Racist is as racist does

Jan 30, 2014


One day after the national day of remembrance and celebration dedicated to the life and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Arizona State University chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon threw an MLK Day party in which the theme was dressing and acting black.

They didn’t dress up as Medgar Evers, Stokley Carmichael, Cornel West, Barack Obama or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They didn’t conduct themselves to reflect a race of people, who through peaceful protest and intellect, forced a racist nation to acknowledge their human right to dignity. To equality.

That would be an accurate depiction of the majority of black America.

The college students decided for that day they would combine all the negative stereotypes of black Americans into a derogatory caricature and act like ignoramuses in disdain of Dr. King.

The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity posted party photos on Instagram wearing oversized basketball jerseys, bandanas, sagging pants, flashing gang signs, drinking out of watermelons with bananas tucked into their waistlines. They were even wretched enough to accompany the party photos with hashtags such as #hood, #ihaveadream, and #blackoutformlk.

The ASU-TKE chapter was recently reinstated as a fraternity after being suspended for a debacle involving more than a dozen TKE frat members assaulting members of rival fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon in November of 2012.

ASU responded to TKE’s MLK Black Party by immediately suspending the chapter’s operations and promising “additional action against the individuals involved” because at the time of the party TKE was on social probation and prohibited from having parties.

Three days later, ASU followed through with its vow to punish this wrong by abolishing the TKE chapter’s recognition as a fraternity on the ASU campus and is continuing to investigate individual TKE members and other students who attended the party.

The university is not alone in distancing themselves from the actions of a deplorable few. The Tau Kappa Epsilon International fraternity apologized for the actions of its chapter, stating: “TKE does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory and/or offensive.

Social events with “party themes” that are defined as such have no place in our fraternity’s mission or purpose. It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of TKE”

TKE, established in 1899, is one of the largest college social fraternities in the world, with chapters in almost 300 campuses in North America and more than 265,000 members, most of whom are not racist and a considerable number are black.

What might a national response be if a predominantly black college fraternity threw a JFK Day white party with members and attendants wearing bibbed overalls, drinking Natural Light, flaunting counterfeit crystal meth, and sporting temporary tattoo swastikas?

Would there be more of a public outcry if the hashtags read #redneck, #whiteoutforjfk and #asknotwhatyourcountrycandoforyou?

This could very well incite a renewal of racial tension in America or it can serve as a reminder that an ignorant minority of us still cling to racial sentiments toward men, women, everyone. Where the aftermath of this event takes us is totally up to us.

ASU and TKE both stood steadfast in disapproval of the chapter’s actions, ASU answering with quick permanent decisive action and TKE issuing a humble apology for its chapter clarifying in no way do the decisions of an ill-advised few reflect the understanding of the whole.

The ASU-TKE chapter does not represent anyone other than itself and the ignorance should disgrace the members who participated and those members alone. Much more can be said of the ASU-TKE chapter, but why? It has succeeded in making itself irrelevant. Our neighbors are still our neighbors and our friends are still our friends despite ethnicity and/or sexual preference. The majority of us do not share the ASU-TKE chapter’s view of our fellow man and we have to be aware of and secure in that fact. As a people we cannot allow hatred to sabotage peace and progress.


The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you, I had a good laugh at this. Yaknow, between hating everything and everyone including myself. But let's be fair, FtG...it's genetic, not a choice. I'll thank every non-white-male to respect that.

Now give me a brofist, my nerfherder!


Frat house , C,mon , really? What fraternity hasn't had a questionable party? Throughout history every racial ,ethnic group, and nationality has been enslaved, Ever hear of the Vikings, Romans, Imperial China, Native Americans capturing other tribes, how about all the bible stories with servants , Greece, African tribes with many slaves captured from other tribes. Ancestors of many African Americans were brought here as slaves, there were indentured servants , Eastern European surfs [ treated like slaves]the list goes on & on. The United States is the greatest nation, we all need to recognize this, most of our forefathers came here for this very reason. If Damon committed rape, should we really listen to him as a serious writer about any social issues?


Never trust a convicted felon that wears a superman Garanimals shirt.

If all you can say is right wing nut you might be a??? SFA

How’s this: a white kid leaving the St. Roccos festival is attacked by a group of twenty black thugs. He is nearly beaten to death as these animals film it. The Plain Dealer would not even mention (at first) that the attackers were black. Where were Al and Jesse? If this would have been a black kid beaten up by white thugs, old Al and Jesse would be marching through the community with some catchy phrases.

Speaking of slaves, maybe he should research: C. Richards, P.C Richards, Antoine Dubuclet, William Ellison and his family….


