AALIYAH FUNERAL SPARKS RACE ROW

A columnist for the New York Post, has been labelled racist for claiming the late star's funeral was over top...

The lavish funeral procession for R&B star AALIYAH has sparked a race row in NEW YORK.

Rob Dreher, a columnist for the New York Post, has been labelled racist for claiming the late star’s funeral on Friday (August 31), which saw her sliver-plated coffin drawn through the streets of Upper East Side of New York in a horse drawn white hearse before 22 white doves were released in her memory, was way over the top. He added that great public figures and statesmen such as Mother Theresa and John F Kennedy were worthy of such large public funerals, but not an “undistinguished singer of forgettable pop songs”.

His words have been pounced upon by black activist leader, the Rev Al Sharpton. Speaking at rally in Aaliyah‘s memory in Harlem he said: “I’m outraged, and I think all decent people are outraged. We will bring down anybody who tells us how to mourn our own.” He is calling for the Post to punish Dreher for his “shocking and racist” column.

The newspaper is standing firm. Editor-in-chief Col Allan has stood by his employee, saying he “had a right to express an opinion”.

Meanwhile, an initial report into the plane crash which killed Aaliyah and eight others in the Bahamas last weekend (August 25) is blaming a heavy load for the accident. The ill-fated Cessna 402 crashed almost immediately after take-off on a short hop from the island of Abaco over to Miami.