Oh. This again, huh? I thought we went over this roughly 1,000 times already. If you and your friends are going to dress up as people from a different country and you aren’t the same color as those people, then you’re racist pieces of shit and prove that all fraternities and sororities are full of evil, horrible people.
For the love of God, if you do feel the need to dress up as another nationality or race in a way that might offend people, don’t post those pictures on any social media platform.
Unfortunately for us Greeks, Columbia University’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter did not heed my advice, and now they’re taking some heat for having a little dress-up fun for their Beer Olympics. What exactly did they do that was so offensive? Take a look, via Columbia-centric blog, Bwog:
My God. Normally I don’t get too upset over stuff like this, but even I’m disgusted at what I see. In case you aren’t as racially sensitive as I am, let me explain what you’re looking at. The above photo depicts a group of Thetas dressed as “Team Netherlands.” They’re dressed in Dutch colors and are wearing what they believe are accurate cultural representations of the Netherlands. Now look to the far right. There, smiling, as if she’s LAUGHING IN OUR FACES, is an ASIAN girl dressed as WHITE EUROPEAN. The gall! The audacity! I’m going to be fucking sick. You don’t know us! You don’t know our culture! How DARE you?! The Dutch are a proud people, and to have a person who doesn’t look the same as the Dutch traditionally do dressed in an oversimplification of their culture shits on the nation’s ENTIRE legacy!
Oh, wait, I’m told this picture is not what has people at Columbia University upset. Nor are the photos at the top of the page, picturing Team France and the Jamaican Bobsled Team, causing a stir. Apparently it’s the pictures of Team Japan and Team Mexico that have everyone concerned.
Just completely offensive. An entire nation marginalized and disgraced by a few 20-year-olds. It’s shameful to see, because if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that when actual Mexicans celebrate their culture and their nation during sporting competitions, they certainly don’t do anything to “caricaturize Mexican culture,” as Columbia University’s Chicano Caucus Executive Board put it in a statement responding to the Theta photos. Nope, native Mexicans would never make their culture out to look cartoonish, and there certainly isn’t an absurd amount of photographic evidence one may find when Google image searching “Mexican Soccer Fan.” Ahem…
Nor, of course, do the Japanese represent themselves at sporting events in a caricaturized manner.
All in all, I’d say the Thetas did a pretty fantastic job of accurately representing these countries, at least in terms of what they look like when celebrating sporting events. The Thetas were dressed for the Beer Olympics, after all. But whatever, fuck photographic proof to the contrary. It’s all inaccurate and racist. Except for the Asian girl dressed like a white European citizen. That’s cool.*
*Ed. Note: It actually is cool, because seriously, who gives a shit?
The Thetas have already apologized to everyone who will listen. So has Columbia’s Panhel president, too.
Bwog, Columbia University’s student blog, just threw up a post wondering whether or not Columbia University’s Chicano Caucus should worry about how they represent their own culture before questioning how others do so.
Chicano Caucus also participated in Glass House Rocks on Valentine’s Day, where they provided students who stopped by with cutout posters to pose in. One of the two portraits provided to other students features a sombrero and a built-in large mustache.
While the actions aren’t equivalent and the group has the right to do whatever it wants with its culture, we can’t help but think that Chicano Caucus may have been perpetuating “the stereotype of the sombrero-wearing Mexican-American migrant worker” with this one.
Here are the pictures from the event:
That is some delicious irony.