by Jordan Green
A white fraternity party in which guests were allegedly encouraged to dress as black people aggravates grievances among students of color about unequal policing of parties.
A party invitation last month from a white fraternity at Wake Forest University in which guests were allegedly encouraged to come dressed as black people has created discord on the campus, deepening frustration among some students and staff of color who see a pattern of hostility and unequal treatment.
University officials learned about the planned event through a bias-incident report filed last month by Residential Advisor Brittany Salaam.
“It came to my attention today that the brothers of Kappa Alpha Order are hosting their annual ‘dress like a black person’ party downtown tonight,” Salaam wrote in a Sept. 5 email obtained by Triad City Beat. “I remember this event taking place last year, and the fact that it is being done again is quite disturbing.”
Salaam declined to comment for this story, citing university policies with respect to her job on campus.
Joe Leduc, a senior political science major who is of Filipino heritage, said that African-American residential advisors were asked by their white advisees whether they were dressed “black enough” and whether could borrow their clothes for the party.
Salaam said in her email that she overheard underage freshman planning to attend the party on Sept. 5 make comments like, “We should ask a black person how to dress,” and “I know how to dress for this; I’m sooooo ghetto.”
Leduc said the invitation worded the event as a “rap music video” party, adding, “The way it’s actually spoken on campus is ‘dress like a black person.’ The students attending will wear stereotypical clothing that students on campus don’t wear that mimic certain stylistic fashion choices in music videos.”
LB Snipes, an African-American student from Charlotte, said he was hurt by the way white students caricatured black people in their costuming for the party, adding that he wondered how they would feel about a party in which guests were encouraged to “dress white.”
“I don’t dress like most African Americans are portrayed in the media,” Snipes said. “I try to keep it very classy. Most of my friends dress in similar ways. They don’t dress very inappropriately. Why do we have certain looks that have to be associated with us as African Americans?”
Reid Nickle, the top-ranking officer for the Kappa Alpha Order chapter at Wake Forest, referred questions about the party to the fraternity’s national office in Lexington, Va. Jesse S. Lyons, a national spokesperson for the fraternity, said in a prepared statement that the party had been canceled, adding that chapter student leaders have worked with national staff and others to address the “situation,” and that “collaborative efforts” had been made among members and others in the campus community “to apply lessons learned to address any future situations.”
Katie Neal, executive director of news and communications at Wake Forest, also said the party had been canceled, echoing Lyons’ assertion. She repeated Lyons’ assertion that the party had been canceled, adding that chapter fraternity leaders discussed the incident with university officials and other students, along with fraternity alumni and advisors.
But Leduc and Snipes said that while the party was publicly canceled, it was later reorganized and held at a different location. Both said they saw references to the party among fellow students on social media after the fact. Neal, the university’s spokesperson, insisted that that party did not take place when confronted with the students’ statements.
In any event, the aftermath has roiled the student body and faculty, while exacerbating racial tensions on campus dating back to at least January.
Provost Rogan Kersh wrote to faculty colleagues in a Sept. 25 email: “As I know many of you are aware, our students have been grappling with complex issues regarding difference, and particularly race, in recent days. Much divisive commentary has appeared on social media, and you may have noticed chalked messages and flyers on Manchester Plaza. Some students are deeply troubled by these events, and may even feel unsafe.”
Leduc said on the night of the party and the next day, a backlash erupted on YikYak, a social media app similar to Twitter that allows users to post anonymously and see what others are posting within a 10-mile radius.
“People were saying, ‘The only people who cause racism to happen are the people who complain about racism,’ and ‘Go die, Brittany,’” Leduc said, in reference to the residential advisor who filed the bias incident report. “There were comments about lynchings and ‘Get your crosses and sheets.’ It sort of makes them feel at the very least unwelcomed and at the most unsafe.”
Leduc added that some black residential advisors said they didn’t feel safe leaving their rooms because of the messages.
President Nathan Hatch lamented in a public message posted on the university website on Sept. 12 that “raw emotion, aggression and defensiveness drowned out the mutual desire for justice, inclusion and equity.” Hatch challenged students to “avoid the anonymity of social media for the weekend and talk to someone with a Wake Forest experience different from your own — face to face.”
Leduc said he has had interactions with Wake Forest police that made him feel unwelcome, including being followed at night and asked if he belonged on campus. He said staff of color experience the same thing, citing an incident in which he said campus police asked a staff member for her ID while she was attempting to deliver supplies to an on-campus performance by hip-hop DJ 9th Wonder. Leduc added that the police didn’t seem satisfied when the staff member tried to show them her campus log-in information on a mobile device and then her Facebook page to prove that she was a staff member.
