Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Frat Suspended Over "Insensitive" Party Theme

I don't get this. I really don't.

If you go over the line in making fun of a group of people, then you merit the social opprobrium that comes with that excess. This kind of activity should not merit "official" intervention, to include the requisite tearful apologies and threats of legal action from the NAACP (what laws were broken, again?).

BALTIMORE - Johns Hopkins University has suspended the Sigma Chi fraternity because of a "Halloween in the Hood" party that drew protests by black students.
The invitation to the party, posted on the Web site Facebook, encouraged guests to wear "regional clothing from our locale" with jewelry including "bling bling ice ice, grills" and "hoochie hoops..."

Black Student Union members protested the party on Monday, saying the appearance of the image and the language on the invitation highlighted racial tensions at Hopkins and the strained relations between the university and the surrounding community...

University officials suspended all the fraternity's activities pending a full investigation. President William Brody said in a statement that he was "personally offended" and called the matter "deeply disturbing."


I'll bet that if they threw a Hillbilly Party, or a NASCAR party, or a WASP party--in other words, anything mocking red state voters--they'd be given the prize for most entertaining party.

And if others threw an ordinary party and came dressed the way the Sigma Chi brothers mocked, no one would think anything was peculiar.

I guess some people are more equal than others.

12 comments:

Robert said...

And anybody who's surprised/shocked that frats can be "insensitive" hasn't been around very many fraternities, or is easily offended, or both.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if a group of black students threw a party and dressed as white frat boys? Absolutely nothing! No one would complain, though they might laugh. Everyone imitates black culture, it is cool. You can bet all those white frat boys listen to plenty of rap and hip hop music and love it. What next, suspend a frat for playing black music???

Eric Warburg said...

I don't see how this party is any different than your average El Camino dance...

allen said...

And anyone who's surprised that racial politics won't be used as a bludgeon on the flimsiest of provocations to enforce correct thinking has been in a coma for the last thirty years.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, this falls under the category of reverse racism.

Another possible term would be 'double standard', but I like the term reverse racism better.

Bite Me!

rightwingprof said...

This is nothing new. Seven or eight years ago, a fraternity at my university had a scavenger hunt, and one of the things on the list was a Mexican. The university didn't suspend the fraternity, but they put them on probation, and forced them all to go to "sensitivity training" seminars.

Groupthink reigns supreme at the university.

EllenK said...

Having graduated from a party school where I wasn't in a sorority but saw the system up close, I see no reason for these groups to exist other than to provide venues to parties.

EllenK said...

Have you ever seen the movie-an oldie-Our Man Godfrey? In that one it was during the Depression and the socially elite were sent out to find a "lost man". Some of William Powell's lines were scathing in his summing up of such antics. I have found the Greek system to be the ultimate discrimination and when I was dumb enough to go through rush, I was rushed by the Zetas because they thought I could be their token Jew. My name sounded Jewish to them. Nice. Luckily my own kids are skeptics of such behavior and prefer to keep their money away from frat and sorority houses. I would advise most kids to do the same.

Darren said...

EllenK, while the Greek system may or may not be of any value at all, that doesn't change my point that the particular behavior described in the linked story does not merit "official" response.

Anonymous said...

Everything and everybody has to be so "pc" these days. If you don't find the party theme that someone is having to be in good taste, don't go.

EllenK said...

I would find it equally offensive to have a party in which any group was portrayed in a derogatory manner. I've been through it. Try being Catholic in the home of one of the largest Baptist churches in the world. While I have nothing against that faith, I have had some pretty flawed epithets hurled at me by Sunday school teachers under the guise of "teaching." I saw similar antics with the Greek system and I would add that my kids have both seen friends end up seriously messed up by such behavior. I think that the college administrations have some problems in trying to curb bad behavior when the power brokers in student government are often leaders in those groups. So the administrations have to resort to a series of complaints to bring behavior back to acceptable levels. It's much the same as the kids who on the third offense after two previous problems gets sent to ISS for talking. The talking was annoying, but the reason he was sent was the pattern of bad behavior. I am betting that if you looked at the frats entire history, you would find a pattern of such obnoxious behavior. It was a way to regain control. It's not a free speech issue but one of keeping the most dangerous groups off campus.

rightwingprof said...

"I am betting that if you looked at the frats entire history, you would find a pattern of such obnoxious behavior. It was a way to regain control. It's not a free speech issue but one of keeping the most dangerous groups off campus."

Dangerous? Now you're going off the deep end.