The employee who wore the costume was not identified, but ICE spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said he was counseled by his supervisor. He was not wearing blackface but makeup that was a darker color than his skin, Nantel said.

The photo of Myers and the employee has been discarded. Myers has been sharply criticized for her lack of qualifications to head the division. She is the niece of former Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Richard B. Myers and married to U.S. attorney in Missouri John F. Wood, who was Michael Chertoff’s former top aide.

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