Frustration among students of color and a perceived climate of hostility surfaced dramatically in January when campus police shut down a party hosted by Kappa Alpha Psi, a black fraternity, that was held on campus.
“They called in backup because they thought a riot was going to break out,” said student Kristen McCain in a short documentary posted on YouTube. “There was a group of people waiting outside to get in. I had witnessed one kid get arrested for saying the ‘F’ word, and they claimed that he was getting aggressive.”
After students organized a town-hall meeting to vent frustrations at campus police and the administration, the university commissioned an outside investigation into allegations of racial bias.
Developmental Associates, the firm that conducted the investigation, reported to the university in August that none of the allegations “rose to the level of actual bias.”
The report went on to acknowledge that arrests of minority students at Wake Forest are disproportionately higher than their representation in the student population as a whole, adding that “the numbers are clearly in accord with state and national trends.”
Leduc expressed concern that the university is letting itself off the hook by accepting a report that sets national trends as the bar for unbiased law enforcement.
“It raises a lot of questions about what the school thinks bias is,” he said.
The report by Developmental Associates noted that outside investigators found differences in the way black and white fraternities were treated by the university. The finding was, again, followed by a caveat that “the differences are explained by non-racial factors.”
Those differences can be explained by financial resources and demographic clout, Leduc said.
“There’s a lot of places on campus that you can party on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “The fraternity lounges are predominantly white. They have a lounge space underneath the dorms. There’s a large student body that’s interested in being in those dorms, so they can afford to pay for the lounges. For a lot of black fraternities and sororities, it’s hard to get your numbers up to get your lounge space. Most of their parties are held at the Barn. The Barn is on the periphery of campus. It has a capacity of 200. The campus’ large-event venue policy basically says if you have a venue with a capacity of 200 people or more you have to have police presence. The lounges all have capacity under 200, but they often have more than 200 people at their parties with people spilling out.”
Developmental Associates recommended that the university revise its policies.
“The use of lounges on campus versus using a large venue has generated much discussion,” the report said. “Activities at the lounges sometimes result in unsupervised parties thus creating an opportunity for heavy and underage drinking. Therefore, we recommend that the administration review this procedure to make sure that all student events are policed in an equal manner.”
Neal said in an email that “efforts to ensure equity for social events in lounges and in large venues are already underway” without providing specifics.
Leduc said that while some lower-level administrators appear to be sympathetic, a preoccupation with a capital campaign by university leadership drives a reflex to sweep minority students’ concerns under the rug.
“While there is room for progress,” Neal said in an email on behalf of Wake Forest, “to say that university leaders have taken no action relating to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community is simply not true.” She said the university is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all members of the campus community, and is determined to address the situation any time a student doesn’t feel respected or valued.
“I just really hope the administration is responsive,” Leduc said. “We’ve seen a lot of talk about changing things, but not a lot of action. I know a lot of students want to work with administration, but their actions have eroded the trust they would have had if they had acted sooner.”
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This article is so completely inaccurate and biased. Being a rapper and being black are simply not the same thing.. Nor was it the frats or anyone’s intention to dress like black people. The theme was rap video.. There are plenty of white rappers as well as black, and color was not a factor in creating or implementing the theme. Where was the justice league for the hawaiin themed party or Cowboys and Indian party.. A stereotype is a stereotype and one shouldn’t be more treated as more important than another. A themed party should not be taken so personally or interpreted so unfairly and inaccurately.. If you’re in college I’m sure you’ve attended a themed party that could have offended someone else. To portray this frat as racist and make the assumption that “rap video” means “dress like a black person” is completely out of line.
Do people actually have Cowboy and Indian parties? Wow.
I attended college. Three of them. I am working on a graduate degree as I type. I do not and have not attended a themed party that may have been offensive to another human, because that is shallow. Your response is pathetic. The just of it seems to be that a “themed” party that none protested is alright. You must not read very well. The article did not make the assertion that the “rap video” party meant “dress like a black person”, student messages and comments did. You have written a poorly a poorly crafted argument in body, content, and presentation. Your punctuation and writing skills are lacking.
Excuse me, gist, not “just”.
Great Job John!!
All hail king of grammar and writing sound arguments in the meaningless comment section!
You couldn’t have started your comment any less pompous. Congrats bro.
Sir, you may want to re-read what you wrote while you were “working on your graduate degree”. Your writing skills may need some work.
