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  #16  
Old 10-09-2015, 12:22 PM
DTD Alum DTD Alum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby View Post
Oh, good another thread where white people make excuses for racist behavior.
Just out of curiosity...which costume was blackface, and which was racist? Of the ones we've seen surface, we've seen:

(1) Gold Diggers. It is a Kanye West song, and the girls dressed up as gold miners, with dirt smudged on their faces not because of race, but because they were dirty, panning for gold.
(2) A girl drew a goatee on her face, but did nothing to alter her skin color.
(3) One picture that has been floated as blackface appears to show two black students and a third with an artificial butt, but one that is clearly used to mock a specific celebrity (a white one at that) as opposed to a race.

Now if more pictures emerge (and I believe the UCLA association filing the complaint has alleged they will) then OK. We have a problem. Based just off the "offensive" photos that have been leaked, there is nothing that even remotely approaches blackface. Not even close.

Trust me, 95% of these articles cause me to bang my head on the desk because of the insensitivity and racism (or sexism, or whatever the case is). This one I think so far is grossly unfair to the men and women. They've been alleged of blackface, one of the most grossly insensitive acts out there, and yet not a shred of proof (thus far, I repeat) has been offered to prove that this actually happened. There is a very real violence of forcefully silencing the voices and actions of others. There is an equal violence of forcing voices and actions into people's lives that aren't actually there.

Point is, if these students are alleging blackface, there needs to be proof, that is how our system works. The burden of proof is on the accuser. There is absolutely none at this point.

And I repeat, if/when the additional photo that hold the proof of this racist action surfaces, obviously everything I've said is irrelevant.
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2015, 12:29 PM
DTD Alum DTD Alum is offline
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Originally Posted by joliebelle View Post
Yes, there were people in blackface
Allegedly. There are no photos of this act yet. The ones being claimed as blackface are either facial hair drawings, "gold diggers" with dirt on their faces (a Kanye West song, and they dressed up as 49ers instead of the stereotype), and in one bizarre case, a woman that in my eyes appears to be actually black.

Most headlines are reading "UCLA fraternity and sorority members dress up in blackface" (read: not just, "dressing up for an insensitive party" even though I think the costumes thus far shown were not culturally insensitive) when there isn't a shred of concrete proof this happened. Does this not seem grossly unfair to these men and women, at least until the alleged photographic proof does emerge?

ETA: And like I said in the post above, 95% of the time when articles emerge about GLOs being sexist, culturally insensitive, etc I find the fault entirely with the member/organization. This is a rare case where I feel we have jumped the gun without any proof whatsoever.
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2015, 01:01 PM
amillionlights amillionlights is offline
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Originally Posted by DTD Alum View Post
Allegedly. There are no photos of this act yet. The ones being claimed as blackface are either facial hair drawings, "gold diggers" with dirt on their faces (a Kanye West song, and they dressed up as 49ers instead of the stereotype), and in one bizarre case, a woman that in my eyes appears to be actually black.

Most headlines are reading "UCLA fraternity and sorority members dress up in blackface" (read: not just, "dressing up for an insensitive party" even though I think the costumes thus far shown were not culturally insensitive) when there isn't a shred of concrete proof this happened. Does this not seem grossly unfair to these men and women, at least until the alleged photographic proof does emerge?

ETA: And like I said in the post above, 95% of the time when articles emerge about GLOs being sexist, culturally insensitive, etc I find the fault entirely with the member/organization. This is a rare case where I feel we have jumped the gun without any proof whatsoever.
I think this is a case where maybe it wasn't technically blackface, but the historical context should have been enough to dissuade them from doing it. Maybe they were dressed like 49ers - but, you are still talking about a song by a Black man and rubbing charcoal on your face and calling it a literal gold digger costume is still a bit iffy in terms of sensitivity. Because blackface IS a thing, and has a history of being used to exploit, appropriate, and harm the black community, I think extra care and caution should be taken to make sure you don't do anything that could be perceived as blackface. And, unfortunately, that didn't happen here. So while I agree with you that it probably wasn't intentional, I don't think anyone can really say that it wasn't insensitive or that others don't have the right to be offended.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2015, 01:26 PM
DTD Alum DTD Alum is offline
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Originally Posted by amillionlights View Post
I think this is a case where maybe it wasn't technically blackface, but the historical context should have been enough to dissuade them from doing it. Maybe they were dressed like 49ers - but, you are still talking about a song by a Black man and rubbing charcoal on your face and calling it a literal gold digger costume is still a bit iffy in terms of sensitivity. Because blackface IS a thing, and has a history of being used to exploit, appropriate, and harm the black community, I think extra care and caution should be taken to make sure you don't do anything that could be perceived as blackface. And, unfortunately, that didn't happen here. So while I agree with you that it probably wasn't intentional, I don't think anyone can really say that it wasn't insensitive or that others don't have the right to be offended.
I completely understand that blackface is a thing that has had absolutely destructive effects over many, many generations. When sorority members wear black face to dress up like Lil Wayne, for example, I am all for harsh penalties. I simply disagree that the 49er/gold mining costumes are anywhere near that league, or even remotely the same thing.

