Halloween usually brings out the freaks and scantily clad women–whom we can also label freaks. Who knew it brought out the racists too? University of Florida students attended a party last week in blackface and posted photos, which of course, went viral. The frat students from Beta Theta Pi attended a party with the theme, “Rock Stars & Rappers.” The frat’s president, Ethan McMahon knew the students attended in blackface and was disappointed.
The NAACP-UF posted the photo on their Facebook page, which warranted hundreds of comments and people shared photos of others in blackface that they’ve seen at various festive Halloween parties. A senior at University of Florida told the Orlando Sentinel said, “We are outraged about it. Students should know that this is wrong.”
Beta Theta Pi’s president told The Independent Florida Alligator, “While their actions were not intended with any malice or ill will to any members of our community, clearly they were offensive, and we accept full responsibility accordingly.”
I was going to play Devil’s Advocate with this blackface issue, but these kids should know better. Miley Cyrus was Nicki Minaj for Halloween and had the sense not to paint herself black. I can’t tell you how many costumes that are of the Caucasian persuasion that people color choose to dress up in for Halloween without painting themselves white.
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Whatever point these students were trying to make with their costumes got lost in the sticky web that is racism. I understand that not every issue has to be racial, but this goes beyond blackface. A comment from the NAACP-UF page said it best, “the fact that this is seen as acceptable is where the problem lies.” I agree. None of these students friends told them that this wasn’t the brightest of ideas? No one at the party told them they needed to think twice? I’m disappointed in the fact that, as a nation, we’ve come so far–black president and all–but we’re still so far from racial equality and sensitivity.
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