Sig Ep and Alpha Phi draw criticism after ‘Kanye Western’ themed raid


The UCLA chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity held a “Kanye Western” themed raid Tuesday night with the Alpha Phi sorority. At the raid, some guests dressed in baggy clothes, plumped lips and padded bottoms, or as “Kardashians.” (Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin senior staff)

The UCLA chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity held a “Kanye Western” themed raid Tuesday night with the Alpha Phi sorority. At the raid, some guests dressed in baggy clothes, plumped lips and padded bottoms, or as “Kardashians.” (Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin senior staff)


This post and headline were updated on Oct. 9 at 1:33 p.m.

Several UCLA student groups are asking the university to respond after the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority held a “Kanye Western” themed raid Tuesday night, for which guests dressed in baggy clothes, plumped lips and padded bottoms, or as “Kardashians.”

Kelsee Thomas, a third-year fine arts student and member of the Afrikan Student Union, said other ASU members said they saw partygoers with those costumes. Photos from the raid also show attendees with their foreheads covered in charcoal.

The presidents of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority did not respond to several calls for comment. Student leaders of the Afrikan Student Union have asked the group’s general members not to comment until they meet as a group and release a collective statement Wednesday evening.

Kevin Dougherty, the director of fraternity and sorority relations, was not available for comment because he is going out of town. The university said in an email statement Wednesday evening it is concerned about the allegations and is gathering information about what happened.

The university added students are free to celebrate in ways that draw on popular culture, but their specific choices can cause harm and pain to fellow members of their community.

“Put simply, just because you can do something does not mean you should,” the university said in the statement.

Some Afrikan Student Union members stood outside the fraternity house Tuesday night and confronted fraternity members, asking them to end the event, Thomas said.

“It’s extremely disrespectful for any organization at all to think that this is possibly a good idea,” Thomas said. “I understand the play on words, but there are so many other ways (to dress) to fit that.”

Fourth-year political science student Jaimeson Cortez, who has seen multiple photos and tweets from the party, said he expected the fraternity to be conscious of existing issues with campus climate and refrain from dressing up in ways he said culturally appropriated a subset of the UCLA community.

“As someone who’s been in a UCLA fraternity, I had hoped that Greek life had more awareness than to host an event where black culture was the theme,” Cortez said.

Sigma Phi Epsilon released a statement on Facebook Thursday morning, denying that any guests attended in blackface. They said students dressed as miners in reference to the Kanye West song “Gold Digger,” but said their attire was not race related.

“A ‘Kanye Western’-themed party was intended to celebrate (popular) culture,” members said in the written statement. “We realize that the theme showed a lack of judgment on our part and that some of the guests’ costumes were offensive to members of the Bruin community. We want our campus community to know that they can expect better from this fraternity.”

Chancellor Gene Block said in an email statement that the party included people dressed in costumes which exaggerated racial stereotypes, leaving many African American students feeling mocked and disrespected.

“Even if that was not the intent of the partygoers, it should not have been hard to foresee that this would be the reaction,” Block said. “This was poor judgment and I, too, was offended. Everyone at UCLA is smart enough to think more carefully about the impact of their actions.”

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  • Isaac

    Why does Greek life on college campuses even exist? Are the privileged so desperate for community that they require lifelong association with douche nozzle brotherhoods and sisterhoods? Universities need to end the country club culture and get back to the basics.

    • DittoPost

      Wearing baggy clothes isn’t racist, padding your butt isn’t racist, dressing like a Kardashian isn’t racist. So far this is a story about racism with NO RACISM! This was about pop culture and nothing else.

      • Isaac

        Cool story. But where did I talk about racism?

        • Jake Snow

          “Privilege” is the new code word since people have starting ignoring the false cries of racism that doesn’t exist at least from everyone but blacks.

    • Jake Snow

      maybe the privileged blacks should relinquish their racist agendas. Do they think so low of themselves that they need special treatment to succeed?

    • Jake Snow

      When people talk about “privilege” they are resentful of other people success. The only privilege I see is the privilege to scream racism at the drop of a hate when 9 times out of 10 it’s a false. We see it all the time we saw it when that thug Michael brown assaulted a cop in an attempt to get his weapon and the community rallied an burned their own city. The privilege is that the left tried to make excuses for the sedition and terror.

      We see it with affirmative action and racist quotas that are set we see it when blacks are allowed to abuse and harass whites without any repressions.

  • DittoPost

    Where are the pictures? So far the only pics I’ve seen people have painted on goatees – not blackface. Is that racist to fake facial hair? I’m one of these strange people who wants actual proof of racism before rushing to judgment and destroying someone’s reputation.

    • theoriginal_sweaterjunkie

      Why don’t you believe the people who said they saw blackface?

      • DittoPost

        Where are the pics? I just posted their “Racist” party pic on my Twitter account (same name as here) 2 girls gave themselves goatees and the white guy is just wearing a cowboy hat. At worst they’re bad Halloween costumes. It’s possible ASU went to this party looking for something they didn’t find. The first rule of tarnishing someone’s reputation should be actual proof.

      • Jake Snow

        They probably are the same people who claim Mike Brown had his hands up when it was proven those “witnesses” were lying.

      • Jal1111

        Why do you automatically believe them? If there are legitimate issues, then it will be addressed. However based on the photos seen so far…nothing is racism.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Because when it comes to things like this ppl just want it swept under the rug.

        • Jake Snow

          Nobody cares about false racism anymore. We need to to attack the real racists out there White Liberals and Black racists you have to lie about so-called “brutality” hide the crimes committed by blacks.

      • Commonsense

        why don’t you believe the people who say there was no blackface? Hopefully you’re not pre law.

      • Jess

        I think (of course I don’t know) that the people who claim they saw blackface might be referring to the last photo in this article, where the girls have charcoal on their face (the blurring to protect identity makes it hard to see).
        Someone else commented here that they were playing off the costume of a (literal) gold digger, which at least to me is very believable. it makes sense.

        While this story got a lot of attention, and has probably been skewed by many, it’s definitely not the first time greeks AND non-greeks have thrown parties with questionable themes (i.e. cinco de drinko) and poor taste. it’s really important that students, especially in orgs that happen to be traditionally comprised of privileged students learn how to be respectful of their peers and understand why these things are hurtful to marginalized communities on campus.

        There are many people at ucla who are white, greek and are truly appreciative of hiphop culture. But at the same time, at least in my experience going to greek parties, many don’t appreciate its roots and appropriate/mock it. They may not understand it’s appropriation becuse they’ve never been educated about it. It varies from person to person.

        • AnOski

          Mocking hip-hop culture isn’t racism. FYI.

      • AnOski

        Because there were no photos of it, but plenty of photos.

    • Monica

      Dude why are you so quick to defend them? Why is racism such a difficult concept for you to accept as a legitimate issue?

      • DittoPost

        Legit issues are fine but then make sure it’s legit racism. Otherwise it’s old-fashioned slander. Do any of the pics above honestly look racist to you? Everyone who dresses like Kim Kard is gonna pad the butt to emulate what she has emphasized in herself. ASU claims there were several in blackface but magically didn’t get those pics. The onus isn’t on me to prove the frat is NOT racist. The accusers should prove they are.

        • Monica

          I’m saying that your problem is that you’re already siding with these people when racism is obviously a legitimate issue in American society. Your immediate reaction is to assume that ASU is lying simply because you didn’t get photographic proof. You’re also disguising your victim blaming as a quest for legitimacy instead of embracing the fact that we live in a white supremacist society.

          • Russell Haynes

            You clearly don’t understand his argument.

          • Commonsense

            Lol — AGAIN : the onus is not on the frat to prove it is NOT racist. The onus IS ON YOU to prove it is, MONICA. Clearly the problem is how quick you are to accuse.

          • Monica

            Clearly the problem is how quick you are to defend this frat party. I mean think about that for a second: you’re taking time out of your day to defend a college party when black students feel de-humanized as fellow students? My first thought that comes to mind when I see evidence seeking comments like this is: lame. You’re almost too lame.

          • OnlyTransplantsCallitLaLaLand

            It’s dangerous to call students racist and identify them publicly, potentially ruining their reputations for life, when they exhibited no racism.

            Racism is a legitimate, pervasive issue, but dressing up as a gold miner is not Black face, nor is it an example of racism.
            Padding your pants to dress in drag is not an example of racism.
            Padding your butt to look like K. Kardashian, who is not black, is not Black face.

          • Runaway

            You’re racist, Monica. Don’t mind my lack of evidence because after all, racism is an ongoing issue on society.

