A California Polytechnic State University fraternity has been suspended while the investigation continues into a racially charged picture featuring several members of the fraternity in blackface.
Because apparently they aren’t aware it’s 2018.
The picture, which was taken at a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity costume party, surfaced on Instagram, according to the Atlanta Black Star. In the picture, several white members of Lambda Chi Alpha can be seen dressed as “gangsters, wearing saggy pants and throwing gang signs.” The picture also featured fake jail tattoos and, you guessed it, blackface.
The caption of the offensive photo reads: “She want a gangster not a pretty boy.”
The racist blackface photo immediately triggered a backlash on on the California Polytechnic State University campus as soon as it hit social media.
The fraternity has issued an official statement, which reads:
“We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth.”
“Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers,” the statement continues.
Dean of Students Kathleen McMahon also reportedly responded to the incident, saying, “Racism and hate are unwelcome here, in any form. Cal Poly is focused on enhancing the diversity of our campus and providing an environment that is welcome to all who would study, work or visit here.”
According to the Washington Post, hundreds of Cal Poly students attended an emergency town hall meeting monday night.
“There needs to be punishment,” one student said. “Not only to show the students that are here that they are with us and for us, but for the students who are to come — 10 years, five years from now — that are going to change the culture on this campus.”
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong sent an email to the campus community regarding the incident and said he stood by those who were “hurt and offended,” and he called the photos “painful and embarrassing.”
“I am ashamed. Hurtful actions, be they intentional or otherwise, have no place at our university and yet, regrettably, we experience them,” he wrote. “They are senseless acts of ignorance that injure and alienate valued members of our community. They must stop.”
The temporary suspension means theLambda Chi Alpha fraternity must cease all events and activities while Cal Poly conducts its review to determine whether anything that took place at the chapter’s gathering violated the university’s policy or the student organization’s code of conduct, Cal Poly officials said.
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