Why are some fraternity brothers and sorority sisters obsessed with throwing racist shindigs and then compulsively photographing them so everyone on the internet can see how ignorant they are? It truly boggles the mind, but it's happened yet again, this time at — shocker — Duke University, an institute of higher learning that has notoriously low standards when it comes to offensive theme parties.
The esteemed fraternity brothers of Duke's Kappa Sigma Fraternity recently sent out an email invite for their annual "Kappa Sigma Asia Prime" party that included multiple misspellings — because LOL AZN ACCENTS LOL — and a meme based on the Kim Jong Il character in the film "Team America: World Police."
"Herro Nice Duke Peopre," it read. "We look forward to having Mi, Yu, You, and Yo Friends over for some sake." The email concluded with a "chank you," because Kappa Sigma bros are nothing if not polite.
The Center for Multicultural Affairs heard about the party — major bummer, dudes!! — so Kappa Sigma cleverly noted that "our fore brothers' secrets of the far east have not survived the move back onto campus" (the frat used to operate off-campus) and that the party would now be called "International Relations. A celebration of all cultures and the diversity of Duke." Good one, guys! We see what you did there and your post-racist attitude is truly inspiring.
Despite the title change, the event went on as planned and was attended by lots of (non-Asian) students in straw hats donning peace signs and the like. In response, incensed students plastered the campus yesterday with fliers made from Facebook photos and the original email invite, so that the entire campus would know about what they deemed a "#racistrager."
"This is not just about Asians, one party or one frat," senior Ashley Tsai told the Duke Chronicle. "This is a consistent thing happening. We want serious things to be done by the student body and the University so that this never happens again."
In response to the fliers — which angered some students who felt that it wasn't right to show the faces of attendees who only participated in but didn't host the racist event — Kappa Sigma President Luke Keohane sent an email apologizing for their actions and for the party.
"Upon learning of the deeply damaging effects of our email to our fellow students, we should have completely canceled the aforementioned party," the email read. "The Duke Community in which we exist is one that we see too often as divided, and while our actions have brought attention to and widened that divide, it is our sincere intention to work to contribute to a United Duke."
Sorry, that won't fly. The frat brothers attend one of the most elite students in the country and they should be expected to understand the very basic concept of cultural appropriation. That's putting it nicely, actually, because most children and small animals would be able to predict the party's "deeply damaging effects" (i.e. PR fiasco).
Perhaps national Greek Life leaders should take a pathetic page out of the GOP's book and teach their brethren to stop being so publicly racist (here's just one example; it's hard to keep track) just as Republicans are now training politicians to shut up about rape.