Well this has trouble written all over it. Some of the students at UCLA are under a microscopic lens after a “Kanye Western” themed party was thrown by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity where many attendees were seen in blackface, large fake booties, and plump limps with the company of the Alpha Phi sorority taking part in the event’s activities, LA Times reports.
After a member of the Afrikan Student Union at UCLA by the name of Kelsee Thomas encountered the shenanigans at the party that took place on Tuesday night (Oct. 6), she had no problem stepping up to the plate and voicing why it all bothered her. “It’s extremely disrespectful for any organization at all to think that this is possibly a good idea,” Thomas said.
The fraternity is now under investigation from their national office due to their actions as the event resulted in a protest by hundreds of students on campus on Thursday (Oct. 8), that made their concerns and frustrations well known through displaying statement signs that said “Black Bruins Matter” and “Our culture is not a costume.” One vital piece to the protest known as Jerry Kang, the vice chancellor for UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, was present and expressed, “It’s one thing to suggest you are actually focusing on one celebrity who is African American, it’s another thing to take it as a license to perform every attribute, every stereotype, every grotesque minstrelsy that you see.”
The University of California, Los Angeles released a statement while the fraternity undergoes the investigation stating: “We are concerned about these allegations and earnestly working to gather information about what occurred, talking to all those involved. We do not yet have all the facts; the alleged behavior is inconsistent with good judgment as well as our principles of community. We remind students that while they are free to celebrate in ways that draw on popular culture, their specific choices can cause harm and pain to fellow members of their community. Put simply: Just because you can do something, does not mean you should.”