Racist Allegations Fly After Hopkins Costume Party October 31, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, Black, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Racism, Racist.
A fraternity at John’s Hopkins University has been suspended by the school and its national governing body for throwing a weekend Halloween party that some are calling racist.
Before the party, the chapter of Sigma Chi put out e-mails urging students to attend what it called “Halloween In The Hood,” and reminding them to wear the most “dispicable” costumes.
Some partygoers said they saw a costume that resembled a slave and others that were stereotypical, depicting african americans wearing a lot of jewelry and sagging their pants low.
What may have been the most controversial prop at the party was a dark-haired stuffed skeleton hanging from a noose outside the frat house.
“If you know your black history, black folk were hung, so you can’t tell us that that’s not meaningful to us,” said Black Student Union Advisor Deborah Savage.
School president Bill Brody called the fraternity’s party “inexcusable.”
School spokesman Dennis O’Shea said, “We’re just appalled. This is not the type of thing which should be going on in a University community.”
School officials also say a University advisor talked to frat members before the party and told them not to go through with it.
On Sunday, three members of the frat went to a Black Student Union meeting, where Union members say they tried to defend the party.
“They claimed they didn’t understand why we were upset, why it was offensive,” said Black Student Union member Chrisina Chapman.
As student and faculty protesters lined the streets of the Hopkins campus Monday, University officials called an emergency school-wide meeting to address the issue.
Sigma Chi’s regional supervisor, John Miller, said he fully supports an investigation into the party.
“I support and I know the general fraternity supports getting to the bottom of this,” said Miller. “I believe there is a larger issue at this University.”
African american freshman Justin Jones said, “There is this current of, not necessarily that we’re not welcome, but that we’re here on false pretenses.”
In addition to the meeting, Hopkins officials sent out a letter about the incident to the school community. To read the full letter Click Here.
The frat was not only suspended by Hopkins but also by its governing body in Illinois. Officials are also considering whether to disband the Hopkins chapter of the frat altogether.
As University officials continue their questioning they say they have not yet set a timetable for their investigations.