School, NAACP will investigate 'gangsta' party

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CLEMSON, S.C. - Clemson University President James Barker on Tuesday decried a party where white students mocked black stereotypes by drinking malt liquor and at least one student dressed in black face.

Mr. Barker said in a letter to students and faculty members that the university was investigating. The NAACP also confirmed it was looking into the party and at least three other similar events held at universities throughout the country.

"I was appalled, angered and disappointed when I learned that a group of Clemson students participated in activities at an off-campus party that appeared to mock and disparage African-Americans," Mr. Barker said. "Many people have been offended and deeply hurt."

School officials said they became aware of the party over the weekend and have met with some of the offended students. The party, which students said had a "gangsta" theme, was held over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Pictures from the party were posted on the social networking Web site Facebook.com.

An unsigned letter from party organizers read to some offended students Monday apologized for "any disrespect we have caused." "We invited all races and types of peoples and never meant any racial harm," according to the letter, which was provided to The Associated Press by Gail DiSabatino, the university's vice president for student affairs.

"We want everyone to know how sorry we are, and that we are willing to do anything to make things right," the letter said.

Lonnie Randolph, the president of the South Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the party wasn't "just harmless fun."

"We once lynched African-Americans as good fun and humor," Mr. Randolph said. "We also execute them at a real high rate for fun and humor. We also don't educate them or pay them like we pay others in the community, and that's fun and humorous to a lot of people."

He confirmed that the national office was investigating similar parties held elsewhere.

Earlier this month, officials at Tarleton State University in Dallas investigated a similar party that featured fried chicken and fake gang apparel, and at the University of Connecticut School of Law, students who attended an off-campus "Bullets and Bubbly" party held fake machine guns and 40-ounce malt liquor bottles.

Ms. DiSabatino said members of Alpha Phi Alpha, a black fraternity, attended the large party but left. Bobby Clark, the fraternity's faculty sponsor, didn't want to speak about the party Tuesday, and a message left for the fraternity's president wasn't immediately returned.

Clemson officials said the school was investigating to see whether any students were harassed or whether there was underage drinking at the party.

The graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi, a black fraternity, planned a town hall meeting in Anderson on Tuesday afternoon.

"The thing that made this worst is that they tried to say it for Martin Luther King," said Jamison Simmons, a former president of the Omega Psi Phi undergraduate chapter. "On any other day, it still would have been bad, but to use King Day as the purpose behind it- that's terrible."

Mr. Barker said the issue could either divide or unite the school.

"I understand that many of the students involved in the party have come forward to apologize and reach out to those they have offended, and that is important and necessary. But more needs to be done," Mr. Barker said.

Mr. Randolph said he was concerned about "our future leaders of South Carolina."

"These aren't a bunch of hicks in the backwoods somewhere," he said.

Clemson has roughly 1,100 black students out of more than 17,000 undergraduates, according to the university's Web site.

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WhiskyDick
0
Points
WhiskyDick 01/31/07 - 05:22 am
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Let's see...an off-campus

Let's see...an off-campus party, not specifically associated with the school, held on private property. Tasteful or not, I do believe in this country folks are free to do as they choose under these circumstances. It's called Freedom of Speech.

bone
23
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bone 01/31/07 - 06:13 am
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Lonnie's comments were pretty

Lonnie's comments were pretty interesting. He managed to tie in some of the biggest responsibility issues facing African Americans (lack of education due to parental neglect; lack of high wage scale as a result of lack of education; and high rate of capital punishment as a result of low pay, low education, and poor impulse control) with this party incident and blame everything plaguing African American society on other races. I have a suggestion: since MLK, Jr. day is the catalyst for these incidents, we should not make this day a recognized holiday any longer.

saywhat
0
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saywhat 01/31/07 - 06:45 am
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As the grandchild of very

