The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, June 14, 2004

How Is This Different? 

Perhaps you've seen the commercials for the new movie "White Chicks", starring the Wayan's Brothers, who paint their bodies white and pretend to be women. The commercials have been out for a while, but interestingly, the one I saw this morning was the first one to show who was starring in the movie. Immediately, I was reminded of this... Tennessee Frat Suspended over Black-Face Incident

A University of Tennessee fraternity has been suspended because of an incident last week in which white members painted their faces to look like the black pop group The Jackson Five.

The national office of Kappa Sigma has suspended its UT chapter, which means the fraternity ''no longer has standing as a registered student organization and is suspended from participating in university activities, such as Homecoming,'' according to a statement issued Wednesday by UT Vice President and Provost Loren Crabtree.

Fraternity members couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday, but Crabtree said the national office was cooperating in an ongoing investigation.

A number of black students complained to campus officials last week after a group of fraternity members allegedly walked from their fraternity house to a party on the Cumberland Avenue Strip dressed as the Jackson siblings, according to UT's account.

Even if the national Kappa Sigma organization reinstates the UT Lambda chapter, UT might not choose to recognize the group, according to Crabtree.

''We will require the leaders and members of Kappa Sigma to demonstrate a commitment to uphold our expectations for civility, ethnic diversity and racial harmony,'' Crabtree said.

Crabtree also pointed out measures that UT has taken over the past few months to widen the African and African-American Studies program and a planned semester-long program beginning in January to ''celebrate Africa's cultural, entertainment and educational contributions to non-African cultures around the world.''

A training program on race and diversity will begin next spring, and a special session covering the same topics will be added to the summer orientation program for new students, Crabtree said.

There have actually been several incidents of this at several campuses across the country, all of them pretty much resulting in the same thing. Just so that I understand this completely then:

  • White people painting their faces black is racist. Check.
  • Black people painting their bodies white is funny. Check.

Maybe someone can explain it to me.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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