Wow!!! Really?!? Smh you ms are apart of the problem
I can’t even finish reading your entire comment @Rachel Cortien…you said it all right there…”the theme was rap video but there are white rappers too”…okay if that’s valid then why was the dress code “come dressed as a black person…” And why were comments being made to “look ghetto”
Besides, incidents like this happen all the time (remember Jenna 6???)…
So don’t say it has nothing to do with race. What it does have to do with is the so-called majority not wanting to address the issue. Please answer these questions for me: are you more ashamed of the fact that you used Africans as slaves to boost yourself up the ladder & had no intention of helping us up too? Or is it that these same peoples don’t care for/need you anymore? Meaning we won’t put up with your “white coonery” anymore and are taking action…
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Okay you’re way out of line here Lindsey. Unless Rachel is 200+ years old, she never used slaves for anything, and attributing her skin color to the people that were responsible for slavery is far more racist than anything you’ll read about on this page. You need to be very careful what you say.
My opinion is my opinion. And even if she and other white people don’t have slaves now…some still contribute to that slave mentality minorities have today without any care. The deplorable conditions we have to deal with on the regular are of their making. And they are responsible for racism & slavery…ever heard of the White Man’s Burden? And instead of trying to make amends for what their ancestors did they continue to assert that everything is good when it’s not…no apology, no reparations (like Native Americans & even the Japanese)…just a handshake and a “we good bro?”
Haha okay I now see there is no benefit to argue with you Lindsey. We good bro.
If you actually think white people living today are somehow responsible for the past, you are crazy. No one denies that white people wronged black people in the past but, can you really blame white people living today for crimes not committed by them? The point of repairing certain racial issues is to benefit the subjugated, not penalize the wrongdoer of the past. The point in this situation is, the frat’s party offended people. They tried to amend the situation. So don’t blame them for overarching racial injustices because they made a mistake and corrected it IN RESPONSE TO THE OFFENSE. They heard and they acted. What more can you ask?
But you have benefited from slavery from your ancestry. Save the reverse discrimination card for someone else. But to be fair, what do black students expect attending a pretentious at best school. I heard a great joke from a fellow Duke grad about those who attend Wake because they could not get into Duke.
Oh and even if the party itself didn’t state “come dressed as a black person” & lets be racist…the students ignorant comments and actions said enough…
And don’t forget when Nick Cannon decided to become “a white rapper” for satirical purposes you all had a huge fit and were extremely angry. You all have been doing this black face/dress like/imitate black people things for decades. But My work is done here. Have a blessed life all.
Using slavery as a rational getting upset overall racial insensitivity is ignorant in itself. Yes this party was to a degree racially insensitive, but comparing this party to the white exploitation of African Americans during the antebellum period is absurd. If you really don’t want to put up with this “White Coonery” then there should be a reaction like this to every type of prejudice party. That includes White trash parties, another group that is stereotyped frequently, cowboy vs Indian parties, and every other type of party. If you want to “take action” don’t limit yourself to your own race. Protect all peoples racial integrity like you want your own protected because most races, ethnicities and socio-economic minorities are stereotyped without a response. Otherwise your actions seem self-serving rather than beneficial for all of society.
What’s great about these incidents is they provide insightful young blacks with the chance to see with certainty who’s racist on campus–or at least a suspected of practicing white supremacy: And the volume might surprise blacks at W.F. Btw, one surefire way of knowing you’re dealing w/ a suspected racist is witnessing how much time they spend deflecting the issue, videlicet, Rachel Courtien.
The fact that you published the whistle blowing RA’s name is deplorable.
I agree… Now she will catch hell for that and she shouldn’t have to.
There are Black people at Wake? I thought they kept em segregated at wssu
That’s disrespectful and ignorant… Each university has a diverse student body.
Wow. This article is so biased, it’s like having a country music party and saying that anyone who wore cowboy boots or flannel was misrepresenting the South with the intention of “dressing like a hick.” This article is absurd.
Wow…you get the whole point without realizing it. Yes, it is absurd. It’s downright racist. I think the black student body should have a BLACK PANTHER PARTY….and then let’s see if the administration has little to say about that!
yeah I don’t think anyone would care if such a party happened unless it resulted in vandalism or violence because white people don’t sit around waiting for race issues to arise. But its funny that you consider a party where mostly white but some blacks all dress up in basketball jerseys and hire a black rapper to preform the same as blacks throwing a Black Panther Party. If the party was meant to be raciest then why would they invite the basketball team and Afroman? I’m sure that you do not allow white people to attend your Black Panther Parties. But I would love to get your phone number so I can run my Halloween costume by you just to make sure it does not offend or can in no way be twisted (like this article) in a way that someone will perceive it to be raciest
I dont blame the young white uninformed frat members for their push to have a “rap, black, basketball, indian, cowboy dress up party”. Its there attempt at what should be challenged, talked about in the classroom. I blame the institution, charged with educating, and enlightening. WFU is highly reguarded and has built up a solid reputation for herself over the past years but needs to move a long with the times. I see the sorry plea by an administrator, oh no, the president Nathan Hatch on Sept 12 to please get face to face with someone different from yourself outside of “the anonymity of social media” What in the world?!? They are doing exactly this by creating these offensive dress up parties. Come on Wake forest you have to step it UP moving foward you have lost a great Mya Angelo. Keep moving toward progress, dont get lax.She would challenge you to push forward to get it right. If your smart you would learn how to use the anonymity of social media as a benefit instead of viewing it as a problem. Step up your game you can afford it.
