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Students Mock Black History Month with "Ghetto Party"

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San Diego 6: A group of University of California at San Diego students mock Black History Month with a ghetto-themed party called the Compton Cookout. For the off-campus party, guys were encouraged to wear chains and high top tennis shoes and girls were encouraged to be ghetto-chicks with gold teeth and wear cheap clothes.

Students Mock Black History Month

"When I saw that picture I was hurt. I was disgusted," says UCSD student Jasmine Phillips.

Initially the University spokesperson said nobody had been punished because the party wasn't sanctioned by the University or any of its campus organizations. But the Vice Chancellor says members of at least three on campus fraternities were involved with the party.

"By not punishing the children they are basically saying racism is okay," says a third year student.

The Vice Chancellor is now saying the incident is under investigation, so it's too early to tell if the students involved will be punished. She did say the students are being interviewed and they are receiving counseling.

"That's important to me, that they learn from this incident," says Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue.

African Americans make up about 2% of the student population. Some say racism is not a new problem on campus and feel a teach-in being put on by the University to address the problem doesn't go far enough.

"This is beyond a teach-in. This is beyond 'let's have a learning lesson.' This is like, 'let's make an example of these students.'"

The University says it is also launching a "Not in our Community" campaign on Facebook to allow people to vent their outrage about the party.

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15 comments so far | Post a comment now
tennmom February 18, 2010, 12:51 PM

I am white, but have many friends, as well as friends of my daughters who are not.
I like a good joke, love a quirky sense of humor in others b/c I am a smarty-pants myself. BUT…when one person’s idea of a joke,no matter how harmless they intend it to be, hurts the feelings of other people, I don’t find that funny at all.
My wise grandma often said “It doesn’t matter so much how you meant what you said/did, what matters is how it makes the other person feel.”

Kal February 18, 2010, 5:37 PM

Oh pleeeeeeeeeease. It was a party, there are bigger issues than kids throwing a themed party. What a load of bollocks lol.

Marko Flores February 18, 2010, 5:40 PM

How Is This Racist??? If The Students Were Making Stereotypes Up And Exaggerating Then There Would Be A Problem, But These Images And “Ghetto” Themes Are Real! I Grew Up In Those Neighborhoods And There Are Many People Who Really Dress And Act That Way. Nowadays, On TV, I See People Such As Dave Chappel Make Fun Of Stereotypical White And Black People All The Time And See Nothing Racist About It. People Just Like To Act Like The Victim Sometimes. If The Party Generalized People By Calling It A “Black Party” Then That Would Be A Problem, They Are Mearly Aiming it At A Certain Fashion Era.

Anonymous February 18, 2010, 5:50 PM

This is also popular on the East Coast, where “Black History Month” is an excuse to drink 40’s of Malt liquor. It’s harmless.

JAY February 18, 2010, 5:52 PM

The school has no right to punish academic students for completly legal actions taken outside of school. This is ridiculous

Ghost February 18, 2010, 5:52 PM

Let’s play a game where we get the hell over it. The only way to end racism is to make it too funny to be able to take it seriously. Was this party a racist party, or was it a party making fun of racism? And isn’t Black History Month, in itself, racist? How about instead of making a history month specific for black people (because then, to not be racist, we’d have to have a white history month, yellow history month, red history month, olive history month, brown history month, and supremely hairy history month — in case you believe in evolution) we just include everyone important to history in our teachings of history?

Aside from that, the University has no right to say anything to anyone about anything that happens off-campus, even if students were involved. It wasn’t university related at all. If the universities expect their students to graduate as responsible adults, they have to stop treating their students like children and stop acting like mommy and daddy. The university has no authority over the conduct of their students unless it happens on campus.

A bunch of students had fun. You didn’t get the joke. Shut up and go home, post an emo little “I’m so racially offended” blog on your myspace, then get the hell over it.

Rikki February 18, 2010, 6:00 PM

I am white and I am completely against all racism of any kind.
That is why I am against the idea of a Black History Month.
No other race has a history month dedicated to their race. Nor should they. We should think of people as people. Not as black, not as white. People are people. Black History Month poses just as much of a risk to that in my opinion as the Ghetto party. When I look at people I see PEOPLE not “black” or “white” or anything like that. I am not telling people that they should deny their cultural heritage. No, they can embrace whatever culture they have inherited as they wish, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be forced to embrace it because of the color of their skin. I, personally, know some blacks that have been picked on for acting “too white” or as some of the more intellectual have said accusingly “denying their black heritage” but what they were really doing is being themselves. Why should anyone be limited based on the color of their skin? I don’t think they should. Personally, as someone who loves history stories of people being freed from oppression, I would love to hear some of the stories of Black History Month, though, as mentioned, I hate the separation it causes, but if I went to a lecture on it then people would look at me weird. So I ask you all, is black history month doing away with racism? Or is it just turning it around to the other side of the coin than it used to be?

Josh February 18, 2010, 6:16 PM

This wasn’t even close to offensive. Offensive would have been a dutch merchant themed party, where half the kids drank and partied in the house, and the other half sat in the basement with no light or food.

Kelly O February 18, 2010, 6:17 PM

And all those saint patrick’s day parties are SO offensive to the Irish? not at all.

These kids were just celebrating a culture. They weren’t calling anyone inferior to themselves.

kirlanda4ever February 18, 2010, 11:26 PM

Why are people saying there is only Black history month? There hispanic heritage month in september, asian american heritage( Idk which month, I think march or december) Native american history month in November, Black history month in feburary, and two more, but i forget. I thought all the states did because we do here in illinois.
As for this party, they were making fun of the stereotypes. I mean its like white people dressing up as hillbillies or cowboys and being called racist. Ridiculous. Let the kids have their fun making fun of themselves.

Cheryl February 19, 2010, 3:54 AM

I don’t think that these students should be sanctioned by the school. It was a tasteless thing to do, and certainly racially insensitive. But it had nothing to do with school and it was not a school sanctioned event.

As for the Black history month argument, it is a well known fact that our countries’ curriculum is sadly lacking inclusion concerning history. Not just black history, but native american, hispanic, asian, etc. That is why these groups have dedicated a time each year to teach their own children and anyone else who cares to know. How about we rewrite the history books to include everyones’ contributions before we do away with black history month?

Anonymous February 19, 2010, 8:01 AM

Black History month was fought for and established because of the exclusion of the great things that Black people accomplished here in America. If we dont speak up for ourselves no one else will, but you dont understand that because you havent been in the position of not being noticed for anything great but a constant finger pointing and labeling of negativity and claiming that it is all due to the color of my skin. People have bought into it for years and years and this is how they see you? Then you find it funny to recognize the ignorance that you assisted in spreading even to those weak minded blacks that accepted you as superior!!! Laughing at YOUR accomplishments!!! But never wanting to give any credit for positivity, so we stood up for ourselves yet you dont want us to do that, so you are trying to say that having black history month is racist??? be for real!! Until you are able to give credit where credit is due, we’ll keep standing!!!

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