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.