Just when you thought the market on racially sensitive frat parties had been covered, someone came up with Clemson Cripmas. Sigma Alpha Epsilon reportedly threw a party in which attendees were encouraged to emulate gang attire and behavior.
Why is it so fun to pretend to be some ghetto, presumably black & ratchet thug…annually?
“Photos surfaced late Saturday night of students drinking from styrofoam cups, wearing red and blue bandanas amongst other “gangster apparel,” while also making use of notorious gang signs. These recent photos are undoubtedly disrespectful, and have led students to use social media to express their growing frustrations with their peers with tweets sent to University president James Clements, and also to CNN and MSNBC. Clemson University boasts strongly of their “Clemson family,” but many students feels as if they are not apart of this family, as well feel less than others due to their, skin color.”
I am done with the excuses. #ClemsonCripmas was NEVER okay. #blackclemson DESERVES to be heard. pic.twitter.com/DUzC3u5kEp
— Naomi Paz (@paznaomi) December 7, 2014
Now in light of #ClemsonCripmas gang dress isn’t racist but any other day it’s another stereotype black people are burdened with.
— Morgan Dianne (@MorgoJ08) December 7, 2014
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js What does this have to do with sports? Days after Clemson celebrated its win over South Carolina using a team of mostly black players, students who participated in protests were mocked and hit with racist comments on social media.
That paradox is the latest in a long line of incidents that illuminate the fragile nature of black athletes on predominately white campuses. It pretty much goes like this:
“Play (insert sport). Go to class (sometimes). And shut up.”
And before you ask, we know that gang culture is not limited to African-Americans. There are gangs of all races, of course. But being perceived as a “thug” isn’t just something that black people can just take off as easily as red bandannas or an ugly Christmas sweater. It’s something that they have to live with on a constant basis simply because of the color of their skin.
Clemson Cripmas is about white privilege. More accurately, it’s about waving the flag of white privilege in the face of those who can never obtain it, and could lose their lives for a lack of it.