Fraternity Blames Blacks for Making Racially Insensitive Party About Race [Details]

Rucuss staffNovember 2, 2013

A University of Michigan fraternity is under fire for throwing a racially insensitive party.

An invitation to Theta Xi’s World Star Hip Hop themed event prompted complaints from several students, leading to the launch of a formal investigation by school officials. On the Facebook event page, states the “Hood Ratchet Thursday” party was for “bad bitches, white girls, basketball players, thugs and gangsters” and “ratchet pussy.”

The invite also informed attendees that “hood IDS will be checked at the door.”

But after Theta Xi came under fire for the event, members claimed the party wasn’t about race until the black students who complained made it so. The frat has since canceled the party, scheduled for next Thursday. All future social events for the fraternity have been suspended pending a review by the University’s administration and Theta Xi’s national headquarters.

“I love U of M and even today I’m fundamentally happy, but it’s scary to think that I sit in class with people who think this way and people that agree with them, people who legitimately thought this party was a good idea and was okay,” Black Student Union secretary Geralyn Gaines told Michigan Daily, the school’s student-run paper. “The invitation amplified stereotypes and used a level of disgusting language that it was evident they actively tried to offend us.”

In response to criticism that the Facebook event was racially insensitive, frat member and invite author Allen Wu said the intent was merely to “celebrate” hip-hop music, and he was disappointed that “people” made it about race.

“I wish that we lived in an age where we as people could collectively celebrate the music that we consume without aggravating racial sensitivities,” Wu wrote in an op-ed for the Daily. “It pains me to see that ‘hip-hop parties’ are immediately cast under a racial lens, even if not so intended.”

A campus-wide email from U-M Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper sent on Thursday slammed the invitation for having “denigrated all women and African-American/black identified people through racial stereotypes and cultural appropriation.”

In a subsequent “apology” email, fraternity president Eric Quang tried to distance himself and the fraternity from the party. Quang said it “was not the result of a chapter decision, vote, or endorsement.”

The party was originally scheduled to be held at Theta Xi’s Washtenaw Avenue house. — saying it “was not the result of a chapter decision, vote, or endorsement.”

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