The UCLA chapter of the Sigma Phi Eplison fraternity is under fire after hosting what was billed as a “Kanye Western” themed party where those who attended wore blackface, baggy clothing and other stereotypically ‘black’ items.
@Ucla yesterday there was a party that was "Kanye Western" themed in which white people showed up in Blackface. pic.twitter.com/BdJ214g0Kw
— Brotha B (@BlakeDontCrack) October 8, 2015
via LA Times:
After photographs of the party surfaced on social media, students expressed concerns that the organizations’ actions were racist and mocked black culture, reigniting the social media hashtag #BlackBruinsMatter.
The Afrikan Student Union is planning to meet at noon Thursday at the campus’ Bruin Bear statue to address what it described as a racial incident. The group is urging students to wear black.
Student Hanan Worku said she was disappointed by the party and the lack of response from campus officials.
“Yes that’s right, a frat decided it would be okay to have their members repeat a part of history that demoralized, mocked and dehumanized African Americans/ And celebrate while doing it,” she wrote on Facebook. “They showed up with their chains and braids with stuffed butts for God knows what reason. True Bruin values amiright????!!!!! Not to mention all of this happened last night which happened to be a part of Black Bruin Welcome Week! Coincidence right??????”
Kelsee Thomas, a member of the black student union, said students confronted fraternity members at the party. A fraternity member apologized, but laughed when he was asked to write a letter to the group, she said.
“Everyone keep in mind that simply because I go to one of the top ranked institutions in the country, doesn’t mean I’m any farther away from ignorance and racism as anyone else. They just hide it behind frat/sorority themes, anonymous postings, and micro-aggressions,” she said on Facebook. “This isn’t over though.”
UCLA said it is investigating the party and talking to students.
“While we do not yet have all the facts, the alleged behavior is inconsistent with good judgment as well as our principles of community,” UCLA told KNBC-TV.
Sigma Phi Epsilon’s national office says they’ve suspended the UCLA fraternity while the investigation is underway.
“Building diverse and inclusive communities is core to our identity as an organization, and we have zero tolerance for racist behavior,” the organization’s spokesman, Beaux Carriere, said in a statement. “Sigma Phi Epsilon will continue to work with the university and UCLA community to investigate these claims and hold students accountable for any inappropriate behavior.”
You would think by know that college kids would know better. How many times does a group of people have to get in trouble over racially-themed parties?