Every time I hear someone say something like racism isn’t a problem anymore I have to wonder in what sheltered world do they live in. Because stories like this remind me that race relations in this country are still a major issue. An Asian fraternity by the name of Lambda Theta Delta at the University of California – Irvine has been under fire after posting a video where one of the members portrays Jay-Z by wearing blackface. Using Justin Timberlake‘s Suit & Tie as the soundtrack, the clip shows snippets of events that the fraternity has hosted. It then segways to a group of fraternity members singing along with Justin, when all of a sudden a member in blackface comes out as Jay Z.
The group has since then issued an apology on Facebook, saying that the use of blackface was insensitive and wrong. They also claim that the video was the creation of only a few members and not by the fraternity as a whole. They close by saying that the video does show that racism and ignorance still exists today and they in no way condone it. It was a great apology but I’m not sure I buy the “we didn’t know this was being made” angle. But, maybe that’s me. Check out the video in question plus the full apology below:
First and foremost, Lambda Theta Delta sincerely apologizes for the extremely racist content of the “Suit and Tie” video. The use of black face in the video is incredibly offensive as well as insensitive. This behavior is simply unacceptable and the individuals responsible for the video have already been reprimanded within the organization prior to the public outcry to which this formal apology is responding. We want to ensure everyone that this video does not represent the views of the collective house. With that being said it does acknowledge the fact that we have some ignorant individuals within our organization, whom we have already dealt with ourselves.
The video itself was not a fraternity directed project but rather a video made individuals within the organization. We assure you that the video was neither pre-approved by the leadership nor the house. The house was not aware of its production until it was released into the realm of public media. Namely it was first published onto Facebook by these individuals and was immediately removed when other members, NOT IGNORANT of the history and oppressive nature of the use of blackface, learned of it. We did not realize that it was still in existence and believed it to be a grave mistake of a few members who were reprimanded for their actions.
The collective house is aware of the great ignorance of the video as it perpetuates a gravely offensive stereotype against African- Americans. Rest assured that the individuals have already been punished for their actions and it is an issue we have already addressed within the house. We apologize for its creation as well as any mental anguish the production has caused to the community. We did not realize it was still in circulation as the house intended its complete deletion for its extremely insensitive content.
Regardless of the circumstances, the video proves the existence of racism and ignorance today. Lambda Theta Delta in no way promotes these values nor perpetuates them. The ignorance and bigotry of the content is intolerable. We extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to the community for the extremely insensitive transgression.