UC San Diego Tries to Find Out Who Threw a “Compton Cookout” for Black History Month

The LA Times is reporting that UC San Diego administration and local civil rights activists have condemned a student party themed “Compton Cookout” in honor of Black History Month.

Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university’s code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.

Promising a taste of “life in the ghetto,” the Facebook invitation contained many racist stereotypes. For example, it urged women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” It said the menu would include chicken and watermelon.

History professor Danny Widener, who directs the university’s African American studies program, said he was outraged but not surprised by the party. He said African American students comprise less than 2% of undergraduates at UC San Diego, which he described as inhospitable to them. ”The campus climate is one in which you are constantly regarded as a statistical anomaly at best,” he said. [Source: LA Times | Full Article]

My Opinion: If we in the Black Community continue to allow so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture to be the predominant export from our urban sector, we will continue to see incidents like this. When one travels around the globe, you see people of all races and creeds mimicking urban culture, especially hip hop culture. If we don’t want to see young, white college students mocking this same culture, we have to be aware and accountable. If we don’t want to see black culture boiled down to clothing, bling and speech patterns, we have to stop promoting images, music, etc. that are not affirming. If “ghetto” is not balanced by a more complete pictures of African-Americans, what do we really expect to happen. There is work to do, and with a void of leadership and strong national movements, each individual has to do their part. Consider whether the movies, television show, and music you consume contribute to a positive world view of the Black community.

5 Comments

Filed under african american, black, black history, blackface, ghetto, news, opinion, race, student

5 Responses to UC San Diego Tries to Find Out Who Threw a “Compton Cookout” for Black History Month

  1. Malcolm X

    Are we, as Blacks, really surprised. This is just further proof that there`s no such thing as a “POST RACIAL SOCIETY”. Having an African American President is irrelevant because reality reveals a deeper truth which cannot be denied. Unfortunately, our community is identified with a so-called ghetto mentality and we continue to feed into it.

    African Culture, I dare to say, is the highest culture since the annals of time. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the rest of the boys went to Egypt, Kemet, (land of The Black) and was tutored by The Egyptian Priests who were “MASTER TEACHERS”. You see there`s no such thing as Greek Philosophy because these Johnny come latelys only repeated what they had been taught from our great ancestors under The Egyptian Mystery Systems.

    We are the first teachers of the entire world because we were first. There`s not enough hours, minutes, seconds, days, months, years, generations, decades, or milleniums that will do justice to our contributions to the world. Furthermore we, as a people, have no birth record that can ever be recorded even the best of scientists. Unfortunately the world isn`t exposed to these truths and that in itself is criminal.

    All the world associates with us is BUFFOONERY, GHETTO MENTALITY, etc. It`s also true that we don`t have strong leadership today with the likes of my, “HERO”, Brother Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton, Huey Newton, Bobby Seals, etc. and that`s a huge void to say the least. Unless we, as a people, do a collective/meaningful self inventory we will continue to be the laughing stock of the entire world.

    Peace, in the spirit of my “HERO”, Brother Malcolm X…..gone but not forgotten.

  2. yvonnjanae

    What do you want us to do? Listen to Vaughn Williams symphonies and dress like Michelle Obama everywhere we go?

    Who exactly decides what’s “appropriate” music to export to other cultures? What would that have meant to Little Richard’s music or Sly and the Family Stone?

    Face it, whites are gonna scavenge our culture for whatever negative imagery they can find NO MATTER WHAT. It’s what they do.

  3. Yvonnjanae: We as a people have never let the fact that white people will do what they will do stop us. They aren’t the only ones who believe these negative images to be reality. What about the impact on our children? Do we care?

    If we want to note groups of “others” who are impacted, rather than note whites, I would cite how these images influence co-workers, judges, HR managers, police officers, teachers, politicians, etc?

    I’m not advocating that we promote any extreme. What I’m talking about is balance. Are we as a people easily put into one box or another? Ghetto or the White House? Lil Wayne or Vaughn Williams? NO! There are a hundred shades of grey. What I’m saying is that we must be accountable for the fact that black people are creating negative images of the black community and those images are becoming more and more prominent in popular culture. These images need to be balanced to give a more complete view.

    Let’s not allow our entire culture to be defined by subsets that are then co-op’d by the corporate sector to sell CDs, cell phones, and hamburgers or re-worked to deny us rights and opportunities.

  4. jubilee

    Amen to that: we must not have the ghetto culture reign supreme which it is (thanks to the www) all over the world. We must start to bring back what our culture was(men were there to patrol the boys so they wouldn’t get out of hand) and we must bring back chivalry(opening doors for ladies or trying to make the attempt to do so. Since i’m a black woman, I think the radical feminist culture was the beginning of the downfall of our own. You know, in the old days (which were not so long ago, people had neighboorhoods)

  5. hearthesiren

    i think i have to agree with yvonnjanae. there are tons of images of successful black people in America, I bet most of us commenting on this blog mostly have black friends who do not portray the negative stereotype. But I don’t think we need to be more “responsible” for the images that are already out there. Primarily, because whites will create one for us even if one didn’t exist or ceased to exist. Don’t we think it is ironic that this happened on a university campus in which black students had to take the same S.A.T.’s their fellow white students did? Isn’t it ironic that we have a black president, arguably THE MOST POWERFUL MAN in the world and the racism doesn’t stop. On the contrary it FUELS it. this is all probably a cluster f**k reaction to whites feeling inferior so they need to do something idiotic to feel more superior. And I BET the event was not a closed or secret event on facebook, they WANTED blacks to see it and feel powerless. I just don’t understand why blacks always have to DO something for the race, how about we do what we want to do, just like everyone else does. I mean there are plenty of negative stereotypes of white people on Jerry Springer or on reality TV, and blacks arent having racist themed parties and hoe downs, and whites arent telling each other we need to stop being on TV to stop a negative stereotype. We should put the blame where it should be, on the white students who organized this party, Not black students who listen to Biggie, Tupac, and Lil Wayne. And are far as REAL hip hop culture goes, most races WISH they could flo like we do, go to a club, white dudes and chicks and all races are dancing to OUR music around the world.

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