What do you think you are getting into when you go to Wake, a school in the top 3 for the last 10 years of “most homogenous campus”? Fraternities at Wake are composed of upper class, entitled, ignorant guys who mainly just want to drink and hook up. If you are black student on campus be prepared to ask what sport you play. If you say none, then know that everyone is assuming you got in because of affirmative action/full scholarship. It’s sad but true. The thing is, everyone knows about it so if you don’t agree/like it, go to a different college. A lot rich white kids go to Wake specifically to meet other homogeneously rich, white students.
WOW. You’re really arguing that students who aren’t white and don’t come from wealthy backgrounds should expect — and then remain silent and complacent regarding — racism and other discriminatory, ignorant behavior? As a Wake alumna and a Winston-Salem native, I’d like to inform you that Wake wasn’t always so “upper-class”…although classy really isn’t the right word to describe you or others at Wake that apparently didn’t come to college at a well-ranked liberal arts school to learn more about yourselves, critically examine your assumptions, and learn more about the world and those who are not like you. That you feel comfortable with a status quo of deplorable behavior based in prejudice and ignorance is very unsettling. I’d ask you to go to another school if you’re not ready to have your opinions and biases challenged.
I’m not saying that those minorities should remain silent. Simply pointing out that the environment of the school/campus is well-known and that if that is something you are not prepared for or do not wish to partake in, then there are literally hundreds of other options for college. The truth hurts and the reality is that the school is now mostly an upper class institution for well-off students where they can get an education without dealing with certain aspects of life and community. I myself am a minority and thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wake in a fraternity. A fraternity has many uses one of which is finding a group of people to which you feel comfortable with and belong to. It’s a lot better than being best friends with the people on your freshman year dorm hall because that’s who you randomly got placed with. That’s just sad and insecure. There is a reason why Wake Forest administration encourages students to live on campus and is changing policies to support all students must live on campus through their Junior year. The Wake Forest bubble is a lot more welcoming and safer to students than Winston-Salem. Being from Winston-Salem most likely biases your position of the campus’s make up. As a Wake alum hopefully you will understand this due to your intellect and not reinforce that you got into the school because you were/are a native of the area always in awe of a “well-ranked liberal arts school”.
I’m just not really here to make sheltered, entitled, privileged kids feel more comfortable or at ease, or to facilitate their willful ignorance of what goes on in the broader campus community, city, and world. You, me, everyone who comes to Wake comes here knowing that the motto is Pro Humanitate. We all chose Wake for one reason or another, and I find your assertion that because Wake’s makeup is more visibly “rich” that anyone who isn’t down to coddle them should look elsewhere. More than half of students receive some form of financial aid, so your perception of what constitutes the majority is skewed. And even if it were a majority, I don’t see what your argument is for privileging those individuals’ experiences above others’.
“reinforce that you got into the school because you were/are a native of the area always in awe of a “well-ranked liberal arts school”.” —- explain what you meant by this? we’re not in high school, enough with trying to determine for yourself who deserved to get into Wake. I already graduated, and everyone who gets in is in — that’s a reality we have to accept. What’s more important is what you accomplish while at Wake, and what you do with your degree moving forward.
Have a good one.
edit: I find your assertion that because Wake’s makeup is more visibly “rich” that anyone who isn’t down to coddle them should look elsewhere *preposterous.
Is there any doubt that fraternities and sororities have outlived their usefulness? The university administration should ban them – yes all of them – from campus. Universities are no place for exclusive clubs that set people apart. Wake Forest should set a swift and dramatic example.
You sound like a lot of fun. Broad, thoughtless action always turns out well. Universities are, in their very essence, exclusive clubs that set people apart. Do you go to Wake Forest to be viewed with the same status as an individual who went to Greensboro College. No, colleges survive and thrive on exclusivity, the fraternity system is a natural extension of this. I was never Greek and generally find the “bros” deplorable, but it seems rather fascist to call for a ban because you don’t agree with an organizations politics or decorum.
