Black Bruins Protest “Kanye Western” Themed Party: ‘Can We Breathe Here?’

In Campus by Ivy Briana Price1 Comment

Students marched to Chancellor Gene Block’s office dressed in all black attire on Thursday afternoon to protest events that took place at a fraternity house Tuesday night.

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Students and Supporters gather outside of Murphy Hall before marching to Chancellor Gene Block’s office .

Members of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority organized a party themed “Kanye Western.”

Black Bruin Chibunkem Ezeenekwe reported that she and three friends witnessed this ordeal firsthand and were appalled. Attendees of the party were seen with black paint and soot covering their faces, dressed in baggy clothes, and adorned with gold chains. The fraternity and sorority’s racist depictions of African Americans continues the perpetuation of the stereotypical and disparaging manner in which African Americans were represented during and after slavery. UCLA’s Black community will not tolerate this type of behavior any longer.

Outraged by this instance of blatant racial insensitivity and culturally appropriative behavior, members of the black student body addressed these issues accordingly in Thursday’s demonstration.

In a spoken word piece graduate student Ree Botts articulated the attitudes held by many Black Bruins .“We deserve to be here… UCLA , can I breathe here?” she asked .

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Afrikan Student Union Chairperson Janay Williams leads demonstration held at Meyerhoff Park

During the protest Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang announced the interim suspension of Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon’s social activities until the results of a thorough investigation are determined. During Kang’s statement on Tuesday’s events, he emphasized the importance of recognizing the social and cultural implications of one’s actions and considering the detrimental effects it may impose on other students.

“It is one thing to suggest that you’re focusing on one celebrity who is African American, but its another thing to take that as a license to perform every act, stereotype , attribute , and grotesque minstrelsy that you see…”he stated.

Demonstrators revealed an important question that fosters the discussion of UCLA’s social and cultural climate. What actions do you think UCLA needs to take in order to ensure that a welcoming, comfortable, and safe environment is readily available for black students?

Featured Below : More images of Black Bruins from the Demonstration. Photos taken by Ivy Briana Price (Navigate through gallery with arrows)

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Comments

  1. molasses jones

    iheart the Black Student response…. eloquent, and specific, but how exhausting to have to deal with such stupidity in a “elite” academic setting. #shame

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