Is this actually racist?

Are we now sanctioning groups on their perceived intentions rather than their actual actions?

I mean, just because a couple of fraternities have a hip-hop themed party and say to bring your bling and inner thug, doesn’t mean that it’s deliberately mocking anyone or being racist. And the image on the flyer is an album cover from a rap album, not something the frats ginned up to deliberately be offensive.

I agree with the comment in the comments section that essentially said that it’s not any different than if say… the Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi chapters at TSU decided to have a country and western themed party, had a goofy old Porter Waggoner album cover on the flyer, and suggested that you wear your boots and redneck it up. After all, TSU is a historically black university, and SMU is about as close to a historically white university as there is ever likely to be.

It seems like it’s an overreaction to me; I don’t really see what’s wrong with a hip-hop themed party, and I’m not sure how you’d going to do it without some trappings of the hip-hop lifestyle. And it seems overly sensitive to claim that someone wearing those trappings who isn’t black is a de-facto racist.

Yes, SMU is being racist in reaction to some racists complaining about a fraternity acting in a way that would likely raise those complaints of racism from other racists.


What’s not to understand? Racism is at the heart of the matter. The fraternity decides to hold a party that they say is simply based on popular culture role playing, but demonstrating they are blind to the problems of racism in society and how they manifest. Someone complains calling the theme of the party racist without considering how they contribute to the racism by appropriating culture on the basis of ‘race’. The school reacts by accepting the claim of racism in the theme without addressing the underlying issue of racism that pollutes our environment. As long as we maintain the pretense of ‘race’ and bolster by creating ‘race’ rules instead of disabusing people of the notion of ‘race’ to begin with we will continue to breed racism and give racists justification for their beliefs.

Everything is racists, but I don’t give a damn as long as you don’t go appropriating any of my heritage Viking themed stuff.

If you have to ask “is this racist” the wise money is on “yes, it is.”

Like the horn helmets your ancestors didn’t wear?


If we didn’t live in a country with a blackface tradition, a tradition of white people pretending to be black in order to make fun of black people by engaging in stereotypes, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem. But this invitation asks viewers to equate hiphop with dark skin with thuggery. Can you seriously not see the problem with that?

They did wear them. Just earlier, in the bronze age.

Not horns, but pretty close. Where is that picture from?

I think the Viking horn misunderstanding came about when these helmets were first uncovered and mistakenly thought to be from the Viking era. Later it was determined that they were a couple of thousand years earlier. The pictures are from the Danish National Museeum.

Surely something can be racist without evil intent?

I agree as well, that hypothetical seems comparable. And I certainly think it racist as well. Why wouldn’t it be?

On the one hand, I’m inclined to celebrate anything that results in less hip-hop “music” being played.

On the other hand, this complaint is ridiculous. It’s a party with a a theme. In a party with a theme, people dress up as and act out the stereotypes of whatever group is designated to be the theme. If using stereotypes were wrong, then all theme parties would have to go. There is nothing wrong with stereotype per se, though obviously certain particular stereotypes can be harmful.

In the end, anyone who doesn’t like a particular hip-hop party is free to not attend that party.

Damn, there goes my SCA garb…

No, looks like they were sanctioned for their* actual action* of posting a pretty boneheaded flyer…

If it wasn’t for the rest of the OP, I’d swear this line was parody.

Of course it’s deliberately mocking and racist to boot.

You seriously don’t understand the difference between that black rapper using his own image on his album, and a bunch of privileged college Jew-bros doing same?

Yeah, rednecks and their long sad history of slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow, inequitable incarceration and police brutality. Totally “not any different”.

It’s not racist. It’s in poor taste. Fraternities are (not unreasonably) held to a standard that most campus organizations - or most voluntary organizations in general - are not.


The only thing that tilts this towards racist is using the word “thug”. Eliminate it, and it’s just a hip-hop theme party. If hip-hop is a legit style, then it’s going to get copied. If you don’t like that, start a new style.

Jew-bros at Southern Methodist University?? INCONCEIVABLE!!

They may be privileged but they ain’t likely to be “Jew-bros”. The Jewish population of Dallas is about 5.

It’s a (predominantly) Jewish fraternity.

This especially.
If they all came dressed as Eminem, P-Diddy, Pitbull, Jay-Z or Will Smith, then it would probably be alright. But I imagine that this will be the opportunity for them to go full idiot bling with gold ropes, pimp outfits, fake locks and “grills” galore. How many will be in blackface? Who will come dressed as Michael Brown with bloody bullet holes? How many of them will cross the line into watermelon eatin coon dancing?
This could’ve been a great lesson for the University by admonishing “alright guys, have your party but let’s not be offensive” and maybe, just maybe they would’ve been able to take all of this into consideration and really had a fun party with a hip-hop performance, all or mostly Hip-Hop music and maybe even some black friends without devolvement into offensiveness. There are several ways to do it right. And at some point, you’ve gotta let kids reap the consequences of their actions. After all, they’re all Americans right? they’ve had history classes and stuff right?
…wait this is Texas…hmmm