“Fun”? Excuse me, but exclusive clubs that are protected enclaves for exclusionary activities and binge drinking are not my idea of fun. Fun for who? The nitwits who are dreaming up these nightmares, or the people who are getting the signal that they are not and never will be truly part of our university community? Fun.
Universities are places of learning, collaboration and generation of new knowledge. They thrive on these attributes, and fail if they adopt your model. I wish someone could name a few positive attributes that would justify support of Greek systems, but pretty much everything I see is negative. What the University should support are functional, inclusive learning communities established as a part of the university experience.
This organization should be investigated, sanctioned and either suspended or outright banned. My own preference seeing the negative effects of frats and sororities each year would be to ban them, even if it means losing alumni contributions. They are at best a distraction, and at worst a protected space for bad behaviors.
Brian, although I understand where you are coming from, I am going to have to disagree with you. The Greek systems themselves aren’t creating a division in the student body, rather they are only painting a picture of the division that will be there regardless. It is basic human tendency to associate with class and hierarchy systems, and the Greek system offers a way to keep these hierarchies accountable. Without a structured system that incorporates regulations, penalties, guidelines, etc. By putting a logo on these different groups on campus, it encourages accountability across the board and in turn makes the campus safer due to these groups desiring to protect themselves.
Aside from accountability, Greek organizations on campus bring many other great benefits including philanthropy events, networking opportunities, and a sense of pride.
In a perfect world, the Greek systems would not need to exist. But since our world is far from perfect–especially on college campuses–these systems provide structure, accountability, and safety.
The decision the administration will need to make is whether this uncontrolled and potentially abusive system will be given University support. I am not against students socializing – but I think there are more productive, inclusive and less arbitrary ways to do it. The example I gave of a learning community is a real thing. It is essentially a community of students with similar interests that take part in activities around academic themes that extend to social interests. This can include all of the components you describe as desirable, but it would be a university sanctioned activity that would have some important controls. Some of the current residence hall activities with WFU faculty fellows is another way that positive social interactions can be promoted.
Brian, I want you to know that I totally agree with you. The fact is what you propose is impossible. The way society works and the way students act and think at Wake will never let a system like this exist, especially after being exposed to Greek systems for so long. What I’m suggesting is a realistic approach to this matter, which is a very serious matter. If the Greek system was reformed rather than eliminated, these problems could be somewhat resolved rather than attempted to be resolved. I think your ideas are great and intelligent and discerning, however a compromise to your ideas versus the current system would be the most effective way to try and resolve these problems that we are inevitably facing.
If capable of reform, I’d agree. I’d like to see what I propose implemented and it be so good that it makes the alternatives seem weak in comparison.
Brian, do you really think that fraternities should be eliminated? If so, what do you intend on gaining from their elimination? If you don’t like exclusive clubs its either because you cant get into one or because you do not believe in them. If you don’t believe in them you should learn to accept them because you will have to deal with them forever. Say fraternities get eliminated effective immediately. That may satisfy you while at Wake but once you graduate will enter a world full of exclusive clubs. With that said, are you going to try to continue your quest for an equal world where everything is available to everyone? You wont because it isn’t possible. The world is full of elite people who live in gated communities, spend their weekends golfing at country clubs (a place for recreational activities *membership required), and doing all kinds of other things made available to a small group of individuals. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone lived the same life with an equal amount of resources? Well there is, its called North Korea and I hear its pretty great. Maybe you can move there if they consider you worthy enough to join their exclusive nature you fucking communist.
Let’s see. If I don’t accept enclave culture at a university that means poor little me can’t deal with the “real world”? How about this interpretation instead: folks like you who defend it are afraid that you can’t compete unless you create special enclaves where you define the rules and admission? And by the way, I’m old enough not to care whether or not I made it into a fraternity and to have lived among bigotry long enough to recognize it.
Your weak response is sufficient to make my point. Communist? I’m a capitalist who realizes that we’re better when we’re together than when divided.
I am painting with a broad brush here. And I want to allow that there can be good things done in the name of the Greek system. Here are some examples:
However, here are a couple of additional “contributions” of fraternities:
They’ve got a sexual assault problem:
This “party” issue is pervasive across the culture:
They’re the last bastions of the 50s and 60s inequality:
They engage in “slut shaming”:
And of course hazing:
My point is, there are ways to to the good things without buying the whole package – and the Greek system demands that you buy the whole package. So if I were WFU, I’d say no thanks. My opinion.
Honestly across the world they have “American” theme based party and make fun of how “white” people dress. It’s a joke. You need to calm down. The same is true for the “basic white bitch look.” Talk about culturally offensive to “white” people, specially women.
