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'Racist' Sorority Photo Is Sad Reminder That Ignorance Is Everywhere - Are you shocked that students would think this was okay?
December 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM

'Racist' Sorority Photo Is Sad Reminder That Ignorance Is Everywhere

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans on December 6, 2012

sombreroThere's really little use debating if the photo currently under fire from a Penn State Mexican-themed sorority party is offensive. It is, without a doubt.

In a picture from the party, members of the Chi Omega sorority are seen dressed in ponchos, sombreros, and fake mustaches. That alone is questionable to some, but the signs they were holding were undeniably outrageous. One read: "Will mow lawn for weed + beer" and the other: "I don't cut grass, I smoke it." No wonder the picture has caused an uproar and cries of racism, both on campus and across the Internet.

Really, how could they have ever thought this was okay?

Vice President of the Mexican American Student Association, Cesar Sanchez Lopez, made some good points when he told Onward State:

"The Mexican American Student Association is disappointed in the attire chosen by this sorority. It in no way represents our culture," Lopez said in a statement. "Not only have they chosen to stereotype our culture with serapes and sombreros, but the insinuation about drug usage makes this image more offensive. Our country is plagued by a drug war that has led to the death of an estimated 50,000 people, which is nothing to be joked about."

The sorority has issued an apology, and the school's Panhellenic Council and the sorority's national headquarters are investigating. But it should have never happened. These young women should have known better, and I hope that I'm raising my kids to know why things like this aren't okay, even if it's in the name of fun.

While I'm shocked by this behavior, I have no doubts that racism is alive and not-so-well in this country. We've come a long way, but there is still much hate out there, much of which stems from the persistence of stereotypes and flat-out ignorance. It's especially painful to see, however, when it comes from those for whom ignorance shouldn't be an issue -- like students at an esteemed university. Ironically, the whole incident also just reinforces plenty of negative stereotypes people have about sororities and those who join them too.

Are you shocked that students would think this was okay?


  • Billiejeens
    December 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Quoting JonJon:

    1)  Thank you for the adversarial respect.  Oh

    2)  No thank you for trying to agitate.  I gladly take Shannon's hand as we support each other in our shared beliefs and respect and value each other's differences. Dang


    Quoting Billiejeens:

    Yeah JJ you should appreciate her.  As a full blown Lib-e-ral  she knows that you being a minority, you need her help to stand up for yourself.

    Oddly, I give you more respect as an adversary than she does helping you.

    Quoting JonJon:

    Shannon, I have a very short memory.  I seldom commit people to memory unless what they write is persistently and consistently adverse or persistently and consistently brilliant.



    I'm not trying to talk you out of the way you feel.  I'm just sharing a differing pov.  I don't mean to chastise, persecute or be judgmental.  Sorry if I've given you that impression.

    Quoting shannonnigans:

    One, I am one of those groups. Second, it's to make a point, and my intolerance to racism should by this point be rather well known, and you should know that because I have joined you many times in crossing swords with certain other members here, and was called a race-traitor for doing so.

    I'm not sure how we're not communicating here because I would agree with you 100% that no stereotyping is really positive. And as I've said before, to me, it is the sign - insensitive on its best light in my opinion

    Quoting JonJon:

    OMG, my eyes are bleeding.  Which people represented by members of this group DIDN'T you just insult?  Oh, yeah; you forgot the First Nations, Muslims, and Gays.

    See how your attempt to make a point could be perceived as YOU taking this as a chance to write openly bigoted statements? 

    Why should you be given any more the benefit of the doubt than those sorority sisters?




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