Photo of Eastern Michigan student government member wearing blackface causes commotion on campus

Reid Scott removes photo from social media

YPSILANTI, Mich. – The political season has come to the Eastern Michigan University campus, and it's claimed a sitting student senator. An 8-year-old Facebook post of the man wearing blackface came to light and is causing campus commotion.

The post wasn't hard to find. It was on the senator's profile page, along with many others. It turns out he was looking to run for president, and his running mate, who also works for the student newspaper, found the picture and backed out of the campaign.

Reid Scott, 27, an Eastern Michigan student, pulled down the offending picture from his Facebook page Tuesday, but its publication Monday in the EMU newspaper prompted student government President Ethan Smith to say, “He needed to go as soon as possible.”

Originally appointed a senator to fill a vacancy in 2018, students elected Scott last fall. But after the blackface picture arose, the senate immediately moved to impeach him.

Smith said he agrees with the move.

"This racist practice of blackface is particularly damaging due to its disgusting, abhorrent context to our black students that a figure that has been so thoroughly discredited has no place as part of student government," Smith said.

Local 4 reached out to Scott, but he didn't return phone calls or texts.

In the paper, he said the incident was a party prank and that he'd passed out on the floor and his friends gave him the blackface while he was unconscious at a very different time in his life.

He didn't apologize or explain why he decided to post the picture as a profile image.

He sought the presidency until Tuesday morning.

"As of around 9:30 a.m. he did submit his resignation and was accepted by the speaker of the senate," Smith said.

Smith said he wanted to see an apology from Scott, as did other senators. He said he’s looking for ways to better vet candidates to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

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