            We live in a society which follows “innocent until proven guilty”. I’d rather live in that world instead of a world dominated by McCarthyism-esque thinking and fingerpointing.

          • Monica

            We also live in a society that fingerpoints to victims of racial oppression. Members of the ASU have claimed they are offended and that this party was racist towards their community, and by already remaining neutral to their response you’re choosing the side of the oppressor. You don’t care about what minorities have to say so you throw out words like McCarthyism-esque to de-validate legitimate concerns.

          • Steve Morris

            BULLSHIT.

          • BenTheGuy

            Of course we’re being neutral. Accusations do not equal fact. Innocent until proven guilty, etc. The article did not have a single bit of evidence of actual racism, just quotes from upset people. Like all folks with the ability to think, I considered the arguments on both sides, and so far have not seen any evidence of racism. Have you? If so, please show me.

      • Jake Snow

        Because there is no racism here. This is just another fishing piece. Most racism these days is from black people anyway.

        • Monica

          You can say that when a black person no longer has a 50% chance of being pulled over by a cop for no valid reason. You can say that when Black Americans are killed at twelve times the rate of people in other developed countries. Some individuals part of that marginalized community have claimed that there’s a problem with white supremacist behavior and you say that they’re fishing for oppression? What’s the matter with you?

          • Levi Dettwyler

            Hi – can you actually point out the racist behavior that was going on here?

          • Monica

            Hi – can you actually explain to me why you find it so hard to take the word of a minority?

          • Jake Snow

            because they are liars in these cases.

          • Monica

            First off, I thought you were done talking to me because you had claimed that I had already lost an argument.

            Secondly, how can you claim minorities are the liars when you desperately want proof handed to you on a silver platter that this happened? “I want photographic proof….but I don’t actually need it cause they’re lying.” Ok.

          • Jake Snow

            Mike brown, trayvon martin ect ect.

            Ignorant people like you live a sad sad life. Seeing white people must make you rage with jealousy.

          • Levi Dettwyler

            Well, I have this bad habit of judging things based on what they are rather than the skin color of the person that said them. But even if there were several members who did make their faces black (maybe there were? I don’t know), it probably was in ignorance of the historical baggage of blackface in theater. I’d call that at best unfortunate and at worst poor judgement, but definitely not something worth getting worked up about. Unfortunately, there are a class of people who like to get offended about anything and everything, and tend to blow issues like this way out of proportion.

          • Commonsense

            You fail to mention that the vast majority of Black Amercans killed, ARE KILLED BY OTHER BLACK AMERICANS.

          • Sabrina Hong

            Black on black crime does not explain away the high proportion of lethal incidences between law enforcement and people of color compared to law enforcement and white people. It may distract from it and appear to relate to it, but those statistics don’t explain each other. Rather, they represent two parts of a greater dialogue that you’re missing when people say what you just did, and repeat it every time this argument comes up.

            There’s a vast well of quantitative and qualitative research that explains why that is and how it’s likely a result of systematic inequality. You can look it up on JSTOR if you have access through a university, or find many of these publications online, if you care to. Let’s not get into the burden of proof argument that’s all over this thread because it misses the point and it’s juvenile. Lack of evidence doesn’t in itself invalidate the truth of an argument, even though it may give you cause to investigate it more critically. But whatever. It is there for those people if they care to look for it, if that’s really the issue here.

            The high proportion of black on black violence can be explained by the robust correlation between race and poverty, and poverty and location/circumstances of property ownership or rental. Historically speaking, when you have a large group of people that is not just considered different, but is also poor, they’re going to settle in the places that they can afford, or depending on where they are at what point in time, wherever they are legally allowed to settle.

            Crime and poverty are strongly correlated as well. The poorest communities typically suffer the highest rates of crime, among other social ills. Communities are often laid out the way they are by price among other market factors, which explains why you see so many poor, minority communities that have been that way for decades, some even for a century. Despite cultural shifts. So though all of these factors are not mutually exclusive, nor do they imply causation in either direction, if you have some “commonsense” and can look at some of the data, you can see these relationships and infer why these relationships have continued to present themselves in the data year after year, decade after decade. It’s pretty compelling.

            Keep in mind that poverty also makes it difficult to access higher education, which is still one of the only statistically reliable factors in determining upward social mobility and the ability to circumvent circumstances that you were born into. Of course, it is absolutely possible to be an educated and/or wealthy citizen who is also a minority. There are plenty in the minority community who do just fine. Neither race, nor poverty are be all end all’s. But that doesn’t imply that there isn’t something in our society’s infrastructure that makes it harder for certain parts of the population to do as well as others. It certainly doesn’t serve as an argument against people’s less fortunate counterparts.

            It doesn’t change the fact that poorer neighborhoods are often serviced by ailing school districts without the resources to equip the majority of their students with the skills and tools they need to earn more income than that of their parents. And when your parents never went to college or graduated themselves, and are working multiple jobs because minimum wage isn’t enough to sustain a family of four, even with welfare…it’s hard. It is.

            You start to see a system where It’s harder for the poorer kids to come up, and those kids also happen to be kids of color. Something that STILL carries more bearing on day to day social interactions than people like to admit. There are people who defy the statistics and the stereotypes everyday, and that is commendable and downright awesome, but systematic inequality and the racial stereotypes that perpetuate it remain a serious issue that’s not easy for everyone to overcome. It’s not a matter of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps and taking care of it. It’s not a matter of stop killing each other then if you don’t want the authorities to kill you. Does that make any sense anyway? It’s harder than that. It’s more complex. It’s easy to tell someone to hurry up when your boots are lighter than theirs. And this issue requires the kind of common sense that asks why a certain statistic exists, instead of using it to imply something incorrect. Using a statistic that incorrectly would expose short sightedness, ignorance on many subjects, and a lack of basic reasoning skills.

          • Jake Snow

            Actually it does. Black commit 60% of murders in this country. They are also responsible for half of all police that are murdered.

            The facts don’t lie.

          • Jake Snow

            Black are pulled over for valid reasons.

          • Monica

            Using false statistics to try to validate your own racial prejudice and racism? I am thoroughly unimpressed. You do not want to be held responsible SO bad don’t you? For the attitude that you contribute to on a day to day basis in which you hold minorities responsible for your problems. We get it, you’re afraid of darker people. But at least try to educate yourself and keep your blatant racist statements to yourself.

          • Jake Snow

            I’m sorry those statistics are not false they are reported by the FBI and available to anyone.

            The fact is that without blacks this country would have the violent crime of Belgium.

          • Monica

            Because the FBI really loves minorities. I’m not sorry, but those statistics that you follow lead me to believe that you are one of those people who believe that African Americans came to the Americas because they WANTED to.

            “Without blacks” this country would have less violence? You are incredibly racist.

          • Jake Snow

            Screaming racism accusation don’t work anymore. I don’t care what you think of me.

            The fact is that the FBI stats are legit and you can attack them as biased all you want.

            You lost the argument when you chose to ignore the truth.

          • Monica

            Who is screaming? You’re accusing black students that they’re lying about something they witnessed. The fact is that the FBI, like the government and this country, will always side with the white community.

            Also? I don’t think of you.

          • Jake Snow

            Sorry you’re a loon.

            You ignore facts and claim there is racism where there is none.

            You’ve lost.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            These politically correct people are triggered. I guess Monica doesn’t get it. Facts don’t care about your feelings. Neither does the first amendment of the constitution. The fraternity can dress however they like, its called freedom of expression.

          • Monica

            So you only talk about the first amendment when it’s in support of a racist community but god forbid some people of color publicly complain and you blame them of whining. How unoriginal and boring.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            I got spit on by one of the protesters for simply walking by.This also goes to show the rampant hypocrisy of the social justice warriors on this campus. They are only furthering their own agenda they are not working on actual issues within the black community.

          • Monica

            Aw.

            I’ve lost.

            Guys. Racism is over.

          • Jake Snow

            Na, you’re still a racist.

          • Monica

            Don’t you mean reverse racist?

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            No racist. By the way I am Armenian and I am not screaming cultural appropriation. Kim K has a big butt and if people want to emulate her iconic butt with pads I really don’t care. For the record, 90 percent of black murders are committed by black assailants. This shows that there is a rampant gang/violence culture WITHIN the black community that needs to be solved. You can find these stats on politifact, FBI, and Northeastern U Criminology Unit.

