13 Racist College Parties That Prove Dear White People Isn’t Exaggerating At All

Dear White People

Dear White People is finally out, and my friends, you simply must see it. I knew going into the film that it would be good–honestly, even its promotional art is better than most of the movies I’ve seen this year–but it was really great. All the characters are interesting, all of them have unique points of view, and stereotypes as well as cliches are examined with self-aware wit that is as hilarious as it is pointed.

Here’s the very, very basic gist of the plot: a racist party is being thrown on a campus by a house filed with oblivious, antagonistic rich kids. Instead of the theme being met with anger and outrage, hundreds of people show up. I don’t want to give up the rest of the story (especially because I really want you all to see it), but I will say this: Dear White People wasn’t exaggerating.

Now, if I was ever to write a spinoff of OUAT called Once Upon A Time: The College Years, one of the primary conflicts in the storyline would be that of the Big, Bad Racist Frat Boy. And instead of a grandiose ball that Sororella has to attend in her glass slippers Uggs, there’s just a Mexican-themed party over at Chi Omega. Does that example of a plot sound oddly specific? That’s because it happened! In fact, Penn State’s Gamma chapter of the Chi Omega sorority actually threw its own “Mexican” party complete with ponchos, sombrerors, and signs implying that all Mexicans are unemployed drug addicts and alcoholics. Yay, college!

The reason I bring this lovely little fiesta up is to prove that Dear White People was absolutely not embellishing or fabricating these types of parties. Plenty of college students–and people, in general–still actively promote the idea that negative stereotypes, racist traditions, and inappropriate reappropriation is totally okay provided it’s in a humorous setting…and done by primarily white people.

So, let’s talk about lots of the racist parties and get togethers college kids have hosted, shall we? Reminder: these were all done in this decade–not two centuries ago.

1. Arizona State: Tau Kappa Epsilon’s MLK Black Party (2013)

racist-kte-asu

In order to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity decided to throw a party in which they served watermelon, had guests where oversized basketball jerseys, and took photos while flashing “gang signs.” You know, just your regular ol’ honoring of a civil rights leader. Pro tip: if you are ever in a situation where the humans around you are using hashtags like “#blackoutforMLK,” get out of there.

Oh, but that’s not all: when they were suspended as a fraternity, somebody created a “Save Tau Kappa Episilon” Facebook page, a member of which posted this:

asu-tau-kappa-epsilon

That’s right, blackface! Along with a caption declaring it their “Constitutional rights” being exercised. Because if there’s any right worthy of protection and exercising, it’s totes that one. So brave.

2. U.C. Irvine: Lambda Theta Delta’s Blackface Video (2013)

Yep, this really happened: the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity at U.C. Irvine thought putting out a video of its members in blackface. But Nick Cannon did whiteface, we hear the cucumber melon-washed masses cry, so what’s the problem with us doing blackface? All I can say is if you really don’t get it by now, you’re probably not going to get it. And you’re also at least 60% more likely to be on Fox News someday.

3. Penn State: Chi Omega’s Mexican Party (2012)

Chi-Omega-Racist-via-onwardstate

As described above, this sorority felt it was totally appropriate to wear what they collectively thought “looked Mexican” while holding signs that said, “signs saying, “will mow lawn for weed & beer” as well as “I don’t cut grass I smoke it.” Merrrrca!

4. Auburn University: Delta Sigma Phi and Beta Theta Pi’s Blackface Party (2001)

auburn university blackface party

Of all the parties on this list, this one might take the cake for most offensive. From Rad Geek:

Costumes included a hooded and robed Klansman, several white students in blackface, some wearing the shirts of a national Black fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, and one wearing blackface and a noose around his neck. Pictures included posed scenes of lynching and police brutality…

I’m not sure what else I can say about this one besides oh my good god.

5. Cal Poly: Phi Sigma Kappa’s Colonial Bros & Nava-Hos Party (2013)

phi sigma kappa cal poly(Photo: Phi Sigma Kappa/Facebook)

What better way to honor Native American traditions than a “Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos” party? (I guarantee whomever came up with that name for a party felt so. effing. clever.) For this party, women were told to dress up in sexy Native American garb (i.e. headdresses and leather bikinis) and guys were supposed to dress as Pilgrims–groups that historically always got along so very well.

Daniel, a member of another fraternity, was quoted as saying, “It’s unfair. We are taught that Thanksgiving is Pilgrims and Indians.” Yes, Daniel, it’s unfair to you that you were unable to learn anything beyond what you were taught in the second grade. We apologize for your troubles, and hope you’ll forgive us when you learn that, indeed, the cow cannot actually articulate the word “moo.”

