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Bad Taste? Racism? Or Stupidity? You be the judge

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The University of Tennessee <a href="http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/local_news/article/0,1406,KNS_347_1514087,00.html">suspended the Kappa Sigma fraternity</a> due to the fact that a group of their members dressed up in blackface as the Jackson 5 and walked in public to a party.

    African American students have complained and the fraternity's national chapter has chosen to also suspend them. National may or may not reinstate them as a chapter in the future.

    Granted, this was probably in bad taste and not the smartest choice of costumes. But, was it a hostile, racist act? I can't help wondering if the Kappa Sigma brothers chose these costumes malisciously (the fraternity was not available for comment according to the article), or were just plain stupid?

    Meanwhile, a seventeen year old student at Marana High School in Tucson, AZ spent Halloween in the juvenile lockup after appearing at school dressed as a masked terrorist. <a href="http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/local/11_1_02halloween_prank.html">Luis Soto jumped onto a table in the cafeteria on Halloween and waved around a gun</a>, threatening to kill students. Students were not aware Soto's actions were a prank.
  2. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    While the Jackson 5 routine was in bad taste, I don't think it should have been taken seriously. That is, unless the 5 were acting racist while wearing their costumes. I don't feel it's bad for anyone to dress up as anyone else for Halloween unless they are acting like a butt head like the jerk in the second part of your post.
  3. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    Poor taste and awful judgement, but I suspect alcohol was involved, so I am not surprised.
  4. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    The guy acting as a terrorist was lucky he didn't get shot. The others doing the J5 thing were silly but probably not intending any harm. Naive of them to think it was approprite behaviour in these days of racial sensitivites.
  5. DSL Dan

    DSL Dan Registered User

    Violet, I think I get your drift, so don't take offense here.

    1) Why is it in bad taste to paint your face black if you are going as one of the Jackson Five? As a Caucasian, how am I supposed to go as one, or is that "costume" off limits to me because the mere sight of it can be manipulated by troublemakers into an "issue"?

    2) How does one act racist? Do you mean acting out negative stereotypical behavior, in which case I agree with you?
  6. immortal one

    immortal one 501st Geronimo

    Is there no end to the trivial things people will find to whine and bitch about?

    If these whiners would only take look around, I'm quite certain they could find more important things to be concerned with than some frat bros dressing up for a Halloween party.

    The world I live in has more important concerns and priorities...I'm not so sure about those whiners though.
  7. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    That's what I would think would be cause for kicking out individual members; if was just a costume, they deserve the benefit of doubt that it was just bad judgement.

    This disturbs me even more though:

    Does this not border on restriction of freedom of speech/expression for the students? Could a student not intentionally paint his face black and stand on the corner of Cumberland Ave. (a public street near UT, which evidently is where the students were headed to the party at) and spout whatever he wanted without fear of discipline by the University? If not, then will the University monitor all speech by its students while off-campus and discipline those not in alignment with its acceptable views? If I were the students, I'm not sure I would be willing to accept any type of academic probation or suspension over this incident.
  8. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    I think the only things in poor taste were the whining and the suspension of the fraternity. Saturday Night Live pushes the envelope a lot farther than that. It's stuff like this that makes my head feel like it's going to implode. If we can't laugh at ourselves and laugh at others poking fun at us then cancel the shitstorm...it's probably redundant.
  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Bravo, IO, I totally agree with this and everyone else's opinion.

    The terrorist was a bit much, stupidity leads to dangerous things.

    But the J5 get up? So, when someone dresses up as Martha Stewart behind bars we can assume that they are against white and women, or both?
  10. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Those students who dressed up as the J5 should be put in jail. For stupidity! They actually believed this country was finally getting blind to race and you could do as you like because everybody was mature enough to know when something is meant in jest or harm. Shame on them. /sarcasm
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL! Good point!
  12. pupowski

    pupowski Banned

    I agree with you about the Jackson 5 Coot, but I think the terrorist routine was a criminal act, like shouting "Fire" in a crowded theatre when there is none.
  13. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    And an excellent post IO!
  14. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    There's a difference between dressing up as a black celebrity and going in 'blackface'. If black students felt offended, they've got every right to. I don't know if these kids deserved to be suspended, they do deserve a good ass kicking, though, for being idiots.
  15. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Help me out here. You and your friends who are white want to dress up and immitate the Jackson Five simply because of who celebrity wise they are or were. But the Jackson Five are black. Now how can you immitate or get across that you are representing the Jackson Five in your costume and make up without doing somthing do look black and not white?

    I am asking a serious legitimate question and not trying to be a wise ass.
  16. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    What if a member of a Black Fraternity decided he wanted to dress up as Brad Pitt for halloween and painted his face white? Would there be this same type of outrage?

    Probably not.
  17. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Good point, Gregg.
  18. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    So, if I wanted to dress up as a Geisha girl for Holloween, I can't put on white makeup and black eyeliner ? I thought the whole point of costumes was to pretend to be what you're not in some way.
    Year before last Halloween, I wore a gorilla suit to work with a pith hat and Hawaiin shirt. Who was I offending, the gorillas or the Hawaiians?
  19. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Wow, Sharon, digging out seriously ancient threads!
  20. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    The guy who went as Michael Jackson should have put on pancake makeup (isn't that what that really white stuff is called?) instead of blackface.  Oh wait, Jackson 5, not today, never mind.  ;)

    Hey mikeky, many universities have "speech codes" that trample all over the First Amendment.  I don't know if there have been any court challenges, but college students get in trouble frequently for saying and doing the politically incorrect thing.

    Sharon, Koko was very upset with that Halloween costume. :)


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