          • Monica

            Students dressed as Kim Kardashian not as Kim Kardashian adorning clothing that is a part of Armenian culture. Minority races that have experienced extreme amounts of apartheid and genocide deserve a voice in today’s society, especially in the educational system. These facts never take into account the extreme white to black ratio in terms of general population of the U.S. All of those statistics are invalid and manipulated by white-centric authoritarians. You can call me a racist all you want, but it’s just simply not true.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            You are clearly paranoid and that is what everyone on this forum is trying to tell you. For the last time, facts don’t care about your feelings. Also your argument is invalid, they were specifically imitating Kanye West. He wears baggy clothing. The soot on their faces was to emulate facial hair and to pay tribute to “gold digger”. Did the frat actually hurt anyone? No. So once again, you SJW’s are making a big fuss out of nothing. They are not invalid especially since there are a lot of black people who work in law enforcement, work in city councils, and we even have a black president. Racism can occur on occasion, but this instance is in no way racist. So you don’t trust politifact? They are one of the most accurate, unbiased media resources. You still lose. We live in democratic republic, not South Africa. If we actually lived in an apartheid system, there would be laws that hurt blacks, prevent blacks to go in certain areas of a city, prevent blacks from mixing/getting married. Oh and all of the statistics are adjusted in “per capita” terms. Once again, your argument has been completely debunked.

          • Monica

            Paranoid about what? You weren’t even at this party. Students who were there said that they saw black face occurring. Why is it so hard for you to listen to them?

            There ARE actual laws that do hurt blacks, one of the most important ones being those that exclude black children from poor neighborhoods to transfer high schools in better school districts to seek out better education. The government has single handedly picked and chosen who they believe is deserving of a high quality education. Why do you think the numbers of black students at UCLA are so low? All you seem capable of doing is blaming them for their feeling of extreme exclusion.

            Great. We have a black president who is still questioned for his legality as a citizen? You must be so proud to live in a country that only cares about minorities when they have managed to make it to the White House. Once again, your argument is almost too stale.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Can you name this law? I provided you with my statistics. You haven’t provided us with any statistics. As much as you want to claim that we live in a racist country, we really don’t. There is no extreme exclusion of races, in fact black people have to fill a certain quota at UCLA, which in some ways is unfair to people who may be more qualified. So what if people question Obama’s citizenship, people questioned Bush’s IQ calling him “mildly retarded”. People are calling Ben Carson an “Uncle Tom”. I don’t see people defending them (even though don’t agree with their politics). Black people have a voice at UCLA, they have the ASU, but guess what we as the public have a right to disagree with them in this instance. There is no clear evidence of racism or crimes committed against blacks. I know several people who were at the party (in fact I was rushing a sorority myself). They were not targeting blacks and they were not targeting armenians. All you seem capable of doing is coming up with excuses to hate on people that don’t want to cause a further divide by pitting blacks against whites.

          • Monica

            Parents Invovled in 2007 when the Supreme Court ruled that voluntary school integration is unconstitutional. Just last year students from the Normandy school district were not allowed to transfer into better schools in better quality districts because parents were too afraid of their primarily white community involving a primarily black one. What’s next, you’re going to say that my example doesn’t matter because it’s in the past? That was one year ago and it still continues today, yes, even after America has decided black children deserve just as good of an education. There are not many black high school graduates from a district like Normandy because they are discouraged from birth to not view themselves as equals to white students. And you have the audacity to blame the black community for searching for oppression?

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            I have a question, why do blacks want to move out of their school district? Why don’t they try to actually fix their districts? Why can’t they put in an effort into trying to get their black on black crime rate down? Why doesn’t the Afrikan Student Union adress these issues as much as this minute issue and try to fix them from inside the black community? Also you said it was in 2007, that was almost a decade ago. The problem is not with whites being racist towards blacks, it is the rampant gang culture (the actual prevalent culture in the black community) That needs to be dealt with. Why are there so many black children killed and raped by gangs? Part of the reason they didn’t want to have those students is because they were probably already overcrowded. It doesn’t always have to do with whites vs. blacks.

          • Monica

            They have awful teachers and they feel the don’t learn anything. Elementary school kids are kids so you can’t blame them. And high school kids are already discouraged to reach out for more because of a system that has given them nothing. Racism is not an issue minorities should fix for themselves, racism is an issue white people should fix for the sake of minorities, because news flash, minorities deserve just as much of a chance as white people do to resources that can only be found in a school that encourages higher goals.

            Basically, education is a human right and our country makes it hard for poor minorities to have it. Next question that you know nothing about.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            No we shouldn’t. That is also a logical fallacy. If you actually want to be strong and independent you should fix your own problems (with a little help from the government and local community groups). I owe you nothing. My parents are immigrants, they did not discriminate against people of color. Education is not a right it is a service. Even “free education” is highly taxed so you are still actually paying for a service.

          • Monica

            My parents are immigrants too. I owe you nothing. That’s so disrespectful to blame a whole population of people for problems that were created by whites.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            No I still owe you nothing. I am not asking for your help, unlike you I have a sense of independence. I am not blaming anyone. You are blaming the whole white population for something that has happened in the past and my family had nothing to do with.

          • Monica

            I’m blaming the white population as an institution. White with a capital W. You have no idea what it feels like to be fetishized, brutalized, or stereotyped for the way you look in terms of race. That is a burden that you will never have to bear.

          • Sarah Sumayah Noor

            Monica, I understand what you are trying to say. I am not African American but not Caucasian either but my religion has always been put down and I witness my parents go through some type of racial stereotyping almost everyday because of their outer appearance and dress. But I think the main point being made is that you cannot assume EVERY person that represents a certain race or ethnicity has bad intentions just because many or even majority of that race might have acted with bad intention in the past. This would equate to the same way you or I would feel if someone said “You must be a terrorist because you are Muslim and a lot of the Muslims I see on the news are terrorists” or “He must have stolen that car because a lot of the African Americans I see on the news are criminals”. We cannot fight discrimination by discriminate or fight unjust accusation without evidence by accusing unjustly without. Yes, the students in the above article may have been exhibiting racism, but with the facts presented in the article they just as well may not have been. There just is not enough evidence to prove that they were being racist or if they weren’t, so we cannot really point fingers. Especially when the root of the problem started with finger-pointing, so why solve a problem with the root of the problem you know?

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Also accusing this group as being racist, when intentionally they were most likely not is actually an offense to people who have truly been racially discriminated against. I know one of my cousins (she’s half iranian/ half Armenian) was told in class “I don’t negotiate with terrorists” when trying to get an extension on a project. Ironically this teacher was African American, but the point is, I don’t believe all people in that group act that way. Most African Americans are amazing people. The point that I think we are all trying to get across is this instance was most likely not meant as racism especially since it was targeted towards two pop culture icons.

          • Monica

            I totally sympathize and I have experienced stereotyping all the time because I look East Asian. I never said I’m blaming ALL white people. That would be insane. I’m talking about White People. The institution that has led to extreme acts of injustice like the ones you face as a person of color. I would never try to imply that every single person of the white community is responsible for creating this white-centric society.

          • AnOski

            >I never said I’m blaming ALL white people. I’m talking about White People. The institution that has led to extreme acts of injustice like the ones you face as a person of color.

            “I’m not talking about ALL white people. I’m talking about White People as an institution.”

            …Just the white people who make up the institution that is white people? Which would be the white people who make up the majority. …aka “all white people.”

            The mere existence of a majority seems to be the problem, as best I can tell. Because the moment a majority exists, it has the power to democratically exercise its will upon others.

            I think the easiest solution to your problem would simply be to kill enough white people such that they were no longer a majority. And then you’d need to equalize wealth across racial demographics — real socialism. That’s the only way to solve the issues you’re raising.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Have you heard of the Armenian genocide?Most of my family was beheaded by turks.

          • Monica

            Of course I have. And in that instance those individuals were targeted essentially because the Ottoman Empire felt threatened by Armenians as a whole. This is the same mindset that is institutionalized by people who have a lot of say in what is known as correct. My ancestors were raped and murdered by institutions who believed that they did not have a right to live the way that they sought out to live in their own way. People of color in the U.S. want a chance just as much as vulnerable races do in times when institutions believe that they can wipe those people of color out.

          • AnOski

            None of what you’ve said has included any evidence to suggest that what went on at the frat party above consisted of racism. FYI.

            You should probably get back to the topic at hand.

          • Monica

            Ditto. FYI.

          • AnOski

            You’re right. I didn’t provide any evidence to suggest that anything racist occurred, either. Because there is no such evidence.

            ∴ Your entire perspective is baseless.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            If a service is provided by the government it is not a right it is a service you are still paying for it. A right is something that you are inherently born with. Like the right to engage in public discourse, the right to petition, the right to have a fair trial, etc. Am I paying for these rights? no I am not.