I think this is blown way out of proportion. I don’t think anything KA did was wrong. There’s nothing wrong with “Rap Video” being the theme. They paid for a professional Rapper to come in and perform. As for the dress, as far as I know, party goers were supposed to dress like a rapper, which is emulating a culture that a particular profession has created. It is unfortunate, however, that the “rapper culture” revolves around only idolizing hyper sexuality/female sex symbols, drugs, alcohol, and money. Dressing like a rapper is not racist, because being a rapper is not a race, it’s a profession.
The real issue lies within the community and morphing the theme into “dressing like a black person” It is a fallacy to state that because a small grouping of people dress a certain way, everyone similar to the group dresses this way. Racism is still very prevalent here unfortunately.
SOME rap revolves around that. You obviously aren’t well-versed in rap or hip-hop culture. Why speak on something you’re only marginally in the know about? Why get mad at students who are offended when you and others are the ones who distort and parade a culture for a night for shits and giggles?
“Cultural appropriation is like walking into someone’s house, stealing their lampshade and claiming it’s a hat.”
‘Of color’ You have also missed the point with the title of this piece. What color is that?
Ive worked on campus for a vendor and this problem has gotten worse in the last 6yrs. WFU used to have community involvement which has disappeared.I’ve even heard WFU staff speaking on the arrogance of the students coming in. The campus looks like they’re building a cocoon. Sad for some of the wonderful faculty and staff that are there. Many are top notch but not at drinking 101.
Graduated in 2002. This sounds exactly like the school I remember. I’m glad to have read this because I had almost forgotten. I wonder if the KAs still have their ceremony where they walk around in the middle of the night with white sheets on. (If that sounds too outrageous to be true, good. But unfortunately it did happen multiple years while I was there.)
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. ..
the exact plot of the film Dear White People, in theaters next Friday… smh
II am not a student at WFU and I have been following the race issues of this particular school. I am all about cultural education and finding solutions to race issues. I think that WFU should bring in Mrs. Jane Elliott a race relations educator to help the school deal with their race issues. Mrs. Elliot contact information can be found online.
Angela, Thank you for pointing out a flaw in my argument. You are correct in stating that not all rap culture is negative. However, like many things, rap culture is only as strong as it’s weakest link. What I described above is, IMHO, the weakest link of rap/hiphop culture. To think otherwise is foolish. You don’t have to be well versed in rap/hiphop culture to recognize this.
I did not attend the party and I am not angry at anyone who is offended. Having an opinion is a human right. Your anger has blinded you and has led you to draw false conclusions about me.
This is all beside the point.
My point is simply that the fraternity is getting much of the blame when the Wake Forest community should be analyzed more. Racism is still strong here which makes me sick to my stomach. I want to see this gone. I’m tired of hearing people use racial slurs and comments so casually around Wake Forest. It’s disgusting and unprofessional.
The African American Students should have a dress like a Rich White Brat Party….all they need is $200 khakis, boat shoes and a shitty attitude.
I find it ironic that the only way you see fit to fight one racial stereotype is by forming another one against a different race. Places you right in the same boat of racial discrimination as the rest of those accused in this article.
I guarantee that no white person would give a SINGLE FUCK about that, go for it.
This so called “white party” is known as rap video party. It’s been around for years with no issues. There are rappers of all colors.
oh, people have had issues with it and other themes. no one listens. and maybe you don’t interact with anyone who expresses the offense they take.
So much butthurt at Wake Forest these days.
Yep, many people seem really irrationally angry about not being able to have their racist frat parties without some pushback.
As a current student at Wake Forest I would like to make a comment. In my three years here I have never heard of KA’s Rap Video party referred to, or even implied, as “Dress Like a Black Person.” Like the comments above say, there are rappers from each ethnicity and there is a common theme of dress among all of them. The theme of the party was so blown out of proportion in the article that if you don’t currently attend Wake Forest, then you would think that racism runs rampant throughout the campus.
I’m not denying that there isn’t any racism. The freshman going up to their black RA to see if they were dressed “black enough” is utterly disgusting. That’s what people should be getting upset over because that is the only issue that resulted from this party. The theme has never been and was not an issue this year because it is not a racist theme.
The article is too biased for anyone to see past what the author claims and what really occurred. It should be rewritten to focus on the real issues of racism on campus and not make claims that negatively impact the student body as a whole.
