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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buddydawg
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buddydawg 02/01/07 - 11:52 am
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adrian 22, There is no

adrian 22,

There is no comparison between a Holocaust or Slavery party vs a 'Gangsta' or 'redneck' themed party. I hope you do not need the difference explained.

adrian22
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adrian22 02/01/07 - 11:55 am
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No I didn't. I just know that

No I didn't. I just know that wrong is wrong and right is right.
I don't see things in color, I see it in value, moral, and look at both sides. Those kids probably didn't mean it but either way they hurt someone and that is not okay.Doesn't matter who is doing it. And no I have no guilt. I have strong opinions and I expressed them clearly and well. If you took "that" from it Johnny 24 I see you missed the point. I frankly don't care about that either. Your beliefs are your beliefs. This is freedom of speech. I wasn't attempting to convince you. I was expressing my view as you did previously. Thanks Nicole Kelly.Good day.

adrian22
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adrian22 02/01/07 - 11:59 am
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No I don't buddy dawg. You

No I don't buddy dawg. You missed it 2. We are teaching the students that today. Hopefully they can all be productive students who don't base any decision or view on a race, the media, what other person they seen do it, but on character alone. Make your own decisions and stick with it. Come up with your own opinion. Happy Black History Month to all. Good day.

kimbo
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kimbo 02/01/07 - 11:59 am
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If it wasn't for the NAACP

If it wasn't for the NAACP constantly stirring up racial tension, we might could possibly get along better. Instead of fighting for equality, they are pushing for total control and repayment for something that most of our generation would never have dreamed of doing to another person. If someone is offended for what others portray them as, then maybe they should see how silly and thuggish their culture has become. If you can see it as what it is (someone dressing up as something different) then maybe you have enough common sense to understand the whole concept of say, Halloween, T.V., movies, plays, opera, costume balls, and old-fashion dress-up with grandmas pearls and high heels. When people go so far out of the realm of normal as a way of rebeling, don't get offended if you get made fun of!!!

NicoleKelly
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NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 12:03 pm
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The best comments of the day

The best comments of the day goes to Adrian22

selah
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selah 02/01/07 - 12:20 pm
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You go 'Hardtobelieve' that's

You go 'Hardtobelieve' that's my lil sister ya'll. She gets her wisdom from me.

LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 02/01/07 - 01:09 pm
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why is it when a black man is

why is it when a black man is a conservative and doesnt want to play the race card and is successful, doesnt need the poverty pimps to level things for him he is considered an uncle tom or an oreo? he aint a real brutha? he has sold out to whitey.

colin powell
condeleeza rice
bill cosby
walter williams
and the list goes on and on.....

intheknow
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intheknow 02/01/07 - 01:31 pm
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NOT YOU AGAIN. To kimbo, what

NOT YOU AGAIN. To kimbo, what do you say when the KKK have their rallies? And believe me they stiil exist. Some wear white robes others wear business suits. Intelligent people of all " Races " reject all forms of racist stero type. Amazing, you never hear these same people say forget the Confederacy or anything else. But then again I am in that 14% group.

whyme
2109
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whyme 02/01/07 - 01:42 pm
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I liked the comment by Ms.

I liked the comment by Ms. Berry who said that folks (of all colors) see this and think it's ok when it isn't. When each individual chooses to personally stop seeing everything as black and white-other countries can do it, so can we!-we may get somewhere. That includes getting rid of Miss "Of-Color" pageants, Mr. "Of-Color" contests, and admissions to things by quotas (including sex as well as race).

LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 02/01/07 - 01:50 pm
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could you name a few of these

could you name a few of these kkk's or are you racial stereotyping? give us the name of one in a hood and one in a suit please.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 02/01/07 - 02:01 pm
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Listen La Dumb. David Duke in

Listen La Dumb. David Duke in the suit and the purpose of wearing the hood is so they can not be identified. You missing the point and if I ran over some toes. Ouch! A hit dog will holler.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 02/01/07 - 02:08 pm
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yea david duke.........

yea david duke......... what an impact he has had on your life.
is he the one that has made you fell so victimized and tread upon. what is your solution to all of the problems that make your life so unfair?

