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UT frat suspended over incident Complaints about blackface episode bring action
Knox News-Sentinel ^ | October 31, 2002 | By J.J. Stambaugh

Posted on 11/01/2002 12:53:53 AM PST by ninonitti

A University of Tennessee fraternity has been suspended because of an incident last week in which white members painted their faces to look like the black pop group The Jackson Five.

The national office of Kappa Sigma has suspended its UT chapter, which means the fraternity "no longer has standing as a registered student organization and is suspended from participating in university activities, such as Homecoming," according to a statement issued Wednesday by UT Vice President and Provost Loren Crabtree.

Fraternity members couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday, but Crabtree said the national office was cooperating in an ongoing investigation.

A number of black students complained to campus officials last week after a group of fraternity members allegedly walked from their fraternity house to a party on the Cumberland Avenue Strip dressed as the Jackson siblings, according to UT's account.

Even if the national Kappa Sigma organization reinstates the UT Lambda chapter, UT might not choose to recognize the group, according to Crabtree.

"We will require the leaders and members of Kappa Sigma to demonstrate a commitment to uphold our expectations for civility, ethnic diversity and racial harmony," Crabtree said.

Crabtree indicated that individual students involved in the incident might face university sanctions once the investigation is concluded.

Crabtree said the incident was "particularly distressing to the members of the (UT) administration because all fraternities and sororities participated in a workshop a year ago to address a similar situation at another institution."

Crabtree also pointed out measures that UT has taken over the past few months to widen the African and African-American Studies program and a planned semester-long program beginning in January to "celebrate Africa's cultural, entertainment and educational contributions to non-African cultures around the world."

A training program on race and diversity will begin next spring, and a special session covering the same topics will be added to the summer orientation program for new students, Crabtree said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: blackface; jacksonfive
I searched the UT site for a Department of Germanic or Italian Studies and came up empty.

Could it be that UT is being niggardly in it's funding of the study of these ethnic groups??? I'm sure Ms Crabtree would love to hear some diverse comments:lcrabtr1@utk.edu

1 posted on 11/01/2002 12:53:53 AM PST by ninonitti
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To: ninonitti
I wonder if the national fraternity chapter or UT administrators ever saw Eddie Murphy in Coming to America.

Apparently, it's funny when a black person paints his face white but it's racist if a white person puts on black makeup.

2 posted on 11/01/2002 1:02:16 AM PST by HennepinPrisoner
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To: ninonitti

Electric Aunt Jemima
Goddess of Love
Khaki Maple Buckwheats
Frizzle on the stove
Queen of my heart
Please hear my plea
Electric Aunt Jemima
Cook a bunch for me.

- Frank Zappa


3 posted on 11/01/2002 1:11:08 AM PST by ppaul
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To: ninonitti
I did the same thing with a group of friends in a junior high "talent show" back in about 1968. We lip synced to the song "ABC" by the Jackson 5. We lost the talent show but weren't kicked out of school.

I don't know what these students did but it sounds like the PC crowd needs to lighten up.
4 posted on 11/01/2002 1:12:11 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
I don't know what these students did but it sounds like the PC crowd needs to lighten up.They went to a private party in costume.

Last night, I attended a middle school football game where same of the younger kids in attendance were in costume. At least two young black kids from the community had painted their faces white as ghosts, and left the makeup on without the full costume. I probably should have been offended, but I was too busy watching the kids enjoy themselves. This attitide that the University is showing does not reflect the one of the community that surrounds it. It is just plain silly.

5 posted on 11/01/2002 3:09:46 AM PST by TN4Liberty
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To: HennepinPrisoner
NBC television has no problem with it (brownface that is)


6 posted on 11/01/2002 3:10:34 AM PST by spycatcher
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To: HennepinPrisoner
"Apparently, it's funny when a black person paints his face white but it's racist if a white person puts on black makeup."

I don't recall anyone finding it racist when Billy Crystal wore realistic makeup to do his imitation of Sammy Davis Jr. on Saturday Night Live - because it wasn't racist, just funny. But highly realistic makeup - whether it's Crystal doing Sammy Davis, or Eddie Murphy doing Richard Simmons - isn't at all the same thing as blackface.

Blackface has a long, racist history, and it's dishonest to pretend that history doesn't exist. It's also dishonest to pretend there's no difference between what Crystal and Murphy do and a bunch of drunk frat boys putting on blackface.
7 posted on 11/01/2002 3:38:20 AM PST by Ampersand
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To: ninonitti
OK, so I'm wondering.........if a group of black students painted their faces white and went to a party as the Osmond Brothers, would the same "punishment" be imposed?

