Friday, February 02, 2007

"We want everyone to know how sorry we are, and that we are willing to do anything to make things right."

I've been meaning to write about this:

Clemson University and the NAACP said Tuesday they are investigating an off-campus party held during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend that some considered offensive because white students drank malt liquor and at least one partygoer wore black face.

Pictures from the party were posted online, and Clemson officials learned of the January 14 party this past weekend. The school is probing whether students were harassed or whether there was underage drinking. (AP via CNN)

The pictures were posted on Facebook, and almost immediately there was an uproar from students who saw them. The main issue here is: were the students dressing as an exaggerated stereotype of an entire race, or were they just sticking to a theme (ghetto/rapper)?

If they had stuck to the rapper theme, with jewelry, baggy clothes, etc. -- which is the predominate style for white and black rappers -- then the party would be difficult to condemn. A theme party where guests dress as rappers wouldn't be different from one where the theme is Bikers or CEOs and Secretaries. However, the fact that it was during Martin Luther King weekend, as well as the kid who dressed in black face, took it over the edge. Black face has been widely condemned as offensive, and the kid who did it knew it was offensive.

It's unfortunate that this happened at all, especially at a school like Clemson where racial tensions are already pretty high. It's also another example of people unwisely falling for the false sense of security that Facebook conveys. Unless you're ready for the world to see it, don't put it on the internet.


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of undercover racist people on facebook. There is a group called 1 million black students and it seems to attract racist posters, who are happy to find an area where they can insult large groups of black people. I have even seen KKK drawings on one facebook group where the Klans man was taking away a black baby! Then there are the people who say racist things, and then claim that they didn't know it was offensive. Facebook is just a reflection of the world. There are racist people who would never say things in the company of black people, but when they feel that they are a comfortable distance away from them, they reveal who they really are!

Sharon said...

That's true. At first I thought you were going to say that Facebook somehow encourages racism, but I think you're right that it is just a reflection of the world. Racist people exist, and some of them are on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

RE: "which is the predominate style for white and black rapper"

That's "predominant," not "predominate." I judge YOU ...

Anonymous said...

I think it was disrespectful to even dress like a ghetto/rapper person regardless of race. Due to the fact it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, they should have held a classy party where everyone dressed properly. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. was a classy man with good ideals. I think what's upsetting a lot of people is the fact that white students were dressing in costume like the black students were. White students(some) dress "ghetto", because that's how they like to dress. However, I agree the black face on a white student went too far. By the way, why do some people think it is offensive to drink malt liquor if you're not black? I drink malt liquor/wine coolers sometimes. The stuff's cheap. Also, I heard that white girls were dancing with black boys. So? It's a lose-lose situation. If a white girl doesn't want to dance with a black boy, she's racist. If a white girl does want to dance with a black boy, she's feeding into the stereotype of black men/white women. I find some black men good-looking, am I feeding into the stereotype? Why should I only find some men of my own race good-looking? However, if the theme was "stereo-typical black person night", then the whole situation would be wrong in my opinion. Before the world casts judgement by claiming racism, I think we should all look at the facts. That's why I try to look at both sides of the issue. However, I do agree that there are racist nuts out there, and I wish racism did end. No race is better than the other.