White students cross racial lines with 'gangsta' parties

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CHARLESTON, S.C. - White students at Tarleton State University in Texas hold a party in which they dress in gang gear and drink malt liquor from paper bags. A white Clemson University student attends a bash in blackface over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. A fraternity at Johns Hopkins University invites partygoers to wear "bling bling" grills, or shiny metal caps on their teeth.

Clemson University student Raniece McDonald (left) talks about the insensitivity shown during a party that mocked black people, during a community forum Tuesday in Anderson, S.C.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Clemson University student Raniece McDonald (left) talks about the insensitivity shown during a party that mocked black people, during a community forum Tuesday in Anderson, S.C.

"Gangsta" theme parties thrown by whites are drawing the ire of college officials and heated complaints from black and white students who say the antics conjure the worst racial stereotypes.

University officials, the NAACP and others have condemned the parties as insulting and inexcusable under any circumstances. At the same time, some black academics said they are not surprised, given the popularity of rap music among inner-city blacks and well-to-do suburban whites alike.

The white students, they said, were mimicking the kind of outlaw posturing that blacks engage in in rap videos. They suggest the white students ended up crossing the same line that says it is OK for blacks to use words considered racial slurs, but not all right for whites to do it.

Whites often don't realize their actions are offensive because they are imitating behavior celebrated in music and seen on TV, said Venise Berry, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Iowa who has researched rap music and popular culture.

"The segment of rap music that is glamorized and popularized by the media is gangsta rap," said Ms. Berry, who is black. "It has become an image that is normalized in our society. That to me explains clearly why they don't see it as wrong."

At an off-campus "Bullets and Bubbly" party thrown by University of Connecticut School of Law students in January, pictures showed students wearing baggy jeans, puffy jackets and holding fake machine guns.

Often such parties go unnoticed outside campuses until students post pictures on Web sites. That's how images of the Clemson party surfaced this week. One student wore blackface; another white student padded her pants to make her rear end look bigger.

Harold Hughes, a black fraternity member at Clemson whose frat brothers attended the party, said white students "see this on MTV and BET; they think it's cool to portray hip hop culture." Mr. Hughes said he found it offensive that the party was held over the Martin Luther King holiday.

Many white Clemson students said they didn't think the party was held to intentionally offend blacks, and organizers later issued an unsigned letter of apology. Still, school officials are investigating, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said the party was not harmless fun.

"We once lynched African-Americans as good fun and humor," said Lonnie Randolph, the president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP.

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bone
23
Points
bone 02/01/07 - 05:24 am
0
0
Whatever - the crux of the

Whatever - the crux of the problem is in the fourth paragraph, last sentence: blacks do what they want; whites better be careful not to do the same thing.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/01/07 - 06:08 am
0
0
Kids follow trends. Right now

Kids follow trends. Right now rap and 'gangsta' is cool. When white boys wear their pants below their buns with their underwear showing, their sneakers untied and their hat on sideways they're not being intentionally offensive to blacks. They're just being fashionably out of date. The few ultra sensitive whiners that are complaining are the same people that complain when Blacks don't get respect. Isn't imitation the highest form of flattery? There is a faction of our population that will always complain all of the time. It's what they do for attention. So what. Giving these peoples' opinion any credence is just inflaming a non issue.

TAG1313
0
Points
TAG1313 02/01/07 - 06:37 am
0
0
Only in America could 14% of

Only in America could 14% of the population tell the 86% what to do and where they can do it. We are different let us be! Freedom of expression, it is what it is.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 02/01/07 - 07:13 am
0
0
Give it a rest, I don't get

Give it a rest, I don't get offended if someone calls me a "redneck". It is all about attention and the NAACP wants it...If this is the only thing bad in America we would be in pretty good shape, slow news day I guess.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 02/01/07 - 07:31 am
0
0
Several times in this "news"

Several times in this "news" story rap is referred to as rap music. It aint.

tax payer
0
Points
tax payer 02/01/07 - 08:31 am
0
0
Truth hurts don't it Black

Truth hurts don't it Black America! You put it out there,and when you see it back in your face,you holla' racial! Anywhere in the world,that is how others see us. Put some positiveness in the world! We need to educate and have respect for ourselves. I am sure Dr.King did not mean freedom is saggy pants,bling grills and no education! In order to get respect,you must first respect yourself.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 02/01/07 - 08:34 am
0
0
We are racially divided in

We are racially divided in this country because of things like this being blown out of proportion. Believe it or not, there are certain groups in this country who want to keep rascism alive to advance their own agenda. We are granted certain freedoms in this country and freedom of speech and expression are part of those freedoms. I do not believe that this party was intended to hurt anyone. the gansta rap, the baggy clothes are popular these days, you see it everytime you turn on the TV and alot of white kids enjoy it, they want to be a part of it. Just because a certain group made it popular doesn't mean that others can't share in it. These were kids having fun and the blacks I saw in the photos at the parties looked like they were having fun. It all comes down to the media and the NAACP trying once again to blow something out of proportion.......