As the grandchild of very poor old South Georgia farmers from the early 1900's to middle 1900's I can remember the days of my childhood visiting down there, and my grandpa's, uncles', and cousins' only clothes were ragged shirts and overalls because that was simply all those hard working folk had. I am extremely offended by any person dressing in ragged clothes and overalls for any costume party,school sponsored tacky day or whathave you. I know they are doing that to make fun of poorer people that don't have much and they are ridiculing my ancestors. They don't know how that makes me "feel". I want the authorites of all schools across the nation to waste time and inappropriate funds to investigate any person or persons dressing as such for any reason, whether outside private party or scheduled school sponsored event. Clemson University authorities are showing extreme bias if they do not investigate any such offensive dress making fun of my relatives. I deserve equal treatment in the eyes of the law, don't I? If they don't they are guilty of insensitivity towards me and my people. I think the same can be said for the Native Americans. Congress needs to ban the sale of all little children's costumes sold in this country bearing any resemblance to Native American dress, ie the Indian look, those people might find that offensive. Particularly offensive might be a little white child in an Indian costume since the white man once used harsh measures in the take over of these people and their native land. Clemson has set a precedent for all persons that feel offended by anything that they must now live up to.

amazedbywhatiread
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amazedbywhatiread 01/31/07 - 07:22 am
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You've got to be kidding! I

You've got to be kidding! I went to a school that was 80% black and not once did anyone care about when white people were mocked. YES! It is amazing but other races mock us too! Only difference is we don't have a NAAWP to protect our thin skins. I have even heard black friends of mine that say the following "black folk act stupid sometimes" and "look how BLACK that n$&*# is". I sit back think WHAT???? Then I have heard black people say we can say n*%$# but you can't as if I want to say it. I don't go around saying "hey my cracker" to my white friends. Many black and whites gave their all during the civil rights movement so they wouldn't have to be called the Nword and yet here they are using it as a "friendly" greeting. MLK would be rolling over in his grave I am sure. I can bet there were many other races at the "gangsta" party mocking the stupidity of the whole gangsta movement yet who has to apologize. We need to look at the root of the problem. It is not a bunch of kids having fun but rather the break down of a culture that wants to blame someone else for their problems.

Truth1
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Truth1 01/31/07 - 08:12 am
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WHAT, you hit the nail on the

WHAT, you hit the nail on the head!!!! This generation is blaming everyone else for their mistakes. All races have made mistakes, it is the leasons you learn from those mistakes that matters.

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 01/31/07 - 08:21 am
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once again, instead of trying

once again, instead of trying to "repair" all races. how about african americans put that energy into improving themselves?
pointing the finger at other races for their shortcomings ...listen to the comments that go on in your backyard, on your porch or in your house? teach your children to respect themselves and others. it begins one person at a time.

dokken36055
0
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dokken36055 01/31/07 - 08:29 am
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It was a party off campus so

It was a party off campus so what it was a party maybe in bad taste but that is all ,Really some one ought to investigate the naacp since they are the biggest RACIST org in the country .And the last time i checked you still have the freedom of speech unless that has been taking away also .

saywhat
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saywhat 01/31/07 - 09:11 am
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Clemson University so called

Clemson University so called 'authorities' are the ones that need investigating here. Likewise offensive I am sure to animal rights activists are people that promote the mistreatment of animals. Using a 'tiger' as a mascot might promote the image that it is okay to capture an animal from the wild for your own purpose. I find offensive a person dressing in a Tiger costume and parading around at a football game. That is promoting that captivity of an animal that cannot be domesticated for your own nonnecessary use is okay. See how silly it can become? To say that a tax paid individual is investigating any off campus activity that in no way is breaking a law and simply involves a 'hurt' feeling is in itself a crime of misappropriation of governmental funds.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 01/31/07 - 09:15 am
0
0

This will continue to happen,

This will continue to happen, why, because all the (white students) have to do is apologize, Afterwards, the damage is done. But I do wonder if from that point will all those involved be labeled racist for the rest of their lives.

Why is it always the white students... I wouldn't be shocked if every white college across the nation take their turn.