Blackface is always offensive. If somebody wears blackface to a high tea or a wedding or a sports game or a "Woodstock" themed party, we know it's offensive. It has nothing to do with the situation, although certainly some situations may prompt it more than others.

The offense to a gold mining costume is purely situational, and in fact it seems like many do not understand the situation. The theme was "Kanye Western"...ie, Kanye West meets country western. From instagram posts, some interpreted that fairly literally (ie, Kanye/Taylor Swift couples) and some took it more figuratively, hence the Gold Digging which is a reference to a Kanye West song AND a country/western trope that people are very familiar with (especially in California, where I am from).

So, by your argument, if it was a strictly western themed party this would not be offensive, or if the song was sung by a white man it would not be offensive. I can see asking people to be extremely sensitive to anything that could be perceived as racist. But clearly the intentions were far, far, far from there, and frankly I think the extreme reaction IS out of proportion. Keep in mind that this may likely have permanent consequences for these girls, none of whom have been proven ever actually wore blackface.

Do you see how wearing something that could maybe be construed as blackface if, and onlf if, you look at it retroactively (ie, not that you look at the photo and assume blackface, but your argument of "Well if I've been told it is blackface, I can make a leap that the song was sung by a black man and so maybe that is why") is completely and wildly different than wearing blackface, and yet news outlets are reporting on these women as if they wore the real thing? Do you not think that will have tremendous impact on their future?

Their faces were not painted fully. It was charcoal smudged here and there. The costume completely makes sense (and in an inoffensive way) given the Western nature of the party and the Kanye West song title reference. NOBODY would look at that photo and jump to "blackface" if it were not being labeled as such. It is so absurdly not blackface. People can be offended if they want, but these reactions are also hurting real people and I think it is completely over the top.

Now, if and when these alleged blackface photos surface, I will change my tune. Based on the evidence I'm seeing, this is wildly unfair.

ETA: A non-blackface costume that I would, for example, think is worthy of protest is if they interpreted Gold Digging by dressing in a general manner (not a specific celebrity) that negatively disparaged ethnic stereotypes of a gold digging woman of a different race than theirs. Dressing up as a specific celebrity without altering your skin color, or the Gold Digging outfits in question, are not remotely based on race. They are based on specific people and/or high concept. The argument that they could maybeeeee be based on race (even if that is not the straightforward/simplest/Occam's Razor interpretation) is wildly different than "these are clearly based on race".

Last edited by DTD Alum; 10-09-2015 at 01:30 PM.
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  #20  
Old 10-09-2015, 04:16 PM
Kevin Kevin is online now
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This whole thing is absurd. Anyone who has the time to get butthurt about what we've seen come of this so far has entirely too much time on their hands.

Reading over this:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...008-story.html

And reading quotes like this:

Quote:
“The issue isn’t simply about putting on blackface,” she said. “It is also about the entire mockery of black culture.”
--especially in light of y'know.. the whole lack of blackface, is just absurd. Kanye West="black culture"? Are we really claiming that? Is every bit of music produced by a black person exclusively owned by "black culture" and only people of color are allowed to parody it without being pilloried? What in the damn hell. People have lost their minds. There are times to be outraged. This is not one of those times.
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Last edited by Kevin; 10-09-2015 at 04:19 PM.
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2015, 10:21 PM
NWguy NWguy is offline
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There's a point where certain causes and protests lose their focus, and also lose my support. The whole Black Matters protest interrupting Bernie Sanders is an example. The Occupy Wall Street thing is another.

Say what you want to say, then leave and go back to what you were doing.
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2015, 10:49 PM
Kevin Kevin is online now
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This is just a case of a bunch of 19-20 year olds looking for some bullcrap to get outraged about and then some grown "journalists" trying to turn it into page views. Nothing to see here.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2015, 01:51 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWguy View Post
There's a point where certain causes and protests lose their focus, and also lose my support. The whole Black Matters protest interrupting Bernie Sanders is an example. The Occupy Wall Street thing is another.

Say what you want to say, then leave and go back to what you were doing.
And how, exactly, were you "supporting" them previously?
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2015, 03:32 AM
BlueOwl BlueOwl is offline
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So, African American protestors are offended that some sorority men and women mocked pop culture (Not black culture, POP CULTURE) by dressing up as Kanye, Kim, Taylor, Golddiggers, etc. Proof of blackface has not been confirmed as of today.