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 09:05 am
0
0
All I can say is WOW!!!! The

All I can say is WOW!!!! The way people think just amazes me!!! WOW!!

Dblocs
1
Points
Dblocs 02/01/07 - 09:07 am
0
0
Aren't there children being

Aren't there children being abused, dying some where in america? I can't belive what I am reading, give me a break. The NAACP has way too much time on their hands. I agree with weekapaug05

hardtobelieve
1
Points
hardtobelieve 02/01/07 - 09:10 am
0
0
No one, black or white,

No one, black or white, should be dressing like a thug. That's the problem with America today. You have teenagers, regardless of race, accepting a culture that promotes a lifestyle with no values and most of all no regard for life or anyone's feelings. When are we as people going to stand up and teach our children that the thug life is not what it is all cracked up to be. Then we wouldn't have white young men and women in black face and black young men and women still maintaining a slavery mindset. For those of you who think the actions of either the white or black youth is acceptable, you need to wake up.

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 09:19 am
0
0
Really good points@ Hard to

Really good points@ Hard to believe: I'm glad you see it as a universal fade; not just a particular race trying to portray this thug mentality

crymeariver
0
Points
crymeariver 02/01/07 - 09:44 am
0
0
SO a black man can call

SO a black man can call another black man a NIG*ER, and neither black man cares. But if a white man calls a black man a NIG*ER, the NAACP gets involved and wants to hang the white man. Jessie, Louis, and Rev. Al, you 3 people are a joke and the most racist of all. And another thing, why is it that black people can wear baggy clothes, have bling teeth, and drink liquor from a bag and no one gives it a secong look. But if a white person does just one of those things, he gets investigated! I thought we were free to do what we wanted to. Since when does a black person get tell a white person what he can or cant wear to a party??????

getalife
4
Points
getalife 02/01/07 - 09:45 am
0
0
We will all have to be

We will all have to be careful next Halloween in how we dress and act. College kids do not always think before they act and they do crazy things. The NAACP has to keep things stirred up so the newspapers will have something to write about. Most blacks and whites do not act like thugs. I am sure the majority of the black community wishes the thugs would leave their neighborhoods. We have allowed the entertainer thugs into our homes through music and movies. A large part of our teenagers, black and white, try to imitate these thugs with their bad behavior, trashy words and goofy dress.

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 10:06 am
0
0
wow!!!

wow!!!

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 02/01/07 - 10:36 am
0
0
This is not really a racial

This is not really a racial issue. It is an issue of self respect. The image being portrayed by gangsta rappers is horrible, and leads to continued ignorance in our communities. Not only are kids effected by it, but now adults are calling it offensive when it is portrayed by other races. Kids are concerned with the Hip Hop image and how well they can portray it. When they hear songs of violence and degredation, they think that's how they are suppose to live their lives. I know it's hard to influence your kids when they go off to college, but parents need to stay vigilant while their kids are young so when they are older, they will not stray too far away from their upbringing. Hip Hop is not a culture, but rather how you choose to dress and behave. There are no racial boundaries, which is why adults don't like it when those of other races conform to it. It's not mimicking or mocking the black race when whites act like us, especially when they show us how studpid we look and act. Kids need to be taught to respect themselves more. The adults need to realize their mistake in perpetuating the behavior and not wait until whites do it to cry fowl.

selah
0
Points
selah 02/01/07 - 10:40 am
0
0
My original message was

My original message was blocked out...GO FIGURE!! It was only the truth... Radical but Truthful.

People get off the corner drinking and flashing the 'yuck mout' (gold teeth). Give them a better image to see and let them mock that!!! Hip Hop ain't what it used to be...off the subject the sound of rap Atlanta has is repetitive no where close to Hip Hop - Hop Hip maybe but it is no Hip Hop. Okay I feel better now.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 02/01/07 - 10:50 am
0
0
We all would be a whole lot

We all would be a whole lot better off if people developed a sense of humor over this kind of nonsense behavior, and spent more time taking advantage of all the incredible opportunities out the for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or even the legality of one's presence in our country. Carpe Diem, people, not Carpe Vituperium. Surely you would agree with this, Nicole?

kaytee
1
Points
kaytee 02/01/07 - 10:50 am
0
0
everybody just get over

everybody just get over yourselves. i can't beleive that people are offended nearly as much as they say. its a nice little way to play victim all the time. victims never have to say they are sorry and do very little wrong so its quite an attractive roll to play

hardtobelieve
1
Points
hardtobelieve 02/01/07 - 10:54 am
0
0
KingJames has a valid and

