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'Racist' Sorority Photo Is Sad Reminder That Ignorance Is Everywhere - Are you shocked that students would think this was okay?

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'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?

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Replies (31-40):
sexychica25
by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:27 PM
I almost want to laugh because as insensitive as it is, I get the joke. I have a Mexican grass man. He's worked for me for 4 years and doesn't speak great English, and in the fall he heads on back to Mexico and I've always paid him in cash so it doesn't leave a trail.
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lookingforlogic
by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:28 PM

So, I suppose if my last name were also Lopez, my opinion on this matter would carry more weight.  If that is what you think, you are the brick.  As I said before, if one is actually in Mexico, the mexicans are selling serapes and sombreros, so they are stereotyping themselves.  Unless you are making the arguement that selling the stuff is okay, but buying it makes one a racist.  Again, if you think that, you are starting the foundation of nice little brick house. 

Will mow lawn for beer or weed is just silly and anyone who would get in a fight about it is crazy.  Now shut up and pay your gardener more money.

Quoting shannonnigans:

"Will mow lawn for beer and weed?" 

Why not ask someone of Mexican ancestry what they think of it?  Oh, they did:

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."

Stop being a brick. 

Or, I've got a better idea.  Our gardener happens to be Mexican.  Works his ass off for money, not beer and weed.  Struggles to keep his family afloat, yet manages to do so.  Come over with that sign.  Watch what happens.

Quoting lookingforlogic:

You haven't "explained" anything.   You are simply wringing your hands and, in the process, making any kind of actual racial conversation nearly impossible.  A great many Mexicans in this country are doing yard work, or garening, if you will.  They do this because they have a language barrier and often are not equipped to do other kinds of work.  However, they don't consider it to be belittleing to do this type of work, as you do, as most mexicans I know are just happy to be able to work.  These silly girls in this photo are not demeaning Mexicans, they are demeaning themselves.  As for "portraying black people as NBA players"......I did not do that.  I simply stated that there are a lot of black people in the NBA.  Fact.  Not a portrayal or an insult.  Just a fact.  Don't be so emotional and learn to process what you read before you go of the chain.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I can't even believe I have to explain this to you. Ok, first, it's not a slight at gardeners. It's a slight at Mexican Americans implying that they are all gardeners, and worse, potheads to boot. By the way, portraying black people as NBA players or great dancers is little better - it perpetuates stereotypes. But at least those stereotypes are a bit more complimentary than this. It's like having a black jockey in front of a house. Tasteless.


Quoting lookingforlogic:

 


Quoting shannonnigans:

I'm not shocked about college students doing something dumb, but I am shocked at parents and CM members defending it. Hats and mustaches, maybe, but signs about being a gardener? I'd be so disappointed if it was my daughter I can't even tell you.


How in the world can it be considered degrading to be a gardener.  Lots of gardeners are Mexican.  That is not a racist statement, it is just a fact.  Why in the world would it be degrading.  If I say lots of black guys are in the NBA, is that a racist statement?  Or is it just a

 


tweety101149
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I need to get over myself? It is not funny... it is stereotyping, prejudical, ignorant and plain mean. to a group of people that work hard and are treated unfairly., and because of that those issues become exasperating and frustrating especially more in some parts of the country than others., and so the hate goes on and on and on and on until the people that need to get over it can't because those issues that were once little and are now so big that even the government can't resolve without bringing everything to a hault because no one knows how to cooperate with each other in DC because they don't know how to work with each other cause they have they same attitude... of this sorority..it's all funny because it's the other guy ..but dare they point out the flaws on you and make the joke if it. 


 

Quoting Rhiannon92:

Agreed.

Quoting dustinsmom1:

 Its not racist and is seen by many (who are not racist) to be funny. People need to get over themselves and realize there are so many bigger, real issues out there that we should be focusing on. This is a non-issue.



butterfly on headlynda  




Rhiannon92
by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Woman, you are speaking to a brick wall. It is not funny to YOU. It is certainly not the best joke I've ever heard, and I will agree it is tasteless but I am not going to agree that it is hateful.. Ignorant, prejudical, stereotyping? sure, but not hateful. 

Quoting tweety101149:

I need to get over myself? It is not funny... it is stereotyping, prejudical, ignorant and plain mean. to a group of people that work hard and are treated unfairly., and because of that those issues become exasperating and frustrating especially more in some parts of the country than others., and so the hate goes on and on and on and on until the people that need to get over it can't because those issues that were once little and are now so big that even the government can't resolve without bringing everything to a hault because no one knows how to cooperate with each other in DC because they don't know how to work with each other cause they have they same attitude... of this sorority..it's all funny because it's the other guy ..but dare they point out the flaws on you and make the joke if it. 


