A UCLA fraternity and sorority are under fire for having thrown a “Kanye Western”-themed frat party on Tuesday.
The frat students had reportedly dressed in baggy outfits and donned ‘blackface’ makeup and pad bottoms to imitate Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Many UCLA students, especially members of UCLA’s Afrikan Student Union (ASU), were offended that white students would dress up as Kim and Kanye and demanded that the university respond to the alleged racism.
“It’s not about the face paint. It’s about the mockery of our people,” Janay Williams, chairperson of the Afrikan Student Union, proclaimed at an ASU dinner. “The issue here is racism and we need act now to do something about it.”
Ree Botts, a UCLA graduate student at the event, was offended that white students she did not get to hang out with had the audacity to dress like a black rapper she did not get to hang out with either. She cried, “You want to dress like me but you don’t want to speak to me.”
In an article, a member of the ASU boasted of ‘breaking up’ the party in a ‘face-off’ with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority Tuesday night and reporting the party-goers to campus authorities. In addition, the ASU held a #BlackBruinsMatter action rally today in front of UCLA’s Bruin Bear, featuring students wearing all black in response to the "racial incident."
“If I see any blackface ever just know imma snatch your head back and viscously wipe it off myself.”
An overwhelming number of UCLA students and #BlackLivesMatter activists took to expressing their ‘disgust’ on social media.
One activist even resorted to violent threats, tweeting, “If I see any blackface ever just know imma snatch your head back and viscously wipe it off myself.”
After a reporter for The Daily Wire had retweeted one of her posts, Katt responded, “Lol who the fuck are you??? I’m flattered though that you took time out to personally search for me. Bye now.”
Phil Hampton, Director of Media Relations at UCLA, emailed the following statement to The Daily Wire:
We are concerned about these allegations and earnestly working to gather information about what occurred, talking to all those involved. While we do not yet have all the facts, the alleged behavior is inconsistent with good judgment as well as our principles of community. We remind students that while they are free to celebrate in ways that draw on popular culture, their specific choices can cause harm and pain to fellow members of their community. Put simply: Just because you can do something does not mean you should.
UCLA’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity posted an apology note on their Facebook page, saying that the party was simply “intended to celebrate pop culture.”
The fraternity then knocked down some rumors that had been spreading that their party guests had attended wearing "blackface."
“Some of our guests attended the event dressed as miners in reference to the Kanye West song “Gold Digger,” but their attire had nothing to do with race,” they said.