          • Monica

            So you’re saying that you know what’s the better solution for helpless children who were programmed with the mindset to see themselves as lesser beings? We are able to pay for education because of privilege because we live in a capitalist society. Not everyone is born with money to pay for an education that is priced higher because of the opportunities it presents.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            This is where you again reach a logical fallacy. I am not advocating for capitalism or socialism. I am just pointing out that either way it is not a human right it is a service. In a socialist society your money goes to the government and they decide what to do with it. Does it mean that they will allocate it efficiently? no. So universal education is still not perfect. Also capitalism isn’t evil. Neither of my parents graduated college but they joined the work force, now they own successful small businesses. They don’t like monopolistic capitalism, they like fair free market capitalism. They also believe that not everyone is fortunate so there definitely should be government programs put into place programs that will help facilitate success.

          • Monica

            Well I guess I can’t add anything. I believe that education is a human right and you don’t. What else can I do? I can’t convince you that it is a human right.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Because it is not. It is in a concrete sense a service provided by a society. It is not something that is present in nature. I totally think that people should be educated, however your argument as why they should be educated is in fact illogical. People should be educated so that they can contribute to economic and social growth in a society. However education is not a one tier system. There are many ways that someone can self actualize ie. going to a trade school, going to culinary school, becoming an artist, a fashion designer. Those don’t necessarily take traditional educational paths. knowledge is also something that you seek out for your own self actualization.

          • Monica

            I mean I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. I believe a certain thing about education and you believe the opposite. What am I going to do? Get into a discussion about human rights and try to flip your opinion? So far you haven’t changed my mind on anything. I’m not going to change yours.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Well you cannot change my mind because in a logical sense I am right. Education is not something you are born with. The education system is a societal construct that helps economic growth and social growth.You will always be paying for it no matter if it is provided by the government or if it is provided by private institutions. I don’t believe the opposite. I believe someone should have the freedom to self actualize however they want. They shouldn’t have to partake in higher education if they don’t have a need to or do not want to. But I do think that society should provide a safety net for those who cannot afford an education and do want to partake in an education.

          • Monica

            So like I said, I’m not going to try to change your mind. Just as you cannot change mine. We differ in opinions, so I haven’t invested time in reading about your reasons supporting your argument that education is not a human right. You don’t have to continue trying, I really will not be convinced otherwise.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Read Machiavelli’s the prince and the discourses, Thomas More’s Utopia, and Boccacio’s Decameron there are dichotomies between nature versus society.

          • Monica

            No.

          • AnOski

            I don’t even agree with most of what Caterina’s saying here, but this is just willful ignorance.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            The reason why the number of black students is also so low is because blacks only make up 13 percent of the country. In addition, blacks only make up 6 percent of California’s population (the UC takes mostly California students). That is why the numbers are so low. Not because we want to exclude African Americans. In addition, I know many school districts including my old school district, and especially charter schools take a lot of students who have permits from the inner city like Inglewood, DTLA, Compton, etc. They all took the metro to my school. In some places African Americans are more segregated than others but there are no laws in place that prevent blacks from leaving those areas. I don’t understand why you want to blame the “evil white man” when most white men do not mistreat African Americans and are innocent. You are making these generalized blanket statements that are actually racist towards white men. If I lived in an Asian country like Japan for example, I would be the minority. Would I feel a little different, of course! But the thing is I would not go and start making scapegoat attacks for what they did to US soldiers during WW2. I am sure most of the people who perpetrated those events payed for what they did. I wouldn’t ask for special rights, I wouldn’t go screaming “white lives matter!” when there is no significant basis for me to do so. White culture is appropriated all the time with the sterotypical “basic white girl”. I am not complaining, I don’t see white girls complaining. This is the point that I have been trying to get across. This fraternity although their actions “triggered” some people, were not targeted towards a whole group of people. The innocence is in its name “Kanye Western” which is specifically targeting Kanye West. They did not directly threaten any African American students and I’m even pretty sure that some African American students were partaking in this event. This shouldn’t have been a big deal in the first place.

          • Monica

            White men do not treat the black community with respect. Racism, racial profiling, racial prejudice. It’s all created by white people.

            You’re complaining about oppression that you have never experienced before. It’s extremely difficult to be a minority in this country. Especially if you aren’t white passing.

            Dude white Americans literally scapegoated Japanese Americans for Pearl Harbor. Families that had nothing to do with the war were not only blamed, but they were interned. Conservative veterans will still see a person with Asian features and hold them and their people accountable for an event that they had nothing to do with.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            I know about internment camps. But you are still clearly being racist towards white men. So are you saying that me and my white male counterparts just create oppression? That I can just pull it out of my a$$? You are making so many generalizations. Your target of white men will only hurt your cause. You are scapegoating a majority of men who want nothing to do with racism. You are the one bullying us. You are pitting white people against black people.

          • Monica

            I can never be racist towards white men. In order to be racist you need to have power as a person who is part of a race that holds power. I am not white. I don’t have to pit white people against black people, you do it for yourselves.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Your argument is an absolute logical fallacy. In your example blacks would have power over whites since we have a black president. Am I right? And what about a black person killing two reporters to start a “race war”? Is that not racist? You are the one who is perpetrating black versus whites. Your argument just collapsed on itself.

          • Monica

            What about the fact that there was a rise in KKK memberships after Obama signed into office? Or the fact that Dylan Roof targeted a black church because he does not like black people? That was a mass shooting. What about those 9 lives lost? What about the thousands of lives lost over these past years at the hands of cops who feel threatened by a black person simply for existing? What about the millions of black lives lost at the hands of a white system since the day that Europeans decided they were more civilized than Africans?

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            First of all Africans sold other Africans into slavery. Second of all the KKK is a democratic group not a conservative group. Also Dylan Roof was a mentally insane white supremacist who went on a rampage (I am absolutely not justifying his behavior). Also politifact has proven that more white people “per capita” are killed by cops. The thing is you are stuck on these things that unfortunately happened in the past. More than 1/3 of the white population was wiped out by other white people. The point is most whites are trying to move past those facts and trying to live their lives peacfully. Which you as a bully and a perpetrator are preventing.

          • Monica

            Your statements can never change an oppressed individual’s perception of the awful ways they are treated by this country. I thought people with your kind of mindset remain in retirement homes ranting about how darker skinned people are the reason for your problems. There are plenty of mentally ill minorities and they don’t even get correct access to resources because doctors don’t know how to diagnose them, as they are used to paying attention to whites. Look, I’m honestly not sorry that you feel like I’m bullying white people.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            If you want to feel that way that is fine. You are just contributing to the greater divide in this country. I have cousins who are half black and cousins who are half mexican. But they sure don’t complain as much as you do. I totally agree that mental health is an issue. Deinstitutionalization is bad. There does need to be adequate care for the mentally ill. But again, your bullying is what is causing many problems in the US right now between all sorts of racial groups.

          • Monica

            I’m half Mexican and I’m not complaining, I’m pointing out some huge flaws in the way that racism has been primarily institutionalized in this country. The only way you seem to be trying to defend yourself is putting words into minorities’ mouths. I’m sure you feel extra defended because you brought your cousins of color into the mix. You are not them. You have white skin and you will never be racially profiled or stereotyped or fetishized for your skin color.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            no i don’t I have olive skin. My dad is Armenian and Iranian. I know what it is like to not be recognized as someone who has faced persecution in the past. Like I said most of my ancestors were beheaded in the genocide.

          • Monica

            But so were mine. Victims of genocide are targeted because huge institutional governments view their whole existence as a threat. I’m saying that our country carries that same potentially problematic mindset, in which African Americans are persecuted and targeted slowly until there are none left.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            No they aren’t. That is a point that I have been trying to make. The Armenian genocide is now recognize and that is great. My point is everyone has been persecuted at some point in time. I don’t want to be known as a victim of mass genocide, I hate being victimized and I usually try to stay away from discussions like this. I want to be known as a strong, independent woman. But the thing is in this case the frat was not trying to be racist (I personally know people who went to that party and they had no intentions to discriminate against blacks), and in addition, I was spit on for merely walking by the protest and not being the same colored skin as them, That is what pisses people off and creates a cultural and racial divide.

          • Monica

            Of course no one has clear intentions of hurting anyone. But the root of racial persecution starts at a mindset where you view a whole culture as less human. Black people do not want to be victimized just as much as you do, and their protests are literal public refusals to be viewed as weak minorities who will take whatever the primary system gives them.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            African Americans may be the minority in this country but they are certainly not the minority in this world. So your argument that blacks in the US are going to systematically disappear from the world is invalid. You know where they are systematically being persecuted? In Africa. By their own people. Women and children are raped, cannibalism is still present in African tribes, etc. Many people immigrate from Africa to the US for a much better life. and in this day and age, they have a much better life. I am a minority in this world (I am Armenian) and we are not asking for anything. Only recognition that there was once prejudice and that it won’t happen at such a massive scale again. I am not asked to be victimized at all, that is what you are asking for by blaming the “evil white patriarchy”.

