The Delta Tau Delta fraternity at the University of Southern California is facing backlash for a party they threw at their house on Friday, February 2. Some people are saying that the fraternity’s “Black Friday” theme was racially insensitive, while others think the controversy is being overblown.
Guests and students at the party took pictures at the showing graffiti and banners bearing the words “for the culture,” “Black Friday,” and “Jemimah.” The fraternity is now under investigation by the university due to the party.
According to NBC Los Angeles, a member of the fraternity said that original theme for the party was going to be “Blackout Friday” but the fraternity’s executive board turned down that name because they thought it was a reference to alcohol — “blackout drunk.”
via NBC LA:
The fraternity changed the name to “Black Friday.” The treasurer for the fraternity told USC’s student newspaper the Daily Trojan that the fraternity places great value on diversity and they didn’t mean to offend anyone.
USC student Megan Wood said people of many different races attended and wore black to the party, and there were no disturbances.
“I thought it was a black out theme, like I know they had black lights inside the house. So I don’t think it was mean to be racially insensitive at all,” she said. But the vice president of student affairs says he’s disheartened by the images, and ignorance is not an excuse.
Ainsley Carry issued a statement saying in part: “…even if the organizers did not start out meaning to offend, the result is offensive….. Bigotry will not go unchallenged within this community.”
The fraternity has not been disciplined or suspended as of yet but is currently under investigation.