Protest planned to stop use of taxpayer dollars for Mummers Parade

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Friday, January 3, 2020
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Protest planned to stop tax dollars for Mummers Parade: as seen on Action News Mornings on January 3, 2020.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Organizers on Facebook are planning a protest Friday to demand the city of Philadelphia to stop using taxpayer dollars on the Mummers Parade.

This comes after a member of Froggy Carr in the Wench Brigade and another man who marched with them wore blackface in Wednesday's parade, once again sparking outrage.

On Thursday evening, Action News sat down with officials from Froggy Carr, the overall Wench Brigade president, and their attorney and fellow mummer George Badey.

"It hurts. We don't need this problem. We try not to," Wench Brigade Association President Charles McKenna said.

Philadelphia banned blackface from the parade in the 1960s.

"One of our rules, no blackface. It's horrible. It's a bad mark on our city and it's a bad mark in each club," Joe Renzi, the Froggy Carr Captain, said.

"We're going to approach the other division and make sure these people don't ever march in the mummers again." Badey said.

They acknowledge they need to do better.

"We want to sit down with the city and city human relations commission and do things the right way to make sure this fantastic tradition is mended not ended," Badey said.

Rodney Muhammad, President of the Philadelphia NAACP, says the Mummers have had many chances to correct racial issues and have come up short.

"We've had the Juneteenth parade, we've had Unity Day, every year we have Odunde and we have thousands out. We offend no one. No political groups, ethnicity or religions. All people have wanted is fair justice and want to live in this city without annual insults," Muhammad said.

Despite the controversy, 10,000 gold-slippered performers still strutted in the city's 120th Mummers parade.