          • Monica

            You obviously had ran out of ideas to support any of your arguments, so you resorted to trying to talk about another continent in which you have never lived. You don’t know anything about racial persecution in the U.S. so I will never believe anything you claim to know about struggles that come with simply being a citizen of color. Armenian Americans ask for the world to recognize and acknowledge the awful genocide that was inflicted on your people. God forbid some African Americans ask for the same recognition of their own persecution. Same goes for Mexican Americans and Asian Americans. When these students asked for a stop to the mockery of their culture, they are still asking for not only recognition, but for justice.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            There’s black history month are you happy? There’s MLK Jr day. What is your point? You still are arguing based on emotions, not on facts or evidence.

          • Monica

            Wow at least I can feel emotions.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            wow at least I have logic and don’t make ad hominem attacks to belittle people.

          • Monica

            I do have a right to attack you. You blame black people for problems that were literally enforced on them. You want them to be silent so much that you would write an article about it. This isn’t even about the party anymore for you, it’s about how you’re finally showing your true discomfort and fear of African Americans, especially whenever they exclaim any issues they have.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Armenian genocide isn’t even recognized in Turkey. However, most of the world knows what happened. You are still arguing based on emotions.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            In addition, the ASU raided the frats private party. The frat wasn’t making a mockery of their culture, the frat was targeting two specific pop culture icons. You’re crying wolf. That is all you’re doing. Also why don’t you care about someone like rachel dolezal? Who was pretending to be black and actually was sporting “black face”?

          • Star Bruin

            “In Africa. By their own people. Women and children are raped, cannibalism is still present in African tribes”. This gross generalization serves to impugn a whole continent’s character to buffer your arguments that we black people are inferior. I am a proud African, who enjoyed my time there and can’t wait to go back. No African tribe partakes in cannibalism; give me the name of the country, the tribe and the region with photos then we can talk about how stupid you are for casting aspersions on a whole continent.It is akin to calling all Iranian country full of suicide bombers, which you clearly wouldn’t appreciate. You are part Armenian, basically a white girl, do you ever get followed by the police, or get tracked while shopping or ever get handcuffed out of suspicion of being a thief or people clench their bags a move to the other side of the street when it is a little bit dark? I am not pitting black against whites. Racism and prejudice still exist, this isn’t drummed up to divide us but to make us cognizant of certain privileges that exist within society.

          • AnOski

            >white Americans literally scapegoated Japanese Americans for Pearl Harbor. Families that had nothing to do with the war were not only blamed, but they were interned.

            You do realize that the outcome of the war was not at all certain in the early days, right? Spying was a legitimate threat; the Japanese navy managed to get within striking distance of Pearl Harbor without anyone knowing. If that kind of information were released re. US movements or supplies, it could have crippled the US in later battles, and could have literally changed the outcome of the war. The possibility of Japanese spies noting the movement of military supplies or potentially sabotaging them was a legitimate threat.

            It’s easy to say that they weren’t a threat 70 years later, when the outcome seems all but an impossibility, but things were different in 1942. Was it broad-brush? Yes. Was there any other way to eliminate that threat? No.

            You don’t mess around when you’re at war with a country that is fighting to erase you from the map. I assume you weren’t alive back then. The world was a different place.

          • Monica

            I assume you aren’t Japanese a Japanese who was alive back then.

          • AnOski

            You don’t need to have been Japanese to understand America’s precarious position in December 1941. In fact, I don’t see how that would help in the least. You simply need to be familiar with history.

            My family was fairly busy a) dying in Russian gulags and concentration camps and b) dodging bombs in The Blitz for most of the early 1940s. More than half of them died. The Japanese had it pretty cushy over here.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Same with my family, my mom’s family was starving under mussolini. My dad’s was under hitler’s regime and stalin’s regime. Everyone was suffering. Europeans were probably suffering more than most Americans who weren’t at war.

          • AnOski

            …Not that it says anything about what we’re talking about, though. Seems like an odd take on an ad hominem attack. “You’re not a minority, so you can’t discuss this because you don’t understand it.”
            …But that’s not how rational discussions work.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            yep. She was also claiming that her clearly racist, scapegoat comments were not racism since minorities like African Americans don’t have institutional power. Her whole argument collapses on itself, since we have a black president, and technically with her a$$ backwards logic, blacks have powers over whites. Ironically, the black people who are being oppressed are the ones living in Africa today. They are oppressed by their own people, women and children are brutally raped, slavery still exists there, but they like to conveniently ignore those facts.

          • AnOski

            Going to have to disagree with you on a few things in there. I’m friends with a decent suite of people from around the country on FB due to my job, and there’s plenty of racism and hate speech directed Obama’s way on a regular basis. Derogatory names, etc. Pointing out what is likely an exception to the rule for much of the country doesn’t prove much.

            If one race is committing violent acts against its own members, that’s not quite “oppression.” It fits the definition of “dissension” better. It’s the difference between a “crime” and a “hate crime.”

            Regardless, I’m still astounded by the lack of apparent racism in this case, and the resulting response.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            Oh yeah, I definitely didn’t mean to say that there wasn’t any sort of racism present in this country (I’m sorry if I came off that way), but it is better especially for women and children (they are usually more subject to ‘dissention’ or ‘opression’ in Africa) usually to reside in the US. I do see racist remarks towards Obama, and opponents are just as guilty making false accusations about Ben Carson (who I don’t necessarily agree with) calling him an ‘Uncle Tom’ which I think is absolutely repugnant. However, I still think her argument collapses on itself because as much as it would be amazing to have equal representation for African Americans in this country, they only make up 13 percent of the US population so majority groups will still have more of a total institutional ‘power’ so in her view blacks will always be under some sort of oppressive system (Let me make it clear I am not trying to suggest that it is okay to racially discriminate) . However (going back to the whole point) I think that if the ASU had the audacity to criticize some random party that wasn’t directly threatening anyone or targeting the black population as a whole (just kanye west), they are being narrow minded in the broader spectrum of racial issues. It is actually offensive to people who have actually been brutally discriminated against. There are so many issues including violence/crime and the racial stigma attached to it, socioeconomic standing, high school graduation rates, etc and the ASU should channel their energy into those issues.

          • AnOski

            Much more clear.

            “Narrow minded” is bugging me. I’m trying to figure out what the right term is. I don’t know. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. If you start shouting “smoke” and there’s no fire, it definitely devalues the alarm for when it’s needed. But, it looks like these folks have pulled together a decent mob who is now convinced that this smoke really is fire.

            It’ll just fan the flames for later. One more anecdote of “racism” they can draw upon. Unless the rational tale of events is the more popular one that goes down in the books, they’ll be right, for all intents and purposes.

            Kind of scary.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            I guess it’s somewhat of a circular reasoning fallacy. People start with their ‘guilty’ assumption and try to reason backwards, instead of looking at the proper sequence of events to find the real intentions in a certain situation. It’s basically pointing fingers in random directions; false assumptions.

          • AnOski

            The chancellor of UCLA just sent out an email to all students and faculty about how…”This week, a fraternity and a sorority jointly threw a “Kanye West”-themed party that included some people dressing up as exaggerated racial stereotypes.”

            The lie is spreading…

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            I am in the process of writing an op ed for this situation it is coming out on monday, so hopefully people will gain some perspective on this whole situation.

            I feel like he was pressured by media outlets and the ASU to send that email. It took him a while to cave in.

            But yeah the lie is spreading, causing more divide.

          • Monica

            You seem to be confused. I’m talking about America’s refusal to accept and celebrate a culture in a respectful way. The opposite inflicts the same mindset that inflicts heavy persecution. America has treated immigrants and people of color through very few trends: displacement, persecution, and destruction. “The Japanese had it pretty cushy over here.” So that people like you could shrink their struggle to live an individual life? African American’s ancestors have a history of apartheid and genocide. As do Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, Armenian Americans, etc. So again I say: I assume you aren’t a Japanese who was alive back then.

          • AnOski

            >You seem to be confused. I’m talking about America’s refusal to accept and celebrate a culture in a respectful way.

            Japanese internment camps during WW2 had nothing to do with culture. It was hoped that keeping potentially loyal nationalists away from ports on the West Coast and possible means of communication with their homeland would minimize subversion and casualties during wartime.

