A photo that surfaced Tuesday of 1st Ward aldermanic candidate Daniel La Spata wearing a banana costume while posing with four black children and men wearing monkey masks isn’t racist, his campaign said — even as the City Council’s Black Caucus chairman said it was.
La Spata’s campaign manager, Jeff Salvadore, confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times the authenticity of the Sep. 2013 photo that was first posted on La Spata’s Facebook page but that has since been deleted.
Salvadore said there were no ill intentions behind the photo, but that La Spata understands how it could be perceived as racist and “apologizes unequivocally” for any pain he caused.
The photo was taken during a “goofy, kind of a fun activity” that was part of La Spata’s bachelor party, Salvadore said. La Spata’s friends had surprised him with the banana costume, then put on monkey masks and chased him around Millennium Park.
A screenshot of the Facebook post shows La Spata called the gathering “the most absurd bachelor party of the year.”
The four African-American boys in the photo asked to pose with the group because the costumes looked “ridiculous,” according to Salvadore.