6. Cal State Fullerton: Alpha Delta Pi’s Taco Tuesday (2014)

Cal-State-Fullerton-racist-party

Taco Tuesday is a time to eat tacos and drink margaritas at your favorite dive bar, right? Wrong! According to Alpha Delta Pi, it’s a time to dress up in “sarapes, sombreros and in some cases, gang costumes” because hey, what are Latinos besides–oh, what’s that? One-third of their campus is Latino? And took offense to this insanely offensive lapse in rational thinking?

Click to the next page for the Sexy Border Patrol Party, a Bloods vs. Crips party at an Ivy League school, and the Compton Cookout!

Share This Post:
    • Jenni

      In uplifting news, the movie is really really good and everyone should go see it!

      • Samantha Escobar

        It’s amaaaazing!

    • Leah

      Ugh,Greek life can be the worst.

      • Samantha Escobar

        It’s such a bummer because I know so many people in Greek life who are amazing, but then these folks ruin the image.

      • Nbl

        Don’t lump us in with these idiots. My sorority was not listed nor did we have parties like this.

    • MCR

      Where civil rights and racial acceptance are concerned, I’ve realized for many years that advances would tend to be matched by periodic backsliding; but I have to say I never thought I’d live to see blackface making a comeback. And not from reactionary yahoos, but from university students! I’m depressed. But thanks for the movie recommendation.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Definitely check it out! And yeah, it’s a huuuuge bummer that there are actual human adults out there who think this is a logical thing to do.

    • Celia

      You do understand that number 2 is an asian fraternity and therefore not “white” as well as in number 3 there are other ethnicities as well. In fact a lot of the photos seem to show more than just “white” people. Furthermore, its racist to classify all whites as attending these parties and saying that they all act this was. Whether or not this movie is good and worth seeing, this article is very biased and quite sweepingly prejudiced at the least.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Wait, what? I said “and done by primarily white people,” not “exclusively.”

      • Celia

        But the movie you’re basing this article off is ‘dear white people’, not dear all races but primarily white people. And then you use those instances to justify the movie.

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      • FemelleChevalier

        Because the premise of the movie, no matter how “inappropriate” you think the title of said movie is—which is something Sam obviously doesn’t have any control over—is a (tragic) parallel to real life. Which is apt for the comparative list here when the movie plot is considered, no matter how you deem it “racist” to white people.

        And honestly? According to your own words, you have the problem with the title of the movie and not necessarily with Sam. She just used the connection, but the movie brought the premise of the article. Maybe you’re right, in a way, that she “generalized”—although she did say that it is primarily, not exclusively—but it is still basically a list about college kids who should know better, just like the movie, and Sam has reiterated it a couple of times.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Are you SUUUURE I have no control over all the movie titles?!

        (Also, thank you!)

      • jen27

        I think that you are maybe not getting it. White privilege–the thing that allows ALL white people (self included) to wander around receiving all sorts of benefits that we don’t even realize–is a HUGE problem in the university system. What you are doing here is the white person equivalent of “not all men”. Everyone already knows it’s “not all white people”; when you say that you simply obscure the actual and important points being made and make yourself look unwilling to admit that there is a problem.

        How about when someone points out the incredible amounts of aggression that PoC face in a place where everyone is supposedly intelligent enough to be qualified to attend an institution of higher learning you try and think about what that must feel like for a PoC instead of worrying about how “racist” it is towards white people to aim the message of a movie about micro agressions and subtle racism that takes place in a country where white people are still a)the majority and b)hold both the economic and political power at white people.

    • Rick

      I wonder if minorities have white people parties.

      • Nbl

        I’ve seen “white trash parties”.

      • lana

        from what i’ve seen, most white trash parties are thrown by wealthy white people

      • Nbl

        Yes because we all know that college students are a demographic known to be very wealthy.

      • lana

        eh, you know what i mean, students that come from wealthy families then. the average college student might not be wealthy but if you look at the prices of many private institutions these days, many students come from rich families and have the priviledge and lack of awareness that sometimes comes with that sort of background.

      • angel from your nightmare

        We don’t, at least no one I even remotely associate with.

    • angel from your nightmare

      Damn! The scariest part is these are our future doctors, lawyers, judges etc

      • Samantha Escobar

        Right?!

    • Charlotte

      I’ve never been to a college/frat party but up until recently I’d always assumed that “theme party” meant like 80′s or like Halloween or something….I’m so glad I was never invited to one

      • Samantha Escobar

        Theme parties are supposed to be like that! My 21st birthday part was “Requiem For A Meme” (everyone had to dress up like Internet memes) and we also had a “Pandora Shore” party (Avatar + Jersey Shore), etc etc.

    • Rachel

      It’s NU GAMMA chapter not Gamma. It was also not a mexican themed party you idiot.