            >The opposite inflicts the same mindset that inflicts heavy persecution. America has treated immigrants and people of color through very few trends: displacement, persecution, and destruction.

            1) You’re changing the subject.

            2) Yep. Every new wave of immigrants. The Irish Catholics, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Jews, Latinos, you name it. Xenophobia, ghettos, etc.

            We’ve all been there. Except for a minority that came here on ships in the 17th and 18th centuries.

            >”The Japanese had it pretty cushy over here.” So that people like you could shrink their struggle to live an individual life?

            My family has worked from *nothing* to get where they are today. My grandparents were decently well off in Eastern Europe — until they were kicked out of their home in 1942, lost all of their possessions, and were put onto trains for Siberian gulags. After the war, the survivors came to the US utterly penniless and took up menial jobs. They didn’t speak English. They had nothing.

            You brought up the domestic Japanese WW2 experience as an example of cultural insensitivity. My point was that:

            1) It was a practical decision that had nothing to do with culture and probably saved thousands of lives.

            and

            2) While the internment camps were undoubtedly inhumane, war is a much less humane institution than you’re painting it to be. The Japanese were treated comparatively well.

            36 million people died in the Pacific theatre of WW2 by most estimates. Japanese nationalists were the sole cause of this violence.

            Your ad hominem attacks are getting old.

            >African American’s ancestors have a history of apartheid and genocide.

            …in South Africa and other European colonies in Africa? Seems kind of unrelated.

            >As do Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, Armenian Americans, etc.

            Mexican American apartheid? Jewish American apartheid? Armenian American apartheid? Or are you talking about apartheid outside the US.

            I think you need some help.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid

            “Under apartheid, the rights, associations, and movements of the majority inhabitants and other ethnic groups were curtailed and minority rule was maintained.”

            Jews make up 1.7% of the US population. Hispanics, 17%. Armenians, 0.25%.

            The US is a democracy. A constitutional republic if you want to split hairs. Ain’t no apartheid here.

            Your point seems…irrelevant.

            >So again I say: I assume you aren’t a Japanese who was alive back then.

            And I again say:

            You don’t need to have been Japanese to understand America’s precarious position in December 1941. In fact, I don’t see how that would help in the least. You simply need to be familiar with history.

          • Yourconscious

            You’re in college? Look up the term “structural violence” and rethink that statement.

          • Caterina Kachadoorian

            This situation was not even close to “structural violence”. The ASU intruded on a private frat party that was specifically targeting two pop culture icons. Maybe you shouldn’t use flawed circular reasoning to try to prove something that did not happen in this situation. I am not denying that there are instances of racism, but this party was not racist and claiming that it was is offensive to people who have been truly discriminated against. In this day and age there are few instances of structural violence. The only reason we hear about it so ‘often’ is due to the availability heuristic. Saying that this was an instance of racism and that racism is prevalent is equivalent to me saying ‘look at how many shark attacks have been reported’ when those were the only ones that happened. Those who have been actually racist have been punished, because there are laws that protect you from discrimination based on the color of your skin, your gender, your sexuality, etc.

          • Kira

            You’re not a racist. You are prejudiced–everyone is–but for a good reason. Even so, that doesn’t mean you’re right about the students being racist. They were definitely insensitive, and stupid (it’s a frat party, what did you expect), but do you think the African American community as a whole was deeply affected by people dressing up as Kanye West and acting like idiots? I can’t speak for the students’ behavior, as I wasn’t there, but their costumes seem targeted towards the celebrity’s style, not his race’s.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          “Most racism these days is from black people anyway.”

          Lol I always laugh when I read stuff like this.

        • Sabrina Hong

          This piece on this particular publication probably would not have been published without the immense outpouring of outrage expressed by people on campus and over social media. For whatever reason ;), it was published late, likely due to public pressure, but I suppose we’ll never really know. Maybe other news outlets are exploiting this circumstance, but people have pointed out that perhaps the Daily Bruin would have been content letting this lie, just like you probably would.

      • Patranus

        Netflix still has ‘White Chicks’ on its streaming service. I don’t see any comparable (faux) outrage over that. Will UCLA block access to Netflix over University networks?

  • robman012

    Yuck. This is so disgusting. Privileged white people just don’t get it, do they?

    • Jake Snow

      Only people that are privileged are racist blacks that are allowed to spread their hate and racism unchecked because of something that happened 200 years ago.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        We don’t have to go back 200 yrs ago. Why assume the only grievances are a result of slavery?

        • Jake Snow

          Because in the last 30-40 years blacks have held this country hostage with institutionally racist policies such has hate crime laws and affirmative action. They use quotas and socialism as a weapon against the rest of this country. This is why blacks in the last few years have marginalized themselves from the rest of the population.

          With the advent of new media and the internet crimes committed by blacks as well as false accusations of racism aren’t being tolerated anymore. We saw this when the lie about Michael brown being “murdered” with his “hands up” turned out to be 100% false.

          The race card is about to expire and the blacks in this country will have to start playing on a level playing field once their race privilege is gone.

  • hello

    The pics clearly show no blackface, and the girls in the last one have dirt on their faces because they clearly dressed for the western part of the theme. This is such obvious slander.

  • mrlis

    It’s inappropriate to dress up as Kim Kardasian? And Taylor Swift as well, that’s inappropriate? Dressing up as gold diggers during the gold rush is a race issue? I can support and get behind issues when facts and evidence are clearly presented but unfortunately that is not the case here.

  • Think

    There is no racism I see here…If the girls in the last picture with the black painted goatees wanted to emulate “blackface” they would have painted the rest of their face black as well instead of just around the facial hair area, don’t you agree? Also, the group of girls with charcoal SPOTTING their faces are emulating the gold rush, which is related to kanye west’s song gold digger. Why are you people so quick to accuse before getting the facts straight?

  • TrueBruin

    Jillian – as a fellow female student at UCLA I find it outrageous that you did not stop to think about the implications of what you have written regarding the pictured females’ bodies. By insinuating that all of the students that are pictured have “plumped lips” or butt pads when some do NOT, you are directly shaming their bodies. Further, you have taken pictures from private accounts and made them public based on accusations rather than fact. Disgraceful that this is how you choose to represent yourself and the Daily Bruin. Take a second to be socially conscious yourself and think about the damage that you have caused on the females pictured who didn’t do anything to alter their bodies. Shame on YOU.

  • Todd Lu

    It’s very easy to get caught up with individual actions by privileged people. I get it: there’s racism in UCLA, there’s immense classicism at UCLA; there’s gendered violence and patriarchy at UCLA; there’s homophobia and transphobia; there’s islamophobia as well. Oppression comes in many different forms, including microaggressions.

    My concern comes when progressive-minded students have a tendency to be all-too eager to rally and spend their energy onto these events as a cathartic mechanism rather than putting in the effort to organize and make constructive changes. I have been at UCLA for two years; I get the privilege and racism here. I have, for instance, been insulted by white fraternity boys who have attempted to speak broken Chinese-English to me. I hate it too. I have seen constant repetition of these events where the identity politics based outrage comes at the forefront whenever any high-profile actions occur. These students appeal to administrators to do something, who are happy to do so in order to save some public face and nurture their brand-name institutions. However, when we do share this link and post how we feel this event offends us, or how we dislike the language used about this event by the news media or the administrators, I ask myself are we seriously making any constructive effort to change the REAL material conditions that do cause the material INEQUALITIES of race, gender, among other identities? Is what we are doing effective?

    I do not think so. I don’t care so much about changing the hearts and minds of privileged people (and quite frankly, I feel this a poor strategic example to prop up if you want to “expose” racism on this campus, as most UCLA students are going to be more confused and polarized rather than convinced by the accusations). I care about changing policies and material conditions of the oppressed because I feel it is more worth my time.

    To expect most people to understand what we mean by racism, classicism, privilege, etc. is an academically elitism in of itself; it’s very easy to get caught up in forcing these as pre-requisites to organizing. However, you cannot engage people by calling them out in their wrongness. You engage people by working with those you can agree with on a strategic basis (on a campaign or issue that pushes for some sort of material change), and as a practical need introduce these concepts as effective means of organizing. Most people are more open to changing their behavior if they realize that it makes the campaign more effective in the LONG RUN. They become more politically conscious people. You and they change material conditions for the better, and everyone feels more empowered when you win.

