‘Pink Lives Matter’ themes and other floats provoke outcry after Baton Rouge Spanish Town parade
Baton Rouge’s signature Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade provoked controversy for the second year in a row, with critics saying its risqué style of humor went too far this past weekend.
This year’s most offending culprits were jokes about race, as at least two floats parodied the “Black Lives Matter” movement with “Pink Lives Matter” slogans, which reference the parade’s pink flamingo mascot.
One float featured a drawing of a flamingo being beaten with a police baton. The flamingo had an “I can’t breathe” sign strung around its neck, mimicking the words of Eric Garner, whose 2014 New York City death at the hands of police officers sparked protests about police brutality and helped kick off the nationwide “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations.
“It’s very easy for people who may not be enduring the weight of these types of incidents to make light of it,” said Donney Rose, one of many black writers who said this year’s parade crossed too many boundaries. “But when you belong to a group or demographic to where that could be your reality at any point in time, you don’t find the humor in it, you don’t find the satire.”