KingJames
11
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KingJames 02/01/07 - 02:09 pm
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Let's try to watch the

Let's try to watch the language. Some of these comments have become very radical. People are not looking at the real issue, which is not whether or not these kids are being racial when they take on a Hip Hop persona, but it is that black folk can't handle seeing someone else dress and act like us, especially when they do it in costume. If the behavior is so offensive, why not ban it altogether? Hip Hop is certainly not my culture so I don't embrace it. I think that our young men should have better things to do than just drink malt liqour from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag while standing on a corner wearing grossly oversized clothes. Young ladies need to also carry themselves with a more upright attitude and leave those hoochie mama hair styles and tight clothes alone. That behavior is demeaning for a race of people as proud and rich in true culture as African Americans are. Unfortunately, we don't get a chance to see just how ridiculously shameful it is until white people do it. When white people try to act just as black as we are, or even "too black," we become offended because we know the behavior isn't right in the first place.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 02/01/07 - 02:10 pm
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By the way La Dumb what is a

By the way La Dumb what is a " Brutha "? Was that your attempt at some tyoe of sterotyping or just your mind on crack?

intheknow
16
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intheknow 02/01/07 - 02:13 pm
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I never said anything in my

I never said anything in my life was unfair. I am a very happy person. I enjoy my family, my friends and people in general but unlike that " Pull up you boot straps " world that you and others live in, I know everything is not equal.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 02/01/07 - 02:16 pm
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Who is this " We " everyone

Who is this " We " everyone is talking about? I thought each person's opinion belongs to them and them alone. Everyone has a right to his or her take on any situation, just do not tell me who I should or should not listen too nor tell me how I should think or feel.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 02/01/07 - 02:19 pm
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I agree with LaTwon's

I agree with LaTwon's comment.......I know plenty of very intellegent and professional people of color whom I think the world of and some of them have commented on that same issue. One woman went as far as to say to me that there is so much jealousy amoung her own race and that they will stab each other in the back in a minuet. I believe when we all learn to get along and start worrying about our own lives and families and stop listening to the crap in the media so much that we will all be better off. I know that this party offened some people, I don't think that it was meant to do that, I don't think the students set out to do that and quite frankly, the NAACP, the college, the media or anyone else has the right to tell people what type of parties they can have in a private setting regardless of whether it offends someone or not. When we allow that then we might as well live in a communist country. This political correctness has gone overboard. People need to get tougher skin and stop crying over every little thing that doesn't suit them.

TAG1313
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TAG1313 02/01/07 - 02:23 pm
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You are definitely intheknow

You are definitely intheknow this is the south and the Confederacy is a part of our history. Why can't we bask like the 14% does in trying to change something they can't. Turn on your TV now 14% turns into about 80%. The tide has turned everyone walk soft and lower the standards so we all can feel good. We are all equal only in the eyes of the Lord where we all are held responsiable for our actions.

KingJames
11
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KingJames 02/01/07 - 02:39 pm
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"We" is the nominative case

"We" is the nominative case of the first-person plural pronoun in English, and as used above, refers collectively to African Americans, blacks, and black folk. No one is trying to tell anyone else what to think or who to listen to. I'm just pointing out the obvious, which is blacks don't like it when other people behave as we do. Instead of trying to be positive, we are, as a people, "stuck" in a vicious cycle of behavior that does not lead to a timely progression away from poverty and imprisonment. Nor does this cycle lead to prosperity or true freedom. If we were more progressive in our attitudes about culture, education, and self respect, then we wouldn't have what appears to be an endless abundance of nothing. There is more to life than baggy clothes and gold teeth. That's all it would appear that some us who have jobs are working for - to acquire more useless stuff that won't really benefit us! It only looks bad when someone else does it, right? Wrong! It looks bad when everyone does it.

buddydawg
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buddydawg 02/01/07 - 02:54 pm
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The simple fact is that the

The simple fact is that the people who had the party broke no laws and had every right to do what they did. It matters not if you agree or disagree with their actions. They had a party based on an image that is projected to us everywhere we turn. The gangsta image is all over the TV, radio and other types of media. That is where the youth gets their information right or wrong, true or false. This is the cause, the party was the effect.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 02/01/07 - 03:00 pm
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I'm just sick of all the foul

