Texas Fraternity To Throw Racist Theme Event

Date Put forth on October 2, 2007 by XicanoPwr
Category Posted in Color-blind Society, Free Speech, Prejudices, Racism

More racist theme parties, here we go again. I received an email informing that a UT Austin fraternity is planning to have a “Cholo/Ghetto Mexican” Rush Event where participants are to dress up and act as “Cholos” or “Ghetto Mexicans.” (h/t to Luissana Santibanez)

Attn Compas/os –

A UT Austin fraternity is planning to have a “Cholo/Ghetto Mexican” Rush Event where participants are to dress up and act as “Cholos” or “Ghetto Mexicans.”
(Click here to read the article in UT’s newspaper, the Daily Texan.)

This will be the second racist party hosted by a UT fraternity in a year!!! Last year, UT made national headlines when UT Law students hosted a “Ghetto Fabulous” party where participants were to dress in black-face. It is apparent that race relations are an issue on the UT Austin campus and that UT administration has failed to address the issue of tolerance and race relations.

Last year, the Black community and many others united to voice their opposition to the racist event and were able to get national attention to the issue. This year, evidently, it is our turn.

Please join us and UT Austin MEChA in taking a stance!!! Please sign onto the online petition to let UT President William Powers, the Office of Diversity, the Dean of Students, and the Office of Student Affairs know that such racist events against our communities are UNACCEPTABLE.


We thank you for your support. Together we can make a difference!

Please post this on MySpace and Facebook!!!
Please forward this email widely!!!

In Solidarity,
MEChA de Tejas

US society today, remains deeply afflicted by racism. Long before slavery became the mainstay of the plantation society of the antebellum South, European attitudes of racial superiority left their stamp on the developing culture of colonial America. The racial insult remains one of the most pervasive channels through which discriminatory attitudes are imparted. Events, such as these, injures the dignity and self-regard of the person to whom it is addressed, communicating the message that distinctions of race are distinctions of merit, dignity, status, and personhood.

The psychological impact of this type of verbal abuse has been described in various ways. The psychologist Kenneth Clark has observed that minorities may come to believe the frequent accusations. Those who live under “ghetto” conditions with few good employment options and poor quality schools lead some residents, especially those who are unemployed for long periods, to consider increasing their income through illegitimate means. Ghetto poverty creates desperation, and feeling the weight of these oppressive conditions, some conclude that it is rational to resort to crime for survival. Lacking decent employment opportunities, some rely on crime to supplement their meager income from legitimate sources; others drop out of the legitimate labor market altogether and use crime as their sole source of income.

The widespread belief that racism is largely a thing of the past and the increasing cry for color-blind or race-neutral public policy, racial prejudice continues to have a negative impact on the life chances of racial minorities in the US. The impact of institutional racism is felt in the “ghettos/barrios” because racism and extreme poverty combine together create a uniquely stigmatized subgroup. Because there are an over abundant of people applying for low-skilled jobs and very few jobs available in the “ghettos/barrios,” employers are able to selectively, engaging in so-called statistical discrimination. Employers of low-skilled workers are aware that there is a criminal subculture that affects social life in the “ghettos/barrios.” For those prone to accept racial stereotypes, these traits may seem to provide strong support for their prejudices.

The problem with a racist “ghetto fabulous” party isn’t that it offends some people, it supports and strengthens an unjust social system that hurts people. Racism injures the career prospects, social mobility, and interracial contacts of minority group members. It impedes assimilation into the economic, social, and political mainstream of society and ensures that the victims of racism are seen as outsiders. When individuals cannot or choose not to contribute their talents to a social system because they are demoralized or angry, or when they are actively prevented by racist institutions from fully contributing their talents, society as a whole loses.

Please sign the petition. We must send a loud and clear message that we will not tolerate these events. Do it before another party gets under way.

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4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. odd Another racist theme party « Vox ex Machina Trackback on Oct 2nd, 2007 at 3:01 pm
  2. even Frat Boys Plan "Cholo" Keg Party - Global Grind: Social Issues Trackback on Oct 5th, 2007 at 11:26 am
  3. odd appletree » Blog Archive » Texas Frat Throws Racist Theme Party Trackback on Oct 8th, 2007 at 5:27 am
  4. even » America’s World of Racisms, Reversals and Resurgence - By ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! Trackback on Sep 29th, 2009 at 10:40 am


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  1. Gravatar Icon Luissana, MeChistA de UT Oct 2nd, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks again for bringing another very important issue to the forefront. MEChA de UT tried to speak with the Daily Texan to publish our response to this racist occurrence, pero como we didn’t have the name of the frat throwing the party, they disregarded the validity of our claim and considered chisme.

    I agree very deeply with your comment that, “The problem with a racist “ghetto fabulous” party isn’t that it offends some people, it supports and strengthens an unjust social system that hurts people.” We live in hyper-segregated communities where people of color make up more than 90% of the residents in our barrios and hoods. Our communities are deteriorating, our schools are failing and tracking our youth into the criminal justice system, family homes are being foreclosed, businesses don’t want to invest their capital and resources on our streets to create jobs (except for Mc.D’s and Family Dollar) hustlin’ and slanging dope have become a legitimate yet dangerous source of survival, but worst of all, our communities are being led to believe that we are the problem.