Why is it that black Americans continue to blame white Americans for slavery when their own black American parents SOLD their children to white Americans? I for one am tired of this racist crap, we as white Americans do not owe you black Americans crap, why should we pay for your baby's daddy's and mommas to go sleeping around with opposite race, trying to produce more black Americans to overpower the white Americans? I for one as a person do not enjoy looking at saggy brown streaked underwear walking down the street, be it white, black, Asian, whatever its nasty, also I was told they want the gay men to tag their azzes when they do this, every race will always be racist against one another, its ok for black women to dress like Chinese women, is that not racist, its ok for black men to dress like Santa, lol, its ok for black people to dress as cowboys, Halloween? How many dress like our other cultures is that not racist, I do not consider myself as completely of the white race, I am part German, Hungarian, Scottish and Polish, how many pollock jokes have you heard, pick on my Scottish races for wearing kilts, pick on the Germans because of a political leader, and call me a hunky white cracker pollock who racists now., by the way pull your dam pants up!

The Big Dog's back

You leave no doubt.


Hear, hear, Concerned Mom!!!!


And to add we as the us citizens are all slaves of the U.S. GOVERNMENT

From the Grave

Now THAT, I'll agree with.

But not all black people go around with their pants half down.

Ned Mandingo

Man black people are sure quick to call someone racists and act offended?lighten up people.
I have seen whole theaters of black people on TV laughing at jokes about white people.
Racial jokes are funny, period! If it's ok for black and Mexican comedians to make fun of white people then jokes about mlk are fine. This is America, and if they want to make fun of ridiculous stereotypes they can do it.
If they wanted to have James Earl Ray day they could.

brahrider's picture

I thought what they did was ignorant and offensive, however, the comments some of you made here, are more ignorant and offensive than that so-called, "party". Some folks just do not get it. Pants sagging = dumb, gang-banging = dumb. That party = RACIST!
I have read on this site in the past, words like "Sparkling Wiggles, Mud Sharks", just to name a couple that show what type of people some of you are. I have read the comments about Damon...Don't know him, however, if he was convicted, served time, released and has turned his life around, what does it matter. This is an editorial on an event that had racist undertones whether white folks want to believe/accept that or not. Is Damon registered as a sex-offender? Is he, if required, seeing his probation/parole officer? If so...then let’s keep it moving folks. Just because there is a bi-racial president, doesn’t mean racism is dead and buried. (notice that I didn’t say black)
Next, the problem black folks have when it comes to racism is that a lot of people in, "power" have the same views as some of the racist commenting on this site. However, because of certain regulations/policies such as EEO, are afraid to show their true colors in an overt manner. There are policies in place that continue to promote racism such as mandatory minimum sentencing and the stop and frisk policies in New York City. The Prison Industrial Complex is a multi-billion dollar a year industry.
Someone made a comment about other people of African heritage not liking, “black Americans”…Having dated a Kenyan woman and after speaking with many Africans, the common denominator is, the way that blacks were shown via the American media. Black folks never used soap, washed their hair and were lazy, according American television. Africans were brain-washed from afar, just as young black Americans were in regards to Africa unless is was Black folks in Africa shown naked like animals in the pages of National Geographic. I was embarrassed because I didn’t know any better, and because I didn’t comprehend at the time.
We were never taught anything about where our ancestors “came” from or their contribution to the world. Only that we were descendants of slaves. I did not learn anything about people of color who had contributed to human society from the educational system until 10th grade in high school. Instead, we learned about Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin…Sorry, forgot to mention Crispus Attucks, we learned about Crispus. I learned at home!
I think about all the ignorant comments on this topic and remember watching Tom and Jerry, The Three Stoogies, The Bowery Boys and most major film productions of the 60’s and 70’s. I did not understand until I was older what was going on with the black characters in the films…you know, the prostitutes, the rapists, the mugger, the armed robber the junkie and the murderer. They all looked like me, and the good people did not. Bottom line is that racism in America is still alive and breathing. Do black folks do stupid **it? Yup! Do white folks do stupid **it? Yup! Do Asian and Latinos do stupid **it? The scary thing about this party is that those kids may be running the country or might be a hiring manager one day.
And, for the record, I wear Aloha shirts, slacks (the non-sagging type) and loafers to work, make six figures plus, pay my taxes, have a GREAT credit score and am a disabled veteran and proud AMERICAN. Aloha!


I am yet to see American blacks commemorate a day of remembrance and celebration dedicated to the life and sacrifice of Abraham Lincoln. Now, go ahead and call me racist.

Ned Mandingo

brahrider, you make some good points. then you totally discredit yourself by putting yourself over. No one cares about your salary, wardrobe or prior military service.
You see here in america people have the right to make fun of anyone they want and anything like "aloha shirts,slacks and loafers" lol.


I, on the other hand, would rather see them "dress up" like these highly intelligent, articulate, honorable people: Peter Kirsanow, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Oscar Dunn, George A. Schuyler, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Rod Paige, J.C. Watts, Dr. Walter E. Williams, Star Parker, Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas, Allan Keyes, Tim Scott, Lt Col. Allen West, Randy Daniels, Herman Cain, Gary Franks, Michael Steele, Ken Blackwell, Booker T. Washington, etc.

Ned Mandingo

when did condoleezza rice become honorable? she did the dirty work for war criminals.