 

Quoting Rhiannon92:

Agreed.

Quoting dustinsmom1:

 Its not racist and is seen by many (who are not racist) to be funny. People need to get over themselves and realize there are so many bigger, real issues out there that we should be focusing on. This is a non-issue.




shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:55 PM
1 mom liked this

You know what else would be funny?  Pulling their eyes to the side to make them look slanted, and wearing signs that say "will do laundry for rice"   God damn, isn't that hysterical? 

Or, how about this?  They all put on yarmulkes, someone glues a penny to the floor, and show them all trying to scrape it free.  Boy, isn't that just a hoot?!  

Or we could just go old school, put them all in blackface and have them all say "looky here."  If that doesn't put you into the laugh zone, I don't know what will.  Good clean fun for all!

Your screen name is eerily appropriate.  Good choice.

Quoting lookingforlogic:

So, I suppose if my last name were also Lopez, my opinion on this matter would carry more weight.  If that is what you think, you are the brick.  As I said before, if one is actually in Mexico, the mexicans are selling serapes and sombreros, so they are stereotyping themselves.  Unless you are making the arguement that selling the stuff is okay, but buying it makes one a racist.  Again, if you think that, you are starting the foundation of nice little brick house. 

Will mow lawn for beer or weed is just silly and anyone who would get in a fight about it is crazy.  Now shut up and pay your gardener more money.

Quoting shannonnigans:

"Will mow lawn for beer and weed?" 

Why not ask someone of Mexican ancestry what they think of it?  Oh, they did:

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."

Stop being a brick. 

Or, I've got a better idea.  Our gardener happens to be Mexican.  Works his ass off for money, not beer and weed.  Struggles to keep his family afloat, yet manages to do so.  Come over with that sign.  Watch what happens.

Quoting lookingforlogic:

You haven't "explained" anything.   You are simply wringing your hands and, in the process, making any kind of actual racial conversation nearly impossible.  A great many Mexicans in this country are doing yard work, or garening, if you will.  They do this because they have a language barrier and often are not equipped to do other kinds of work.  However, they don't consider it to be belittleing to do this type of work, as you do, as most mexicans I know are just happy to be able to work.  These silly girls in this photo are not demeaning Mexicans, they are demeaning themselves.  As for "portraying black people as NBA players"......I did not do that.  I simply stated that there are a lot of black people in the NBA.  Fact.  Not a portrayal or an insult.  Just a fact.  Don't be so emotional and learn to process what you read before you go of the chain.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I can't even believe I have to explain this to you. Ok, first, it's not a slight at gardeners. It's a slight at Mexican Americans implying that they are all gardeners, and worse, potheads to boot. By the way, portraying black people as NBA players or great dancers is little better - it perpetuates stereotypes. But at least those stereotypes are a bit more complimentary than this. It's like having a black jockey in front of a house. Tasteless.


Quoting lookingforlogic:

 


Quoting shannonnigans:

I'm not shocked about college students doing something dumb, but I am shocked at parents and CM members defending it. Hats and mustaches, maybe, but signs about being a gardener? I'd be so disappointed if it was my daughter I can't even tell you.


How in the world can it be considered degrading to be a gardener.  Lots of gardeners are Mexican.  That is not a racist statement, it is just a fact.  Why in the world would it be degrading.  If I say lots of black guys are in the NBA, is that a racist statement?  Or is it just a

 

 

 

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Not shocked a local college a few years back had a black face MLK party a few years back. Sad thing was that they did not realize it was racist they thought it was just a party theme. Since the college addressed the issue and handled it well more understand it is always best to think from the others shoes. The KKK turned out to support the students rights to have the party (un-asked) and those same students were at the KKK's rally yelling for them to go home and denouncing the KKK. Hopefully this school takes an example from our local college and has the greek and other students examine racism and the feelings of others

dustinsmom1
by JENN on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:30 PM

 

Quoting futureshock:


Quoting lookingforlogic:

No, I am not shocked.  I think kids these days are a lot less racist than their parents generation.  This allows them to say things about other cultures that are obvious without fearing being labeled a racist by people always looking for something to complain about.  Commenting on a racial stereotype is not racist, it is a racial comment.  It's like a man dressing up in a grass skirt and coconut breasts.  Is he a sexist for acknowledging women have breasts?  I think not.  If you go to Mexico, you will find market after market after market where the Mexican people sell sombreros, panchos and fake mustaches.  If these are products produced by the Mexican culture to sell to tourists, how can white people then turn around and call this racist? 

Maybe you missed the signs they were holding.