    Structural racism is hardly ever mentioned by people anymore, yet it is real. When a persons chance to live life past the age of 20 is reduced because of who they are and where they live, we have a problem. It’s almost as if our communities are being condemned to die or remain subservient to the needs of those in power by continuing to serve as their maids, hamburger flippers, young military recruits, and prisoners. Fortunately, even in the face of such odds and public scrutiny, our communities (particularly the youth) have resisted being condemned to this kind of social death by creating alternatives that help bring meaning and value to their lives. And although I’m saddened by the violence that often times plague these groups, I believe the Chol@s is part of this resistance.

    MEChA de UT believes that no one, especially white people, have the right to mock our Raza’s struggle, so we urge people to sign on to the petition and create dialogues about this kind of racism in your schools and communities in order to show people that this kind of racist insensitivity will not be tolerated.

    !La Union hace la Fuerza!

  2. Gravatar Icon adriana Oct 2nd, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I think that you make a good point here, but sometimes I think that sometimes we as a people caricature ourselves with this “ghetto fabulous” style. I have encountered Chicanos/Latinos who did not spend much time in the ghetto or barrio, and yet, they appropriate this style that many associate with crime and under-achievement (black and blue tattoos, baggy pants, long white socks, shaved eyebrows for the women). It kind of reminds me of what my grandfather used to say about if you ever have the misfortune of being pulled over or questioned by the police, it helps to not look like a “cholo.”

    But then again, you could be dressed in a suit still be the biggest thief.

    This sounds like a stupid theme party. If they want to experience the real thing, I doubt that these frat boys have to travel very far.

  3. Gravatar Icon adriana Oct 2nd, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Luissana, your comments are interesting, but do you think if the cholos were resisting a la Angela Davis or even Cesar Chavez for that matter that these frat boys would even bother with such a party? I certainly do think that we live in a society where institutional racism and classism persist, yet in glorifying the cholo or “gangsta” existence within our communities, I also think that we limit ourselves.

  4. Gravatar Icon Michaelr Oct 2nd, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    This sounds like an excellent opportunitiy for some real “cholos” to crash this retarded frat boy party, and introduce those pretend2bes to the taste of their own blood, and 72 hours of pain. I thought higher education was supposed to inspire progressive ideals geared to benefit all of mankind, not demean it. This is an utterly stupid idea.

  5. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr Oct 2nd, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    adriana – you do bring up a very good point. In fact, it is the same discussion that many African Americans bring up regarding rap/hip hop. I know that the Black Agenda Report addressed this issue when Don Imus was fired.

    Is there a double-standard? Hmmm…..that is a really a hard question to answer. I am torn. I won’t lie, I am bothered at some of the videos that hypersexualize Latinas and glorify barrio living. I lived it and witnessed what it has done to mi tio y primos. One is a quadropeligic because a rival gang went to the hospital to finish the job after they already shot him. However, I also know that Latin hip hop and reggaton are products of a society that has historically objectified and demeaned women, commercialized sex, and that glorify the barrio living. If they don’t their music won’t sell.

    I am glad you did bring this up because it is a discussion that should not be buried.

  6. Gravatar Icon Luissana, MeChistA de UT Oct 3rd, 2007 at 1:05 am

    You’re absolutely right Adriana. I too believe that glorifying Chol@s limits the extent to which our communities can one day genuinely enjoy being free from any kind of oppression.

    I never meant to imply that Chol@s or the gang violence that is often associated with them is a positive form of resistance. Xicano Pwr’s personal testimony is an example of how painful this experience can be, not just for the immediate family but for the whole comunidad who has to live with the loss of another son(daughter)/brother(sister)/prim@/homie in mind. In this case, gang violence can very much be just as destructive as the white-supremacist system that promotes it. It certainly is for the families who are suffering from the death of their loved one and probably even trying to seek revenge for it.

    In my earlier comment, I mentioned that it was a fortunate thing for our youth to be creating alternative forms of resistance like gang kinship because I honestly believe that many of them are only seeking for the right to be a part of something larger than themselves in a society that is constantly trying to negate their very existence. I guess I just didn’t want to further criminalize our Chol@ youth cuz I remain grounded on the belief that the source of our problem is ultimately white supremacy in its most subtlest form (institutional racism). Pero tampoco voy a ser ignorante and turn a blind eye to the painful drama and violence taking place in our barrios/hoods. I am merely trying to understand it cuz I’m tired of hearing people aim the blame toward us and our “cultural pathology.”

    Thanks again for your comment. It proves that this is not an easy answer issue and that our work needs to continue centering around los jovenes, which in Austin, PODER has done a very powerful job at doing.

    As for you comment on wanna be gangsta’s…sad. We are living among the hip-hop generation though where all of a sudden listening to Snoop and white rappers have become the “cool” thing to do.

  7. Gravatar Icon Michaelr Oct 3rd, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Of course there is a double standard. You don’t see the music industry investing in Aryan Nation/KKK/Nazi hip hop. The reason the music industry invests monies to promote Black and Latino gangster culture is because that particular market hasn’t utilized the options of buying music on the Internet, and still pays up to $15-17 for a CD at a retail brick and mortar store. That allows those artists a moderate upscale income, but the real profiteers are the music distributors who continually reinvest to promote minority gangster culture as cool.

    Latino culture is under siege from Network Television, and various entities in mass media to conform to numerous stereotypes which not only prevent us from seeing the big picture, but keep us at the bottom of American economic culture. Higher education is the only outlet which will elevate our class status, and make us a viable and unified political force.

  8. Gravatar Icon Cero Oct 3rd, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Signed (as my professional identity, of course).).

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