Dartmouth Sorority Succumbs To Protestors, Cancels Annual Kentucky Derby Theme Party

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Kappa Delta Epsilon at Dartmouth University has hosted a Kentucky Themed party every year for as long as I can remember. It’s a pretty good theme. It allows girls to dress like they’re going to the track without actually traveling to the event (although everyone should make the trip at some point) and it allows guys to drink all the Mint Juleps.

Until last year, that is, when “black lives matter” protestors stood outside the party last year and chanted that they are part of the problem. Well, that protest was enough to spark change for KDE. On Tuesday night, the sorority voted heavily in favor of changing the theme to Woodstock because Kentucky Derby was thought to be racist and elitist (these kids go to one of the most expensive schools in the country, by the way).

From The Dartmouth:

KDE vice president Nikol Oydanich ’17 said that after speaking to last year’s protestors as well as individuals in the Afro-American Society, the sorority wanted to change the theme because of its racial connotations.

“[It is] related to pre-war southern culture,” she said. “Derby was a party that had the power to upset a lot of our classmates.”

How can a Kentucky Derby-themed party be associated with pre-war southern culture? The Kentucky Derby wasn’t run until 10 years after the Civil War. In fact, the Derby came about when Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. traveled to England in 1872 and watched their famous Derby and thought, “Hey that’s a great idea. America should do it. Only better.” So the Derby was born in 1875, where blacks dominated the jockey game until being banned from tracks in 1904.

With this new information, I hope Kappa Delta Epsilon will listen to my generous offer: $1,000 to still throw the party anyway (photo and video proof needed). Think about it, get back to me, and make the right decision.

[via The Dartmouth]

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