I'm just sick of all the foul language and all the overt sexual content of conversations I didn't actually want to overhear. I'm also sick of having black high school boys touch my teenage daughter and make sexual comments to her. Not a single white boy has done anything close to this. I'm sick of all this and of the overt and oppressive threat/advocation of violence that seems to be the focus of such a large segment of the under-30 portion of "the 14%". I hate all this most of all because of what it does to the lives and chances of perfectly wonderful young black young men who are profiled as dangerous losers at a time when we need them desperately to be allowed to take their place as men in our society. This whole situation sucks so completely I can hardly think about it without angry tears. And you can thank such fine statesmen as Lyndon Baines Johnson and "The Great Society" welfare state for destroying what should have been a strong, family-based black cultural identity in America's pantheon of ethnicities. Talk about the laws of unintended consequences! Something that was supposed to help the poor ended up destroying the basic family unit of those who needed the help most.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 02/01/07 - 03:10 pm
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Whites trying to dress and

Whites trying to dress and act black, blacks tyring to act white, who cares we are all human beings. When I see a black woman with her hair dyed blond I don't say oh she is trying to look white, I don't care, when I see a white woman lying in the sun trying to get dark I don't say oh she is trying to be black, it is none of my business. Like I said before, people of all races are always trying to place the race card everytime some silly crap like this happens. There are so many more important topics in this country for all of the races to worry about, do any of you think that the next terrorist attack will care what color our skin is? That is something to stress about not a dumb college party.

ImThatGuy
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ImThatGuy 02/01/07 - 03:34 pm
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All I can say is WOW!

All I can say is WOW!

yankeedude
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yankeedude 02/01/07 - 03:40 pm
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You know what I'd like to

You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see the NAACP and our "Black Leaders" organize a march every time a Black man shoots another Black man. We always get worked up and upset over police brutality, and over White folks mocking us, but if we channelled the same energy into solving the problems that we inflict upon ourselves, we might not have an image to mock.

NicoleKelly
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NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 03:42 pm
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I can't believe that all of

I can't believe that all of you people think that all minorities do is complain!!! Aren't you doing the same thing now? I don't think the students are racist, but, I do think that it was inappropriate. The students that were offended pay good money to attend a good school. They shouldn't have to be subjected to such insensitive gestures. WOW

NicoleKelly
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NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 03:44 pm
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I agree @ Yankeedude

I agree @ Yankeedude

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 02/01/07 - 03:54 pm
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Nicole, you like others are

Nicole, you like others are forgetting that this party had nothing to do with the school, it was a private party, it was not held on a school campus so no one was really subjected to anything. Also, their were black students at this party so if it were so bad and so offensive whey did they attend the party? Probably because it was for fun and not intended to offend. In life we will all be offended sometimes. and we will probably offend someone else at some point. the issue is that like alot of other things, the media has blown it all out of proportion. We can't come into private citizens lives and tell them what types of parties they can have even if it might offend someone, that is our rights as citizens of this country wether we like it or not. My daughter attends a school in Columbia county, she is a minority, last school year they had dress down days and each time was a different theme, one of those themes was hip hop day and they all wore baggy clothes and long chains and fake grills no one got all offeneded, some things are just done in fun.

KingJames
11
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KingJames 02/01/07 - 04:11 pm
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How about we become bold

How about we become bold enough to complain about ourselves! We see things in our own neighborhoods, but don't act as if we can do anything to change them. We just seem to go about saying, "so long as they aren't bothering me, I'm happy." That's the wrong attitude to have. If the image wasn't so acceptable in the black community, I think we would have a legitimate complaint. It's very hard to say someone is stereotyping or is being racially biased when they have a ready supply of material that we have created for them to use. They don't have to call us coons and spooks behind our backs for fun if they can dress and act silly like us for their entertainment. Like I keep saying, it only hurts us because we know it's not good behavior in the first place. No matter how you look at it, you can't be angry at someone for doing what you do. I always see people who readily admit that they are ghetto in every since of the word. They choose to dress, walk, and talk (very loudly) the part. Those are the very ones who don't like what happened at the parties. They feel as if they are being made fun of. Well, quit acting like that and you won't have to worry about it.

NicoleKelly
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NicoleKelly 02/01/07 - 04:28 pm
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Truthbetold: Read the whole

Truthbetold: Read the whole story. The minorities that attended the party did leave. Some of these kids were wearing black faces. Hey, party on. It's just the fact that they decide to have this party of Martin Luther King's birthday called "Beer and chicken" party. Please get a grip. This is not Hip Hop!!!!!!!!!!

FLgirl
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FLgirl 02/01/07 - 04:56 pm
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First, why are people so

First, why are people so EASILY offended? Cripes! And Secondly, all of these things that blacks do like: FUBU, grills, big baggy clothing, gangsta rap, is just perpetuating the seperation of the races, don't you think?

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