Outrage at Duke Over Fraternity’s Asian-Themed ‘Racist Rager’ (Participation)

Outrage at Duke Over Fraternity's Asian-Themed 'Racist Rager'
Feb 5, 2013 6:15 PM 104,317 976\

Outrage at Duke Over Fraternity’s Asian-Themed ‘Racist Rager’

Members of the Asian Students Association at Duke are incensed over a fraternity’s decision to throw a themed party replete with offensive Asian stereotypes, including conical hats and geisha outfits.

Outrage at Duke Over Fraternity's Asian-Themed 'Racist Rager'

“Herro Nice Duke Peopre!!” read the opening line in the email inviting Dukies to “the return of Kappa Sigma Asia Prime.”

According to The Duke Chronicle, the off-campus party was later renamed “International Relations” after a report was filed with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

But the Asian Students Association says the “racist rager” went on as planned despite the name change, and it has the Facebook photos to prove it.

Several of those photos were posted around the school this morning in protest, but most were removed by Kappa Sigma members by late afternoon.

“This is not just about Asians, one party or one frat,” senior Ashley Tsai told the Chronicle. “This is a consistent thing happening. We want serious things to be done by the student body and the University so that this never happens again.”

A more formal protest is planned for tomorrow.

Kappa Sigma was welcomed back on campus and into the Interfraternity Council (IFC) just last year. It had removed itself from the IFC in 2002 following a string of policy violations that had resulted in impending sanctions. Between 2002 and 2012 it operated unofficially under “Eta Prime” — its chapter name.

This latest controversy involving a fraternity party comes just a few months after the Chi Omega Nu Gamma sorority at Penn State drew criticism for holding a “Mexican fiesta themed” costume party that was seen as racist by many.

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4 thoughts on “Outrage at Duke Over Fraternity’s Asian-Themed ‘Racist Rager’ (Participation)

  1. When people do these types of things I do not think that they realize how offensive they actually are. I do not think that they take the time to sit and think how hurtful that could be and that it is actually not funny at all. These types of stereotypical parties are not needed and not necessary, I do not understand what makes people come up with themes that clearly cross so many lines on so many different levels. Maybe it is innocent and is a “joke” but it still has the potential to hurt someone and I think that the people coming up with these themes need to take the time to put themselves into the shoes of the racial group they are focusing on and then decide if it is still just a “joke” to them.

  2. I feel that all too often, we as a society simply get caught up in the moment. I imagine all of the fraternity boys getting much too involved in the theme without really thinking of the effect that it could have on people. I think that we often times justify our actions with those of others. Such as, “He did it so i can too”. Because everyone dressed up for the asian theme, no single person felt responsible for falling into the stereotype. I think that it is important that these horrible themes continue to be in the public. With others seing it, hopefully people realize that it is not acceptable to single out a race and the stereotypes surrounding it. I just hope that if this party idea were to come up at our school, someone would have the guts to stop it.

    • I agree completely. It’s astonishing how offensive groups of people can get without them ever realizing it (or having the guts to call each other out on it). My feeling is that the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the school should have done more (for example, ban the event completely) instead of just forcing them to rename it.

      I also agree with your statement that hopefully, someone here at WSU would have the guts to stop it if such an event was hosted here. These kinds of events just puts a bad name to the school in the eyes of everyone else.

  3. When parties such as this one arise around college campuses people within the circles forming them do not have the thought of how offensive could this possibly be. In their minds they are doing it for the sake of fun and having a good time. I’m sure that in these situations there a few people that may speak out within the circles yet even one else makes them feel like a minority for having that different view. This party in particular is racist yes, however, a party that started as the “Racist Rager” that clearly would draw attention to itself just by the name. If it was deemed “International Relations” from the start half of the drama over it would not even be present. Simply changing a name does not take away the racism by any means. This strongly relates to when we talked about what we call “racist jokes” in class. Are people able to just take it as joke? Ignore the possibly underlying themes? It all depends on the context, how it is delivered, etc. This part was portrayed in a superiorly racist way from the start therefore people will swarm it attaching racism to it and anything pertaining to it. This makes me wonder though, I have heard of numerous “white trash” parties here on campus. Due to whites having the privilege in life and being the majority is that why these types of parties do not draw attention? If whites were the minority would it be a reversed situation? Or from everyone having the privilege they do from being white does the term “white trash” not even phase us as a race?

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