Im black and i also go to Wake Forest and I have definitely heard it referred to add dress like a black person party.I remember my roommate getting upset because she that I don’t dress like a real black girl so she couldn’t borrow any of my clothes to wear to it. And before the complaints were made Members of KA were encouraging students to dress a black and ghetto as they could. As a white student you are simply ignorant to the struggle other minorities face on thus campus. Last year I dropped my keys on the for of my car one night and campus police came over and accused me if trying steal my own car while I was reaching down to pick up my keys. Even after I provided them with my license and registration they still followed me all the way from my car to the library. The atmosphere is very hostile but writes would never notice because you are subjected to extra sos and racist comments that we get from security and even other classmates.
The article is biased because the author attended Antioch College, an institution that epitomizes insularity and a single liberal point of view with no counter balance to other less liberal points of view. This paper is the liberal version of the Rhino Times, another publication that could leaven its editorial stance at times by considering other perspectives to their inherent bias as well.
This article defines double standards. This party has been around for awhile now, and it had always had the title “Rap Video.” We can all agree that this genre of music has artists of all colors (black, white, Hispanic, etc.) and proposes a certain style of dress. For example, Sammy Adams, Atmosphere, Eminem, and Asher Roth are all white artists while Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye West are all black artists. Even though these people are of separate race, they embrace a style of dress that is pertinent to their genre of music. Google them all and you will notice that they all dress in a very similar fashion with little variability. Attributing this style of dress to black people and calling a party where the theme is this style “racist” is racist in and of itself. Kappa Alpha Order and everyone who planned to attend this party never meant for it to offend people of any color. In fact, the main stage was going to be held by a black artist with a predominately white audience. I think that is telling of the attitudes of the attendees and of the artists, and shows a clear misinterpretation by the social activists on this campus thinking that they are doing societal justice.
Is racism prevalanet on campus? Yes. There are undoubtedly stereotypes attributed here at Wake Forest to people of color, but this party never had any sort of race attached to it until people claimed that there was. Please do not try and find racism within anything that may appear controversial on the surface level, because in a sense, that is the essence of racism.
It’s not like they were “black facing” or making the party hateful towards blacks. Its not like the party was ” slaves” or ” germans and jews” or some obviously racist theme. It is something you can see everyday on MTV. you all are sensitive. If you ever have looked at any rap music video aka the theme of this party you would see that they dress either extremely nice, or like they are standing in the ghetto. God forbid how demeaning rappers are toward women… why not get onto MTV for being degrading toward women? It’d be the exact same as a black fraternity having a “white trash bash” of which I have witnessed before and would be interpreted in this article as “dress like a trashy white person” but that wouldn’t be offensive to anybody. It’s not a big deal. Cowboys and Indians, Hawaiian themed party, Oktoberfest party, ect. Normal themes that have zero intention of being racist or offending anybody and would also be really fun to go to. If America is so sensitive to every little thing, everybody is going to end up offended at the end of the day. I lived in a ghetto for 15 years and I’m white. I’ve been beaten, robbed, and antagonized just cause I’m white so I don’t want to hear this crap.
I wonder if less people would have been offended by this if it wasn’t talked about so much. I’m pretty sure this party has been going on for the last ten years and it was never mentioned until now, the one year the party was cancelled.
The comments that appear to be from Wake Forest students might be better proof than this article that WFU has a lot of work to do.
This article is absurd. “A party invitation last month from a white fraternity at Wake Forest University in which guests were allegedly encouraged to come dressed as black people,” this is completely false. Maybe they should have also mentioned that the protesters were driving by the house and when female students were alone on the road, they told them they weren’t dressed like black people they were dressed like sluts. But of course no one cares to look into that.
Since the event was supposed to be “canceled” such encounters should never have taken place. And I would never encourage the harassment of anyone but the girls attending that party were dressed like sluts. And as a Wake Forest student I heard KA members referring to their dress theme as dress as black and ghetto as you can. Which I fund offensive personally because I did in fact grow up in a “ghetto” and I have never once dressed like what the KA guys were encouraging those girls to dress like.
This article is pathetic. Anyone who is saying how perfect they are because they didn’t take part in steroetyping others in their lives offend me because you actually think I’m stupid enough to believe your shit.
If these fraternity guys want to throw a party with a theme that you might find offensive there is a reason you’re not in their fraternity. They don’t want you.
To those of you who say this article is bias-I don’t see that at all. How is it biased? If students are upset by the “rap video party” and other events cited in the article are they not allowed to feel that way? Are they not allowed to talk about it? No media should acknowledge their feelings?
Reporting the response of K. Neal & WFU is bias? Those are QUOTES!
Head on over to the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, watch the documentary, and stop making excuses.
If this wasn’t a relevant, important situation there wouldn’t be all these comments and 30,000+ views on it in two days.
No excuses! This is wrong.
Dress like a white party .. not racist
If they had only used the politically correct term urban instead.