    And to those who are not willing to work with you and to those who refuse to change their behavior, then ignore them and don’t waste your time or energy. Move onto someone else who is more open. Quite frankly, you do not need a lot of active people on your side to make constructive changes. Only a core group of people of really dedicated and diligent people are needed to make material changes. To those who are outraged by this issue, RETHINK whether just sharing this and saying your feelings is an effective response and try to organize in a way that makes real changes. To those who think this is not an outrage, understand that there are a lot of less privileged students, whether African Am., Latino/Latina, women, working class students, etc. who feel very strongly about their positions in society and who make acceptable points that there exists many material inequalities that ARE problems and DO exist (any cursory googling of statistical inequalities of men vs women, household income earnings by race, numbers/likelihood of sexual assualt, etc. should be convincing enough) but that these students, who are after all many young people who are bewildered by the complexities of these issues, may not be engaging in the most strategic way to bring about those changes that NEED to solve these inequalities or to change the hearts and minds of people who may not be as knowledgeable about these issues. There are more than feelings behind these accusations– there are real material inequalities that they are born into that they have no control over. Take the time to understand why some students feel this way rather than just brush them away as mere nonsense.

    • http://the-sky-belongs-to-no-one.tumblr.com/ Melarose

      Only well thought-out comment on the whole article. This isn’t a ‘right’ vs ‘wrong’ argument. It’s an internalized mechanism that we, as a society, have to come to terms with. I’m not sure this particular case is the best example to bring to light the many social issues on campuses nationally, but at least it points out that something needs to be done.

  • Tolerance

    Honestly I think they were just dressing up to impersonate and make fun of Kanye West, as an individual. He happens to be black, but they were dressing up to make fun of HIS style, not African Americans in general. People dress up like celebrities for costumes all the time. Consider this: If there was a Dolly Parton themed event where people stuffed their bras to make it look like they had huge boobs, I believe that no one would accuse them of targeting and degrading the white community. People dress up as celebrities all the time, and just because they draw black facial hair in the shape of Kanye West’s known facial hair, make their butts look big to channel his wife Kim Kardashian’s famous butt, and dress up like how Kanye West does does not mean they are targeting the African American community as a whole. I have no doubt that racism exists in our world today, which is a serious problem and saddens me so much. I understand that there are still many racist people in this world. But I honestly believe these people were not trying to make fun of the black community– they were just making fun of an individual celebrity and his style. I would imagine that they smart enough to know to not have an event that promotes racism. And it really is horrible that this innocent girl’s Instagram name was not even blurred out in the screenshot that was posted and is being shared all over the internet with accusations of racism attached to it. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t have all the facts. But from everything I’ve seen so far, these are my views. Just had to get that off my chest!

    • mrlis

      Stated perfectly

    • Filmore Bloom

      tl;dr

    • stirfry

      “no one in the Greek community here would even dare to hold an event that degrades or makes fun of a race” … lol!

      http://gawker.com/hey-maybe-frats-are-learning-about-how-to-not-throw-ra-1735419393

    • Roy

      I get what you’re trying to say, and I appreciate that you’re at being careful to avoid coming off as crass, but what I’ve learned over the last few years is that racism doesn’t usually come at us in an overt form, like in a Donald Sterling, or in officers shooting black kids. Racism usually looks something like this: a theoretically innocuous thing, but in reality is not. It looks like white kids like Miley Cyrus reappropriating all the cool parts of black culture, but turning a blind eye toward, or even flat-out denying, the real issues that black people have to face every day. In fact you noted this party is a part of a long pattern of white college kids behaving badly. It’s not hard to imagine why people might find that offensive.

      Unfortunately, identity politics is messy, but it’s also necessary! In any case, the clearest proxy is that people of color found it offensive. In 2015, I think that it’s long past due for us to start listening.

      • AnOski

        Kim Kardashian is white.

        • http://startriggercomic.com/ KingKaijuice

          Real late reply. Regardless if they are pop icons if they want to be involved in black culture, they need to be involved in it for reals. It’s like having a room-mate who is only around when things are fun. When there are dishes, trash and messes to be cleaned up, he leaves or pretends he had no idea there were messes about the home. That’s not someone you want to live with. And same thing with culture. It’s pretty awful to pick and choose the ‘cool’ parts, but when the realities of said culture kick in, you use a privilege to leave and ignore it, the originating culture does not have.

          I mean look at the native Americans. We use their symbols, their names, their concepts and their looks in many institutions of the American mainstream, yet these groups receive the least qualities of life, basic human rights, and facing large accounts of police bias and brutality, all while at the same time still trying to keep their cultures alive. While everyone else casually claims how much Navajo is in their blood to justify them getting a tattoo of a Navajo warrior. It’s all take and no give.

      • Jake Snow

        The only racism left in america is black racism. The racism that allows a thug to attempt to grab a cops gun after he robbed a store and be considered a “victim” or a kid that attacks a neighborhood watchman and smashes his head into the pavement repeatedly and gets shot.

        The real problem in America is the racism allowed by blacks against whites and Asians. There is a institutional racism that is allowed in the form of affirmative action and so-called hate crimes.

        There other racism is that black crimes go largely unreported. Violent rapes and murders of random people and seniors aren’t given any media attention and the only attention that is given are to young thugs who are treated as victims by liars who are never charged with obstruction of justice.

        • Roy

          Wow.

      • Bridger54

        Trying to date some black chick, huh? Really need to put down the I’m so wounded mantra.

      • Barryfromkenya

        You never see the other side, do you? There are countless examples, on video, of black people being explicitly and violently racist towards white people.

      • Barryfromkenya

        Twerking isn’t cool, you can keep it

      • j metaphor

        I think we should listen too. I would like to listen to a person invited to this event who was offended in some way by the spoof of two pretty goofy celebrities.
        Is all of this excitement just an excuse to blow off studying for mid-terms?
        P.S. For those of you that want to find something truly offensive to a culture, just take in any Tyler Perry movie this weekend. (and then study for your mid-terms).

    • Commonsense

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. It would be difficult to find another celebrity couple who was mocked and ridiculed throughout all forms of media than “Kimye”. Based on the photos, it’s a ridiculous stretch to consider this about race instead of what it obviously is – about an unusually high profile (of their own making) celebrity couple.

  • Filmore Bloom

    It’s fine, there are African-Americans in the third picture.

  • Filmore Bloom

    “…Afrikan Student Union…”

    They spelled African wrong.

    • Don

      actually, ASU is spelled with a “k.” I had to google that lol.

    • Monica

      ok wow that’s literally the original spelling

      • Troy King

        like the original dutch spelling?

  • TrueBruin

    Care to explain this “racist” Elle article, Jillian? Your ignorance is appalling. http://www.elle.com/fashion/news/a15155/meet-the-two-besties-who-dress-up-exactly-like-kim-kardashian-and-kanye-west/

  • nelks

    They used charcoal to make goatees. They padded their butts to look like Kardashians. Unless you have some pissed off Armenians this is racist in no way shape or form, and you are all despicable for perpetuating this race baiting society. This is coming from a guy who hates Sig Ep and would like to see them shut down, but the fact of the matter is they did nothing wrong.

  • Troy King

    I swear when I became an SJW I had no idea it would take up this much of my time. So many things to be outraged about, not sure I can “get it up” anymore. I want to be angry and shame these people for being insensitive, but its like a new one everyday. feeling exhausted. hopefully the other SJWs can handle this one. I need to take a self-care day.

  • J-Tjuan

    Lol, the fact that people take the time to plan a party and this is what they come up with? Racist or not, this was an extremely lame party lol. No intelligent minds were involved in the participation of this party lol.

    • mrlis

      Honestly, I find the last picture–taking Kanye’s song gold digger and using a play on words to create an inoffensive costume completely unrelated to kanye, blacks or racism–to be quite clever. Some intelligent minds were involved, I’d say.

  • justanotherfellowamerican

    More political correctness run amok. Liberalism is a massive FAIL of epic proportions. Evidence is in every aspect of life, easy to see, if you want…

    • AnOski

      This isn’t liberalism. This is BLM rubbish.

  • Funky Bunky

    Just shave your butt and walk backwards……THEN you look like the POS West!! Then you can rip a big one and sound like that moron!!

  • quotidian

    “and refrain from dressing up in ways he said culturally appropriated a subset of the UCLA community.”
    Whatever that means. The jargon these grievance collectors use is so dreary.

  • Shawn Kemp’s Cocaine Problem

    This is ridiculous.

    There is no blackface….Secondly, the theme isn’t poking fun at a culture of people….THEY ARE CELEBRITIES you overly PC losers.

    WAKE UP.

  • Kitkat22

    I’m Chinese, and I encountered plenty of racism growing up. We lived in neighborhoods that had very few Asians, so I always stuck out. I was made fun of by white people, Latinos, black people, etc., for how I looked, how I dressed, the food I ate, and the list goes on. So I know exactly how racism feels, and I hate it.