Well, here's all sorts of interesting stuff that is readily available on line and in stores such as Party City, Spirit, Diddams and more:

Big black afro wigs, some come with comb attached
Inflatable boom box
Rapper Circle Beard (shown on black male model)
Li'l Gangsta Dreadlock Hat
Gold tooth Grillz, chains, giant diamond studs, etc.
Warrior Native American with Tomahawk and face paint
Hustlah Fedora Hat with giant feather
Super Mac Daddy Pimp costume (on Black male model).

I also read in an article about how to not dress in an offensive costume that one should never wear a large afro wig (sorry Party City) because most African Americans no longer wear afros. But, it is perfectly fine to wear long dreadlocks if your costume is Bob Marley, because that was his signature look! Ok, mixed message there.
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  #25  
Old 10-13-2015, 03:38 AM
BlueOwl BlueOwl is offline
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One more item I want to share. I read a news article online from last month. The United States Department of Agriculture is eliminating to use of the word "Midget" in reference to the smaller kind of RAISIN. These raisins will now be called "Small". The Little People of America petitioned for the change in an effort to raise awareness.

Gee, I sure hope those little raisins feel better now.

(Sorry my GC friends, please don't bawl me out. I couldn't resist)
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2015, 08:55 AM
Nanners52674 Nanners52674 is offline
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It's coal on their faces because they're pretending to be gold diggers. In this photo they have gold on the plates so it looks like they've been gold digging.

I agree with others that 95% of the time the theme is the problem. But I genuinely believe this one was blown way out of proportion.
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2015, 08:58 AM
Nanners52674 Nanners52674 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueOwl View Post
So, African American protestors are offended that some sorority men and women mocked pop culture (Not black culture, POP CULTURE) by dressing up as Kanye, Kim, Taylor, Golddiggers, etc. Proof of blackface has not been confirmed as of today.

Well, here's all sorts of interesting stuff that is readily available on line and in stores such as Party City, Spirit, Diddams and more:

Big black afro wigs, some come with comb attached
Inflatable boom box
Rapper Circle Beard (shown on black male model)
Li'l Gangsta Dreadlock Hat
Gold tooth Grillz, chains, giant diamond studs, etc.
Warrior Native American with Tomahawk and face paint
Hustlah Fedora Hat with giant feather
Super Mac Daddy Pimp costume (on Black male model).

I also read in an article about how to not dress in an offensive costume that one should never wear a large afro wig (sorry Party City) because most African Americans no longer wear afros. But, it is perfectly fine to wear long dreadlocks if your costume is Bob Marley, because that was his signature look! Ok, mixed message there.
Just because these costumes are for sale doesn't mean they aren't offensive.
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2015, 12:32 PM
Hartofsec Hartofsec is offline
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Oh good grief.

The charcoal smeared on the girls' faces was clearly not "blackface." This was a theme party parodying a couple of pop culture cartoons, whose fame is in large part (no pun intended) based on their cartoonish image. It seems to me that students who have ample backsides have more reason to be offended, but that wouldn't provoke protests, inflammatory headlines, or any attention from the admin.

Habitually-offended people and/or groups who seek to find offense (or stretch the facts to create a situation that doesn't exist) do a lot more to provoke eye-rolls than further the cause they claim to represent.

What the university needs to be concerned about now is the harassment and threats targeting students who attended the party.

And meanwhile at UCLA, the Bruin Leaders Project has dozens of service outreach projects in place that actually do put boots on the ground toward social change. These won't incite protests or sensational headlines, and involve a lot more commitment than bitching about being offended by a Greek theme party, but these will actually matter next month:

http://www.bruinleaders.ucla.edu/soc...nge/index.html
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  #29  
Old 10-14-2015, 02:42 PM
ChioLu ChioLu is offline
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Sig Ep and Alpha Phi are under social suspension (no social activities while UCLA is investigating).

2 Washington Post articles relating to this matter.

The last line in this article is my favorite:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...western-party/

This WP article is written by a UCLA Law grad. Too much law-speak for me to understand, but I think it states that the social suspension of both groups while the investigation is going on, is unconstitutional. (Kevin -- can you "translate"?)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...orority-party/
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  #30  
Old 10-14-2015, 04:50 PM
LAblondeGPhi's Avatar
LAblondeGPhi LAblondeGPhi is offline
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Originally Posted by ChioLu View Post

This WP article is written by a UCLA Law grad. Too much law-speak for me to understand, but I think it states that the social suspension of both groups while the investigation is going on, is unconstitutional. (Kevin -- can you "translate"?)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...orority-party/
Interesting. I read it to basically say that costumes are covered under free speech, and therefore any punishment for the costumes would be a violation of the first amendment.
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