Wake should reverse course and ease up on admitting so many minorities.
Wake should reverse course on the SAT/ACT policy.
And this is coming from a double minority Wake alumn.
What the f*** is happening at Wake?
Hatch needs to be fired. He’s one of the worst mistakes in Wake history.
Would you make this comment in front of your peers at work, neighbors and fellow alumni? If not, ask yourself why? Wake shouldn’t admit as many minorities? Reverse its SAT/ACT policy? WTF is happening in your brain should be your real question. You are the problem.
Concur, Leah. Their SAT/ACT policy was a smartly-made decision, and wishing for more homogenization of the student body is disgusting.
Correct, I would not make this comment in public. Just like I wouldn’t make a pro-Jewish statement living in Nazi Germany. What’s right isn’t always popular. And I know which way the wind is blowing.
Wake shouldn’t admit so many minorities because clearly they’re not happy at Wake. They keep bitching and whining. They keep seeing racism in everything. Wah, wah, wah.
Unfortunately, it appears there are minorities at Wake who are very similar to the retards in Ferguson, Missouri, who hold a number of stupid thoughts (i.e., you can walk away from cops, you can charge a cop and if you don’t have a gun the cop can’t shoot you, he was shot in the back, etc.). The same stupidity applies to pro-Palestinian activists or sheeple. These idiots do not belong at Wake Forest University. They are a cancer that must be removed.
Do I want minorities at Wake? Yes. But things have reached such a level of absurdity that we need to turn the faucet the other way until we reach a much lower and appropriate temperature.
There is too much inclusion and the (ungrateful) students don’t want to understand.
Oh, and Leah, go f*** yourself. 🙂
Unfortunately, I knew before it was written which fraternity was involved. I’m a Wake alum from many the1970s and KA fraternity had a confederate flag over its door then. It was widely known then that these were the khaki pants and shoes-without-socks wearing Southern boys. There was no absence of racist talk and word choices at parties either. How disheartening it is to read that almost 40 years later that such attitudes and behavior are still tolerated…and defended. I’m usually proud of my alum status–and rightly so for many reasons. But this….this is nothing to brag about and I hope not only the administration but also the student body works to end it.
As a 1988 graduate of Wake Forest, I am utterly astounded that this type thing continues at my alma mater. We too experienced the hostile environment, the bias, the rude and insensitive parties by the large fraternities. I remember crashing one such party to see for myself if the participants would indeed show up in ‘black face’. We too had meetings, forums and task forces to address the issue and yet 28 years later it seems that the problems persist. Wake Forest University is better then this. It should have the courage to take a real stand for equal treatment, inclusiveness, and cultural sensitivity. A zero tolerance policy is needed to address the attitudes and behaviors that are apparently deeply rooted in a few individuals. Dr. Maya Angelou is looking down on us. And she is not very pleased.
The fact that the President oF the college acknowledged an “Annual ” party is most disturbing. Why not just have a nasty white groups Party and come as each other.
This is just so incorrect – sorry. There was never any mention of this party being called anything but Rap Video. KA never ever encouraged anybody to dress as a black person. Even if that was what some unaffiliated students thought, no fraternity would ever creat their own PR nightmare by encouraging racism. This article has put words in the mouths of a fraternity who truly had no intentions of causing any racial issues. Once this got blown out of proportion, the party was called off.
So the “rap video” themed party where KA implied but didn’t “encourage” anyone to dress like a black person is perfectly acceptable?
Did you read the comments from other students over the years who experienced hostile environments? I guess they’re all just over sensitive & blowing things out of proportion.
They neither encouraged nor implied anything about race. It’s about music. Its a rap themed party with a performance by a famous rapper. There’s nothing fun or funny about “dressing black”, but going to a rap concert and dressing up with your friends should be perfectly acceptable. This article is based of a rumor that started on yik yak that apparently unaffiliated freshmen believed and thought was acceptable…
There is a redneck themed party every week…
I want to add that the next highly publicized, unarmed black teenager to get shot and killed better be a friggin’ angel, honor roll student, who has never touched a drug or been suspended from school, because if it’s yet another Thugvon Martin (circled back and threw first punch) or Michael Brown (robbed store and charged cop), I’m done. I’m going to automatically assume that the shooting was justified and nothing will ever change my mind. I’ll be done.
I mention this because of the stupid picture I saw of some Wake minorities holding up their stupid hands up with that “don’t shoot” garbage. Michael Brown was a dumbass who didn’t obey the police and paid the price for his stupidity. Same goes for Eric Garner. If I was on the jury or whatever, their stupid families wouldn’t get a single penny.
the wake students doth protest too much, me thinks.