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As an old Sesame Street song’s lyrics go, “One of these kids is doing his own thing”. The Huffington Post is reporting that Lambda Theta Delta, a fraternity, at UC Irvine, has created and posted a video of 4 frat brothers dancing to Justin Timberlake’s song “Suit And Tie”. Why is this news? Well, because one of the guys in the video is in blackface.

Thomas Parham, UC Irvine’s vice chancellor for student affairs says;

“We are dismayed to see what I think is insensitive in a video parody that was made by these individuals,”

The Lambda Theta Delta Chapter released a statement;

“The use of black face in the video is incredibly offensive as well as insensitive. This behavior is simply unacceptable and the individuals responsible for the video have already been reprimanded within the organization prior to the public outcry to which this formal apology is responding. We want to ensure everyone that this video does not represent the views of the collective house. With that being said it does acknowledge the fact that we have some ignorant individuals within our organization, whom we have already dealt with ourselves.”

There are going to be those who do not understand the depth of the hurt that this particular act brings upon the African American community. Poo Pooing this as some sort of college prank gone wrong, or just a little stupid thing some college guys did as a fraternity joke, does not allow for the recognition of the very real feelings that African American students on that campus may have to endure while sitting in classes with or even teaching the offending students. Just because it’s not a big deal to them or to those outside of the minority group, does not mean it doesn’t mean a great deal to those black and brown peoples within it.

The history is real and it’s well documented. So, we suggest that the people who don’t get it, do the research, maybe then it will become clear to them as to why this is  just not funny. And that’s no joke.


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UC Irvine Fraternity Does Video For “Suit And Tie” In Blackface  was originally published on