    From what seen in this article and the L.A. Times, there’s very little racism, if any. The most offensive thing would be to dress in blackface. I don’t see that in the photos they provided. They basically are dressing like Kanye and Kim, not like black people or Armenian people.

    To me, racism is generalizing about a certain race and putting them down. These students were specifically dressing like 2 famous personalities and poking fun and/or celebrating them.

    Also, just curious, has the Armenian Student Association said anything?

  • deldern

    This is ridiculous. Kimye are famous and, as such, are people that would legitimately provide a theme for a costume party. If you all think it was disrespectful it’s because Kanye and Kim themselves are disrespectful…and gross. They are famous precisely because of how ridiculous and hideous they look and behave. They are a talentless pair of freaks who have paraded themselves to the public in order to make MONEY! As such, they have no right to privacy or respect. Another one is Lena Dunham who likes to show the world her white Pillsbury doughboy rolls totally in the nude. She makes money off of making us vomit. If I decided to dress as Winston Churchill and wore a fat suit and made my head look bald with double chins, would you protest that under the guise of disrespect to a fat, bald old white man? I think not. Get over yourselves, black people. My husband and I are going to dress as Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings this Halloween and I’ll be damned if I let any of you stop me.

    • Sabrina Hong

      “Get over yourselves, black people.” LOL k.

  • OnlyTransplantsCallitLaLaLand

    I agree that they’re just mimicking specific celebrities, not black people in general.Girls dressed as Kardashians, padding their butts… The Kardashians are Armenian, not black.

  • Patranus

    Get back to me what UCLA blocks access to Netflix via University networks because of ‘White Chicks’ being in its streaming catalog.

  • Rahim Kurwa

    Why did the Daily Bruin choose not to use the term blackface? The LA Times used the term, because it is accurate to describe what happened. Using the proper terms is important as it places this behavior its in appropriate historical context. Blackface has been part of white racism towards Black people throughout American history. Not naming it is a journalistic failure and a disservice to your readers who need to understand what happened fully.

    • DittoPost

      Stop lying and saying people were there in blackface. Multiple photos do not show this. People aren’t buying it. Legit racist claims would be taken more seriously if you admit you’re wrong once in a while.

    • Jake Snow

      You’re lying, there was no black face and this is another hit piece by the black racists to attack people.

      Black racists have entire organizations dedicated to attacking whites, Latinos and Asians. The only legal racism allowed in this country is racism against whites by blacks. We see it all the time. Hundreds of whites are beaten and murdered by blacks every months but the media ignores this because the perpetrators are blacks. If they reported the facts about black violence against Americans there would be riots against blacks. 60% of rapes and murders are committed by 13% of the population.

  • Anya

    I think a lot of people are responding negatively to this article because the Daily Bruin did not include a photo of people with the “literal” blackface.
    However, there is indeed a photo that many other news outlets reporting on this have, of a group of 7 sorority girls dressed in overalls with charcoal (or more likely, black eyeshadow) smeared on their face.

    The act of putting black paint, charcoal, etc on one’s face has such a tragic and racist history. It’s disappointing that these people don’t understand that, probably have never cared to understand that, and no one told them.

    Nonetheless, including that specific photo shouldn’t be necessary. Echoing what someone else said, people need to understand why students feel this way. The greek system is inherently excluding to students of color x low income students. I could type pages on the microaggressive, racist things I witnessed by orgs during my time, but sadly too emotionally exhausted by this.

    • DittoPost

      So now black eyeshadow is racist? Blackface by definition is all over someone’s face, which you should know from studying history. Your last paragraph is the most important. You have antipathy for the Greek system as a whole. ASU felt the same way and went to this party with an agenda. When they didn’t find it, they went with the “racist” story anyway to get publicity and sow the seeds of racial division.

    • Kitkat22

      I saw that photo of the girls in overalls with “charcoal” on their faces. I thought it looked more like they worked in a coal mine (I’m guessing it relates to Kanye’s song, “Gold Digger”) than that they were trying to look like black people.

    • Jake Snow

      Because many black students use race and special privileges to get into schools.

      There is so much jealously in this country for successful people.

  • DittoPost

    The silver lining in this is that people are not buying into every racist claim anymore. White blacks etc are investigating each incident and not rushing to judgement. Tipping point anyone?

    • Jake Snow

      Well the black lives matter movement has made blacks more segregated as it shows their hypocrisy, dishonest and racism against the rest. I saw a poll a week or so ago that showed confident for police is at the highest it’s been in decades. The average informed person can see this for what it is. Political theater.

      The supreme court is also about to strike down affirmative action on college campuses. Blacks will now have to perform the the same standards as everyone else.

      There special privileges and race card days are almost over.

  • BillyDe ”°º×»-(¯`v´¯)-» ♥ ♥

    → → → → → What’s RACIST is that Blacks get into Harvard with 68% the test score as everyone else. BLACKS SHOULD BE ACCEPTED WITH 25% THE TEST SCORE AS EVERYONE ELSE. They are less than the rest of us and need to be accepted (NOT EXCEPTED) with lower standards throughout their lives. Amen.

    BLACK LIVES MATTER

  • Confused

    What if it was an Eminem themed party? Would that be racist against white people? Kayne West and the Kardashians are in the spotlight for now, they are popular and people like them. If an Asian kid dresses up as Kayne for Halloween because he likes his music, would he be racist? Or if a Hispanic girl dresses up as Kim Kardashian because she thinks she’s beautiful, would that make her racist. I see African Americans in the pictures participating are they omitted from being called racist because of their race or are they still considered racist against their own race? Where do we draw the line?

    • TrueBruin

      PREACH

  • DittoPost

    The main girl who first posted the false racism claim – Hanan Worku – has now taken down the picture from her FB that had been shared thousands of times. This shows that when people ask basic questions and defend people accused falsely, change can happen. She replaced it with a post saying “Even though there’s no pictures, it still happened. Trust me.” Oh well at least part of her brain woke up.

    • Jake Snow

      You can’t trust the black racists and white liberal social justice warriors. Time and time again they are show to be liars, just like when there is an accusation of so-called police brutality.

  • BenTheGuy

    None of those pictures show anyone in blackface. Was anyone really in blackface, or is this just people making up reasons to be offended?

    • AnotherBruin

      From everything I’ve seen and heard, no one was actually in blackface.

      My guess as to what happened, is that a group of students saw the girls dressed as coal miners with the black smudges/soot on their faces and just assumed it was blackface without getting a good view. Then once the allegation was made, the DB ran with the story in hopes of getting evidence. Turns out that it was actually a mistake on the accusers’ part, but the damage has been done. Now it has become an issue and people are finding reasons to still claim it was racist, regardless of the original reasoning.

      It’s a bummer because it seems like this was blown out of proportion when the ASU assumed the frat/sorority clearly had racist intentions. I’m sure neither side did anything to deescalate tensions when the accusation happened (if they even addressed each other about why they were upset).

  • lbmouse

    I’m so glad that we’ve fixed all of the serious problems with our society so that SJWs like this Kelsee Thomas have time to complain and moan about being offended about a party theme. /s Some people need to get a life and stop worrying about what other people do with theirs.

  • big5perm

    Wait, so the pictures above are not at all racist… They dressed up as people you stupid morons. No one is in black face. They are dressed as minors in reference to the song Gold Diggers by Kanye West. What a bunch of idiots.

  • Bridger54

    Is there a Gyn in the audience? some sand needs to be washed out

  • j metaphor

    And I understand they served burgers.
    PETA will be pi**ed!

  • evilbarbiedoll

    I was under the impression that Kim Kardashian is white. Is it also racist that apparently some of the people involved here padded their butts to look like her?

  • Oz Waheed

    Where is the proof of racism? I have yet to see photos of blackface. All I saw was a picture of a few girls with ashengray coal on their face who were dressed up as MINERS to spoof the song “Gold Digger.” Please provide tangible proof before alleging racism so quickly.
    @Cortez: This moron said black culture was the theme. I didn’t know Kanye West was the official representative of all black people in the world…

  • Jimmy Moron

    Learn to avoid the gr01d and it’s culture. Hopefully these fools learn that lesson.

  • ecfl

    Poor judgement – yes. But there is no story here without the false accusation of blackface. Reporters should be more careful on their sources. Just because someone says it doesn’t mean it’s true and also doesn’t mean you should report it. So much of reporting today is just quoting what people on the street say and then putting it headlines like it is fact.

    There are so much more important stories of racism embedded in society and unfortunately we focus on these easy, not factually correct, targets.