In a long history of predictable behavior a white frat and sorority do something that comes as a shock to us all? Not exactly, the organizing of black themed frat parties have been a reoccurring trend in America for years upon years now. I personally stumbled across a BET themed party at my own Alma mater ( University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana ) my freshman year, and it was beyond a shock to me that the party goers seemed perfectly fine with their parading around in stereotypical “black” clothing, hair styles, jewelry and even down to their mannerisms for the night.
Instead of causing an uproar as a freshman who was new to campus I simply left the event and shared my encounter’s with my floor mates at my dorm. But little did I know this would be a common theme that I would see repeated over and over during the course of my college career. A few months later there was a “Wet backs and something” party, the something is a derogatory word towards Asians that escapes my mind at the moment however, the party goers were dressed in sombreros, Mexican rodeo style boots and tapped eye lids, I witnessed large groups of party goers headed to the event in shock.
These are just a few instance from my own personal experience, in which I was actually at one of the events. But this is a story that is identical to many across American college campuses, and certainly comes as no surprise to me that it was the case this week at UCLA.
The UCLA chapters of the Fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sorority Alpha Phi; decided to throw a “Kanye Western” themed party this week and man were they blunt in their costumed perception of Black Culture. Some party goers were photographed wearing black face, some with gold chains and braids, but most disturbing ALOT with extra padding in their buttocks to mock the Kardashians ” supposedly”. UCLA students attempted to break up the party and some that I know personally organized and arrived at the door steps of the venue prepared to take action. The party ended around 11 pm, and in the next days UCLA erupted in protest against the event, reviving the hashtag #Blackbruinsmatter. The Afrikan Student Union held a rally to the Chancellors office demanding a response from school officials.
Ironically the movie that debuted sometime last year “Dear White People” climaxed at the same exact event in the movie where a white fraternity threw a black themed party ( would ya look at that ) and its black student body broke up the event in disgust of the insulting nature of such an event. The movie ended in an informative style slide show of other schools across the nation that have done such events, and how insulting it is to the people they target as caricatures for the night.
White Fraternities and Sororities across America are no strangers to these sorts of events and unfortunately I do not see them stopping any time soon. Its insensitive and down right racist, as a participant of this loathsome event how does one rationalize this as “Ok” and “fun”. On the wake of the million man march and the plea to the greater population of America to stop their seemingly oblivious unjust ways I must remark again “What a time to be alive, indeed”.