Exactly why you need to keep praying.

smalltown
0
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smalltown 01/31/07 - 09:17 am
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n/a

NicoleKelly
7
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NicoleKelly 01/31/07 - 09:27 am
0
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I can't believe the

I can't believe the statements that I'm reading up above. You really don't think that is inappropriate behavior? I don't care about Freedom of Speech; this was completely insensitive to their classmate’s feelings. What makes them think that all black people act this way? I don't drink malt liquor or carry guns. This just goes to show how white people view us. It's really sad, because I didn't think this would happen in this day and age.

dreamcatcher
0
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dreamcatcher 01/31/07 - 09:36 am
0
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I am really offended by

I am really offended by Lonnie's comments. With all the education it is still a shame some "African"-Americans do not understand the struggle. You have to know where you came from to get where you are going. Somethings was not as giving in the early years of your ancestor/family life. They had to sneak and fight to get what you have today. And now you want to "mock" them and call it harmless. Some people can read, but just can't comprehend. Remember one thing: When you wake up, your Black(African-American), you go to work,your Black(African-American), When you die, your Black(African-American), regardless who, what, you hang around with or front with YOU are still going to be Black(African-American). Understand the struggle. You will get further.

djm
0
Points
djm 01/31/07 - 09:37 am
0
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Clemson students have had

Clemson students have had Indian and Pilgrim parties, hick parties, and yes, gangsta parties. Only one is investigated...why?

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 01/31/07 - 09:39 am
0
0

Get real guys.... it was just

Get real guys.... it was just a themed party. Gansta has become very popular over the years with the help of the media. They are no different than any other gansta wannabe except they just did it for a night and aren't trying to make it a lifestyle. Maybe the NAACP should be more concerned with the latter.

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 01/31/07 - 09:45 am
0
0

A themed party with black

A themed party with black face and people drinking forties.... Yeah, just harmless fun!!!!! I think all of you need a wake up call!!! This is completely insensitive. Black people aren't gangsta's

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 01/31/07 - 09:50 am
0
0

I think all the pre-dom white

I think all the pre-dom white colleges and universities need to go ahead and let their white students do their party, make the news, apologize and move on, that way ALL the white schools would have it out of their system. Maybe they should schedule a particular day across the nation and all the schools do it on that day.

feedup
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feedup 01/31/07 - 10:14 am
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I think is was distasteful.

I think is was distasteful. But we as African American have our self to blame. The media glorify gansta, our children watch it everyday, videos with gansta. Calling our black women b*&%^ and h$#@*. You would think parents wouldn't buy this garbage but they do. People ride around in thier cars blasting it. If we as Black American don't want other races mocking us, then we must stop doing it ourselves. I was wacthing a documentary on slaves and if you truly saw what they went through and had to endure, you wouldn't be so quick to call people nigers. That was the worst name a balck man/women could be called.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 01/31/07 - 10:28 am
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I woke up and found the

I woke up and found the National web sit for the KKK. I bet every penny I have that had they mocked Jews and the Holocaust, reaction would be a lot different. Hell had they mocked dogs it would have been a different reaction,

intheknow
16
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intheknow 01/31/07 - 10:29 am
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By the way all blacks do not

By the way all blacks do not say hey my N. Just shows how ignorant you are. @WHAT

cantwejustgetoverit
0
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cantwejustgetoverit 01/31/07 - 10:34 am
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Bravo FEEDUP! I have also

Bravo FEEDUP! I have also seen documentaries and read many books about slavery and the civil rights movement. To hear young black people today call each other n*&%s, b*&#^, and h##$s is beyond sad. I watched a comedy special featuring a black comedian and he must have used the N word every couple of seconds. The audience which was majority black laughed and giggled. To be a slave by Julius Lester is one of the most moving books I have ever read. It presents the struggles that slaves went through in raw detail. Where is the NAACP when it comes to black on black hatred.

cantwejustgetoverit
0
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cantwejustgetoverit 01/31/07 - 10:40 am
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INTHEKNOW shows how ignorant

INTHEKNOW shows how ignorant YOU are because no where in my statement did I say ALL black people say the N word. Maybe you need to read the whole statement and understand the context before you go shooting off your mouth. I know many black friends of mine who think the same way I do about how disrespectful that is to everyone. It is bad enough if a white person says it but to hear it come out of a black persons mouth when many blacks were murdered so they wouldn't have to be called that is just plain stupid. If you listen to or purchase ANY music with offensive words like that then you are NO better than the one saying it.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 01/31/07 - 10:41 am
0
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What do you have to get over?

