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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 (41-50):
tweety101149
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM


Quoting JCB911:

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.

Maybe you should re-read the whole story again, and not just sombreros and mushache, but the signs as well.

butterfly on headlynda  




JCB911
by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:12 PM

This is what I was refering to(from the article)

". . . are seen dressed in ponchos, sombreros, and fake mustaches. That alone is questionable to some . . ."

I get why people would be upset about the signs, although I think it was just a bunch of silly college kids having fun - and I thought the pot/grass reference was about themselves - didn't realize mexican-Americans as drug users was a stereotype.

Quoting tweety101149:


Quoting JCB911:

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.

Maybe you should re-read the whole story again, and not just sombreros and mushache, but the signs as well.


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FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Dec. 7, 2012 at 12:11 AM
2 moms liked this

Like I said in the other thread about this, I don't consider it racist at all.  A little inappropriate, perhaps.  

I am so over being offended over every damn thing some one does.  

lookingforlogic
by Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 6:36 AM
1 mom liked this

wow, you must have a whole lot of racial hatred built up in you to come up with all of that.  You might need to get out more.

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!

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

 

 

 


cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Dec. 7, 2012 at 6:38 AM

 Considering the shit storm Penn State is still enduring because of the Sandusky case, you'd think these morons would act proper as not to draw more negative attention to themselves. *sigh*

lookingforlogic
by Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 6:41 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting JCB911:

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.


We go to a local Mexican restuarant about three times a month.  It is run by a Mexican family.  The Mexican chicken soup in that place is to die for.  They even garnish it with fresh avacado.  The other day we took the grandkids and the staff brought out these big sombreros for the kids to wear and everyone took pictures.  Now I guess I will have to stop going there because of those damn racist sombreros.

SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 8:51 AM

My girlfriends haven't been to Mexico in 3 years. They are cut off from their family, the violence is bad. One man that they know had his carjacked. He, his wife and family were left at the side of the road. Gang members stole it. Now another lady I know sent her child with Downs Syndrome to Mexico to stay with family. In that village gang members were starting to infiltrate and the men of the village" ran them out," I don't know  the whole story but machetes were involved. It is certainly a serious problem. I am so sorry for what happened to your cousin. I truly am. I feel greatly for your family and his wife. Horrible she had to see that in front of her very eyes. I am so sorry.

Quoting DaLordsMezNger:

My first reaction was "so what?". Up until I read about the signs. I am sensitive because my cousin was murdered in Mexico due to the random killings and drug violence. He was gunned down at his food stand in front of his wife for no reason at all. I dont take the drug insinuations lightly.

Quoting gammie:

People are to sensitive.




NWP
by guerrilla girl on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Why is this story "sticky"?

nickysmom71
by Bronze Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM

People are very sensitive these days....most Mexicans I know would find that hilarious.....

Lizard_Lina
by Silver Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:54 AM
Agreed.


Quoting JonJon:

My immediate, knee-jerk reaction is to be offended and aghast but I'm not sure these girls thought that their joking about the stereotypes would be taken as their seriously believing in them. 

College is where young people learn many lessons, the most important and lasting being those life lessons that aren't in the textbooks they purchase at the campus bookstore. 

These girls have learned the lessons that making fun of people isn't funny and that their jokes can be misconstrued.  I'm sure they aren't really that insensitive because they have latinas, at least one Asian and at least one Black in their group.  Surely those girls wouldn't have joined in the fun if they'd believed it was a serious attempt to promote or perpetuate negative stereotypes. 

I believe they were making fun of the stereotypes, not the people but it blew up in their faces. In other words, they were making fun of the stupid people who believe the stereotypes and we almost always get in trouble or make ourselves look bad making fun of people, even when the people we disdain are dullards.

A lesson for us all; try to think of all the ways the things we post online can be misconstrued and then consider if we want to take the risks and click the submit button.

I usually go ahead and click the button; let people think what they will.   I enjoy sticking it to the dullards who always believe they are the brilliants.


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