The Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio is in hot water following a skit they performed on campus for a Greek Week festival. The offense? Wearing ponchos and sombreros.
This is the premise of the skit they performed, according to a tipster who asked to remain anonymous:
The skit depicted a historical event where Marty Mcfly goes back in time to bring together Texas cowboys and Northern Mexicans battling for the border. After “this town aint big enough for the two of us” Marty helps bring everyone together and they live happily ever after.
Sounds like a harmless, quirky little skit, right? If anything, it sounds like they promoted unity and acceptance between cultures. Surely, even the most radical of on-campus Latino organizations could look past mild cultural appropriation if their intent was pure?
Nope. That shit don’t fly in 2016, Marty.
Here’s the complaint from the Latino group, per Cleveland.com:
After a letter from Latino students, the university is also reviewing what occurred and how the Phi Delta Theta skit was included in the April 8 Variety Show.
“Phi Delta Theta’s insensitive costuming and dance routines, which include fraternity members dressing in Mexican sarapes and sombreros, played carelessly with stereotypes in an attempt to create a Mexican aesthetic,” the letter said. “Moreover, the script provided no legitimate historical context, included sexist language, as well as made reference to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed policy to create a border wall. Overall, this performance created an environment of hurt and confusion for many Latinos in our community.”
The letter said CWRU Latino students are reminded daily “of our marginalization when our names are mispronounced, our accents are ridiculed, our culture is in the punchline to a joke, or even our citizenship in the country is questioned.”
The administrators, predictably, are covering their asses and condemning the fraternity for its actions, currently seeking necessary “punitive and educational action.”
CWRU President Barbara R. Snyder learned of the incident Monday afternoon and has spoken with students who were offended, the university said.
“I am disappointed by what I have heard about this incident,” Snyder said in a statement. “Diversity is a core value of the university, and we have made significant progress in engaging the community in thoughtful discussion, including through campus-wide diversity education and training programs. Unfortunately, this issue underscores how much more work we all have to do—in teaching, learning and listening.”
Dammit, Barbs. Letting these crybabies push you around. Don’t back down. You know the fraternity meant no harm. I know it’s easy to just keep your head down, prescribe even more “sensitivity” training, and go on with your job in peace (you don’t wanna end up like the president of Mizzou, after all). But I respect the hell out of university presidents who cut the bullshit and get real with their snowflake students (like the president of Emory, who drew “We support free speech” or whatever it was in response to the Trump chalking protests).
As for the Latino group, did you ever stop to consider that maybe Phi Delt had no idea what they were doing would be deemed offensive? Did you ever think that maybe calling for the entire chapter to be investigated might be a little over-reactionary? And did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, putting people on blast for things as petty as this only drives the stake between us even further?
I don’t know exactly what happened in the skit, but based on these videos of other CWRU fraternities performing during Greek Week over the years, I highly doubt it could have been anything worth getting pissed about.
Greek life is WAY different up north, man. But I digress.
Draw the line for us, Mexicans. Eating tacos is okay. Wearing sombreros is no bueno. Drinking margaritas is straight. What about piñatas? That’s like a decoration AND food. Just tell us now before we go fucking up and you go after another confused fraternity. Thanks..
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