KingJames has a valid and true point. More parents and children need to read King James (the version of the bible) to get a true understanding of who they are and not what the world has dictated to them. If more God was found in the lives of these people we wouldn't be having this discussion. Change the mindset and the actions of the people will change. Ignorance is ignorance, no matter how much you dress it up.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 02/01/07 - 10:59 am
0
0
Really good comments by

Really good comments by KingJames and hardtobelieve. Appreciate what you have to say on this issue.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 02/01/07 - 11:00 am
0
0
Brother, the mental midgets

Brother, the mental midgets on this site. What respectable person " Black or White " ever said its okay to use the " N " word, call women B----, or rob and kill. Its amazing that had these same students showed up wearing a Confederate flag as a diaper or anything else, half of the people talking about freedom of speech would try to raise Robert E. Lee and Stone Wall Jackson from the dead, to go after them. And the statement " How can 14% tell 86% what to do" shows the mentality of them.

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 11:04 am
0
0
Good point@IntheKnow

Good point@IntheKnow

my opinion matters
0
Points
my opinion matters 02/01/07 - 11:14 am
0
0
You are so right "Hard to

You are so right "Hard to believe"! Im a black female and I gives a damn rather a black or white person is a thug or not. Because as long as I repsect my culture and do me im fine and I dont have time to worry about what color doing what. Long as Im doing what I suppose of do.

adrian22
1
Points
adrian22 02/01/07 - 11:27 am
0
0
This is dumb.It's not okay

This is dumb.It's not okay what these kids did.You can have many themes for a party. It is interesting that nationwide these parties have went on with WHITE STUDENTS ONLY initiating it. There are some similarities here. They are all college students. Big butts, gold teeth, saggy pants, an attitude, doesn't make you black or close to it. What it does make you is you are whatever color with a big butt. This is about culture & inhumanity. Someone mentioned Paul Wall.He isn't making fun/mockery.He is embracing it. People always say black people overreact as well as the NAACP. If it wasnt for the NAACP we would still be where we were not even 5O years ago. African Amer. sitting on the back of buses, being lynched, segregation. We are not looking for sympathy/press. We are looking not to go back in time but forward &we want to take every measure to prevent things of the past from becoming a present. If you think this is ok, we should have white college students do a Holocaust themed party, a 3 LIL indian party, Hiroshima party, etc Everybody dress up like a JEW. Bring gas mask like they would have in a concentration camp. Lock everyone in one room & pretend that deadly gas is coming out.

serenityjoi
0
Points
serenityjoi 02/01/07 - 11:29 am
0
0
this is a unreal how some

this is a unreal how some folks think. If any act or comment offends anyone regardless it is wrong. please people seek some type of help or jesus. there is no reason to make this some type of hate fest.

johnny24
0
Points
johnny24 02/01/07 - 11:39 am
0
0
Students at these schools are

Students at these schools are simply using absurdity to demonstrate an absurd behavior. A joke if you will, and I think it's funny. These black kids today that want to be "gangstas" look like dumbasses and they should be made fun of.

adrian22
1
Points
adrian22 02/01/07 - 11:39 am
0
0
Or we could do Native

Or we could do Native Americans. Lets pretend we are overtaking land and pretend to slay as many as we can. Lets have someone dress like Chris Columbus 2 and plant a flag on a fake piece of property. Declare it ours, change the name, and take credit. You know he has holiday and he had nothing to do with it. Better yet, we can also do a Hiroshima themed party. Everyone squint their eyes and lets pretend they got blown up. Dont forget to wear the oriental gear too. I am saying this to say if you think this crap is okay then you are just like the people of the past with that same southern minute brain that thinks that people are not equal. It doesnt matter the race. Someone make fun of yours and it not funny. Its not fair. THose kids should be reprimanded as far as college goes. I am a white woman. I would have my kids behind for something so disrespectful. Years ago african americans had to entertain with black face. It is known that this was not cool then and it sure isn't now. I am ashamed.Though not racist in intent, it is offensive and subtly magnifies the perceived differences between races. There is a difference between celebrating our differences and mocking them.

johnny24
0
Points
johnny24 02/01/07 - 11:45 am
0
0
adrian22....did you hang

adrian22....did you hang blacks, bomb japs, or exterminate indians? you are aweful apologetic, and sound very guilty i must say.

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 11:45 am
0
0
Well said@ Adrian22. I guess

Well said@ Adrian22. I guess the rest of you would say OHH It's just HARMLESS fun!!!!! Right!!!!

adrian22
1
Points
adrian22 02/01/07 - 11:49 am
0
0
n/a

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