 Nobody missed the signs. Its about stupid stereotypes, either you buy into them or you don't. Its a joke, get over it. People go ape shit over the stupidest crap. Our economies on the toilet, jobless rates are soaring and all some of you people do is bitch about what some stupid sorority girls are doing. gag.

dustinsmom1
by JENN on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:33 PM

 sidesplittinglaughter

Quoting lookingforlogic:

So, I suppose if my last name were also Lopez, my opinion on this matter would carry more weight.  If that is what you think, you are the brick.  As I said before, if one is actually in Mexico, the mexicans are selling serapes and sombreros, so they are stereotyping themselves.  Unless you are making the arguement that selling the stuff is okay, but buying it makes one a racist.  Again, if you think that, you are starting the foundation of nice little brick house. 

Will mow lawn for beer or weed is just silly and anyone who would get in a fight about it is crazy.  Now shut up and pay your gardener more money.

Quoting shannonnigans:

"Will mow lawn for beer and weed?" 

Why not ask someone of Mexican ancestry what they think of it?  Oh, they did:

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."

Stop being a brick. 

Or, I've got a better idea.  Our gardener happens to be Mexican.  Works his ass off for money, not beer and weed.  Struggles to keep his family afloat, yet manages to do so.  Come over with that sign.  Watch what happens.

Quoting lookingforlogic:

You haven't "explained" anything.   You are simply wringing your hands and, in the process, making any kind of actual racial conversation nearly impossible.  A great many Mexicans in this country are doing yard work, or garening, if you will.  They do this because they have a language barrier and often are not equipped to do other kinds of work.  However, they don't consider it to be belittleing to do this type of work, as you do, as most mexicans I know are just happy to be able to work.  These silly girls in this photo are not demeaning Mexicans, they are demeaning themselves.  As for "portraying black people as NBA players"......I did not do that.  I simply stated that there are a lot of black people in the NBA.  Fact.  Not a portrayal or an insult.  Just a fact.  Don't be so emotional and learn to process what you read before you go of the chain.

Quoting shannonnigans:

I can't even believe I have to explain this to you. Ok, first, it's not a slight at gardeners. It's a slight at Mexican Americans implying that they are all gardeners, and worse, potheads to boot. By the way, portraying black people as NBA players or great dancers is little better - it perpetuates stereotypes. But at least those stereotypes are a bit more complimentary than this. It's like having a black jockey in front of a house. Tasteless.


Quoting lookingforlogic:

 


Quoting shannonnigans:

I'm not shocked about college students doing something dumb, but I am shocked at parents and CM members defending it. Hats and mustaches, maybe, but signs about being a gardener? I'd be so disappointed if it was my daughter I can't even tell you.


How in the world can it be considered degrading to be a gardener.  Lots of gardeners are Mexican.  That is not a racist statement, it is just a fact.  Why in the world would it be degrading.  If I say lots of black guys are in the NBA, is that a racist statement?  Or is it just a

 

 

 

JCB911
by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:00 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting shannonnigans:

You know what else would be funny?  Pulling their eyes to the side to make them look slanted, and wearing signs that say "will do laundry for rice"   God damn, isn't that hysterical? 

Or, how about this?  They all put on yarmulkes, someone glues a penny to the floor, and show them all trying to scrape it free.  Boy, isn't that just a hoot?!  

Or we could just go old school, put them all in blackface and have them all say "looky here."  If that doesn't put you into the laugh zone, I don't know what will.  Good clean fun for all!

I'd guess we all know which ethnicities you're refering to - does that make us racists for knowing that?  I think all of us know what the stereotypes are for various groups of people, we all know people that fit them, and just as many who don't.  Really it's kinda funny when you met someone who DOES fit (all) the stereotypes (like my very Polish MIL).   But just b/c we know the stereotypes doesn't mean we're hateful or even think anything less of a person from a certain group, or that we think everyone in a group fits the stereotype, I think we're all smarter than than.  

When I first saw the picture, without reading the CM responses, I assumed the drug references were refering to their own desire.  As in "I don't cut grass" (even though dressed as a Mexican) " I smoke it" (b/c she's a college student).   But does that make me hateful for assuming a college soroity girl smokes pot, or am I simply stereotyping? 


IMO, it was a bunch of silly college kids having fun.  No one was hurt, their picture has no impact, so who cares?



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JCB911
by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:03 PM
2 moms liked this

I'm not sure why a poncho, sombrero or a mustache would be questionable.  The Mexican restarant my family frequents actually has the word "sombero" as part of the name.  And sombreros decorate the place - perhaps I should boycott such a racist, hateful establishment.

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