The Lambada Chi Alpha fraternity at Cal Poly Tech is being accused of racism after a photograph of fraternity brothers showsing one of them in blackface went viral on social media. The photo, which posted on Facebook by Monique Chenault-Hakker, had a caption that read “She want a gangster not a pretty boy.”
In the photo, members of the fraternity are dressed in various stereotypical outfits, which includes loose pants, fake tattoos, and gang signs. The photo was published by an Instagram user who has “Cal Poly ’21” and the Greek letters “ΛΧΑ” in their profile. One of the brothers, identified by the Mustang News as Kyler Watkins, is shown with his neck and face painted completely black.
According to Logan Boersma, president of the Cal Poly Lambda Chi Alpha chapter, the event was a “brotherhood event” which was “closed to the public.”
University spokesperson Matt Lazier has yet to comment.
via Mustang News:
The photo shows Lambda Chi members in front of their fraternity house, dressed differently than they expressed in a press release apologizing for the blackface incident. The photo also shows agricultural systems management junior Ryan Vierra, pictured next to Watkins in the original photo.
The photo was captioned “She want a gangster not a pretty boy.” The account has since been deleted. Lambda Chi President Logan Boersma and Interfraternity Council President Colton Marino have not returned requests for comment.
Nationwide, fraternities have sparked outrage for racially insensitive behavior. Some fraternities have been suspended and disbanded over blackface incidences. In 2013, Phi Sigma Kappa held a ‘Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos’ themed party, which gained widespread attention.
The fraternity released a statement on Sunday, April 8, saying:
We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth. The representation depicted in the photograph was absolutely unacceptable by our standards as it had a negative influence on surrounding members of our community. Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers.
We are currently working with our local community to amend the discrepancies this photo has caused.
This is not the first Cal Poly fraternity to be accused of racism, as the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity had to apologize for an offensive photo in 2017.