We had some fairly disturbing revelations in Rochester last week:
[A Rochester couple] are accused of hosting a theme party at their 9,000-square-foot mansion on July 7 that brazenly ridiculed Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, by perpetuating racist stereotypes of Black people. The menu consisted of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hennessy cognac.
The party was also said to feature a woman dressed as County Legislator Rachel Barnhart dancing in a mocking and sexual manner for attendees, and images of the heads of local Democratic political figures on stakes, including members of the Police Accountability Board and City Councilmember Mitch Gruber.
The allegations were leveled by Jerrod Jones, a 14-year veteran of the Rochester Fire Department, who said he was brought to the party while on duty by his captain, Jeff Krywy. In a notice of claim against the city and the department, Jones contended that some Rochester police officers that he did not name also attended the party.
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill racists (or perhaps they are). The husband in this power couple, Nicolas Nicosia, served on the board of a local hospital, and he was the team dentist for a couple of local sports teams. His wife Mary also served on a historical preservation board. All of those organizations cut ties with the pair after the firefighter, who is black, filed his lawsuit [pdf] on Thursday. The couple issued a non-denial not-really apology.
The reporter who wrote the story quoted above, Gino Fanelli, got a tip that Mary also had a racist Twitter account that was apparently obsessed with fried chicken stereotypes, but he didn’t include that in the report because he couldn’t completely confirm it. Sounds bad, though.
Anyway, here’s a pair of seemingly normal rich white folks who serve on charitable boards and make all the right noises in public, while being gross racists and sexists in private. The only reason they were found out is that a fire captain was stupid enough to drag his on-duty crew, which included at least one black and one hispanic firefighter, to the party.