African-American Child Catches Confederate Flag Beads At Mardi Gras Parade — Hate Crime Or Simple Joke?

The 2016 Mardi Gras season is in full force, and there is less than a week to enjoy the good times and parades. Most people do have a great time at Mardi Gras parades, but there was one parade-goer by the name of Andre Perry, an African-American, who didn’t particularly enjoy the Krewe of Carrollton this past Sunday. While at the parade, Perry’s 5-year-old son caught a pair of Mardi Gras beads that had the Confederate flag all over them.

So far, there are a lot of mixed emotions on this situation and some believe it isn’t a big deal and is related to the future removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans. Others are seeing it as the start of a hate crime with a lot of history behind it.

The Times Picayune reported that Perry was enjoying the parade with his 5-year-old son and they were catching beads and other trinkets. A short time later that afternoon, Perry’s son showed his father the pair of beads he had caught.

Perry said he wasn’t immediately aware what his son had caught, but when he realized what the beads were, he “took them away from him.”

Some time later, Perry attempted his best to explain to his son what the Confederate flag symbol on the beads stood for and what it meant. That was when Perry hopped on social media and posted a picture of the beads which brought forth a number of sympathetic and angry responses.

Perry said that both he and his son were in the parade stands by Gallier Hall to watch the Krewe of Carrollton, and they were attending at the invitation of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office. It’s believed that his location may actually be the reason that the beads were thrown at that point on the route.

It was first revealed back in mid-December that four Confederate statues would be removed from around the city of New Orleans at the order of Landrieu. The New Orleans City Council ended up voting 6-1 in favor of removing them. A lawsuit is currently delaying the situation.

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As CNN reported, the vote went through and the removal of statues portraying Gens. Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, and Jefferson Davis is set to take place. There is also an obelisk that is also dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place is also set to be removed.

Many have voiced their displeasure with Landrieu and his decision to have the Confederate statues removed. Andre Perry believes that since he was in the parade stands for the mayor, that is why the Confederate flag beads were thrown in that location.

The captain of the Krewe of Carrollton was asked about the beads that were thrown out and said he had not heard anything of them until asked. He continued to say that the action of throwing the Confederate flag beads was not condoned by the parade organizers.

Float riders in the parade do purchase the majority of their own Mardi Gras throws, but they are allowed to bring other beads and throws if they choose to do so. The captain said it isn’t necessarily possible to check everything brought onto the floats.

“You understand that people get on with bags of throws. We can’t inspect every bag.”

There have been no reports of anyone else getting the Confederate flag beads along the parade route. Perry also isn’t certain what float threw the beads and also doesn’t think that he or his son were pinpointed to get those beads thrown to them.

Many have commented and say that the throwing of the Confederate flag beads is a sign of hatred and anger and that it shouldn’t be tolerated. The Hayride is saying that The Times Picayune is simply trying to bring about mass hysteria over the beads being thrown.

Even Andre Perry said that he didn’t believe they were specifically intended to be the recipients of the beads, but he does believe the float rider that threw them knew that the actions would be offensive to someone.

confederate flag Mardi Gras beads New Orleans
The report from The Times Picayune has been met with mixed emotions from some feeling they have gone too far while others feel they didn’t show this situation enough attention. The Confederate flag beads thrown at a Mardi Gras parade may be a simple and small action, but others think the meanings behind them run much deeper.

[Image by Jerry Markland/Getty Images]