What do you have to get over? Speak for yourself. I had never used the N word nor do the people I am around use it. At least in my present. Because someone else is ignorant does not give others permission to be just as ignorant.

smalltown
0
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smalltown 01/31/07 - 10:41 am
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n/a

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 01/31/07 - 10:46 am
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Before you shoot off your

Before you shoot off your mouth know what you are talking about> I come from the old school days of opening doors for the ladies, yes sir , and how are you doing. I do not watch B E T or M T V> I also listen to 96.3/ 96.9 and am 580. So cantwejust getoverit before you open YOUR ignorant mouth know what the "hotel" you are talking about.

kaytee
1
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kaytee 01/31/07 - 10:47 am
0
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i want to sue the next time a

i want to sue the next time a white person is mocked (portrayed as a dull dorky bookworm type) by somebody

kaytee
1
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kaytee 01/31/07 - 10:53 am
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We once lynched

We once lynched African-Americans as good fun and humor," Mr. Randolph said. "We also execute them at a real high rate for fun and humor. We also don't educate them or pay them like we pay others in the community, and that's fun and humorous to a lot of people." check this quote out....how racist is this? its funny how people tend to become what they hate. nobody was ever executed for fun......it was usually for commiting a crime.........nice over sight........ we don't educate them? yeah, the kids today would much rather be nasa engineers then rap singers.....and the pay? he thinks people aren't getting paid whats legal and fair? where is the court case for that? there's not one, just a baseless allegation

LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 01/31/07 - 11:00 am
0
0

what ever happened to

what ever happened to "imitation is the greatest form of flattery". political correctness is out of control and where has it gotten us. more divided.

cantwejustgetoverit
0
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cantwejustgetoverit 01/31/07 - 11:03 am
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INTHEDON"TKNOW you are

INTHEDON"TKNOW you are clueless. Just like the false generalization that all whites are racist, listen to country music, and chew on tobacco. You took a statement I made about WHY does anyone ESPECIALLY a person of color use the N word. NO ONE said you did yet you are crying like the old saying "the guilty dog barks first". Not once do I recall stating YOU said it or that ALL people of any color said it. I find the use of the word cracker to describe white people as offensive as I do the casual use of the N word by black, white, or polka dot people. Maybe you need to turn your dial to another station or go look up the lyrics to any of the "gangsta" songs that are out there that these YOUNG people (black AND white) today are listening to. I am offended by any race that would insult the memory of those that fought before them to end racism. I am not proud of KKK members NOR do I know any. I would not support ignorant whites that think we should use terms to degrade our race or any other race. Your a prime example of what is wrong with society. Ignorance and pride before knowledge.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 01/31/07 - 11:09 am
0
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No Matter what, we all know

No Matter what, we all know the next pre-dom white college this happens on will be in SHOCK, the president will be HURT, the Students accused will APOLOGIZE, it will make the MEDIA, folks will have this DISCUSSION AGAIN, and life will go on.

I still say let all the white pre-dom colleges and universities have their party across the nation so it can be out of their system and off their campus.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 01/31/07 - 11:20 am
0
0

I will not lower my I.Q. for

I will not lower my I.Q. for you cantwejustgetoverit. I will pay you $1000.00 if you can show me one word I said about whites and country music. By the way. Just to name a few, I love Kenny Rogers, R.E.O., Bob Segar and Journey. So just you get over trying to read me. YOU DON'T KNOW ME.

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