Sheesh...............like that would ever happen............................

........blacks posing as the Osmond Brothers.

8 posted on 11/01/2002 3:40:50 AM PST by RightOnline
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To: Ampersand
...a bunch of drunk frat boys putting on blackface.

Drunk? Sounds like you've got prejudices of your own!

P.s. Is it racist is a black shows up at a party in blackface?

9 posted on 11/01/2002 4:27:10 AM PST by F-117A
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To: ninonitti
Pathetic.
10 posted on 11/01/2002 4:40:15 AM PST by Bikers4Bush
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To: ninonitti
In the college business, we call this "separating the wheat from the chaff". The F'ups always find a way to F'up.
11 posted on 11/01/2002 4:52:11 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: HennepinPrisoner
A little boy and girl go trick or treating. They knock on the door of this house and the man who answers it says, "Well, you two are awful cute. Who are you supposed to be?"

We're Jack and Jill", they reply.

The man says, "You can't be Jack and Jill, you're black!"

So, they go off and a short while later they come back dressed differently. They ring the doorbell and once Again the man opens the door.

"Well now, you're just darn cute. Who are you this time?"

"We're Hansel and Gretel", says the little boy.

"Well, I hate to disappoint you son, but you can't be Hansel and Gretel because you're black!"

Heads hung low, they leave. Not too much later, the man hears the bell ring again. This time when he opens the door, there stand the two children but this time they are BUCK NAKED.

"Oh my! And just who are supposed to be now?!!", he asks.

"Chocolate M&M's", says the little girl. "I'm plain, he's got nuts.
12 posted on 11/01/2002 5:23:23 AM PST by DH
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To: RightOnline
...because of an incident last week in which white members painted their faces to look like the black pop group The Jackson Five.

And this situation is different from what's seen everyday in schools where young whites dress to look phat in Hip Hop fashion, right?        </sarcasm off>
13 posted on 11/01/2002 5:25:57 AM PST by GirlShortstop
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To: ppaul
Apparently, it's funny when a black person paints his face white but it's racist if a white person puts on black makeup

That's it exactly the PC crowd is amused by reverse minstrel shows but horrified at the reverse.

It's like the old story about some liberal commenting on the passing of a black friend: "I never noticed what color his skin was" was his reply to a question about the deceased.

It's this lunancy that fosters affirmative action with it's emphasis upon race above all else at the expense of quality of the individual.

14 posted on 11/01/2002 5:28:50 AM PST by ninonitti
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To: ninonitti
Yesterday, I walked into a Burger King in downtown Manhattan. In the spirit of the day, one of the workers was dressed up as Count Dracula.

Little did I know at the time that I was supposed to express my outrage that this young black man would paint his face white.

(I'm obviously so out of the loop that I didn't know that this wasn't "PC". Can I still register my complaint with Al Sharpton? Will he rally to my defense to help combat this terrible racial insensitivity?)

15 posted on 11/01/2002 5:43:36 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: ninonitti
"We will require the leaders and members of Kappa Sigma to demonstrate a commitment to uphold our expectations for civility, ethnic diversity and racial harmony," Crabtree said."

You WILL submit to the thought police....and you will like it.

16 posted on 11/01/2002 5:56:56 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: ninonitti
SPIKE LEE HAD NO PROBLEM WITH BLACKFACE. RENT IT TODAY!


17 posted on 11/01/2002 5:56:59 AM PST by sam_paine
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To: ninonitti
Now UT is insulting the sacred memory of Al Jolson!

Oh, Mammy!

(Guess I'll just go re-read "Little Black Sambo")
18 posted on 11/01/2002 6:00:54 AM PST by Redbob
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To: GirlShortstop; RightOnline


19 posted on 11/01/2002 6:01:51 AM PST by ppaul
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To: ninonitti
Even if the national Kappa Sigma organization reinstates the UT Lambda chapter...

Lambda?
Hey, are these guys gay?

20 posted on 11/01/2002 6:04:37 AM PST by ppaul
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To: Ampersand
Blackface has a long, racist history, and it's dishonest to pretend that history doesn't exist. It's also dishonest to pretend there's no difference between what Crystal and Murphy do and a bunch of drunk frat boys putting on blackface.

They were dressed up as the Jackson Five for a party at Halloween [time]. Would it have been different if they were wearing commerically made masks that happened to be of black people - a group of Colin Powels, for example?

21 posted on 11/01/2002 6:05:54 AM PST by BearCub
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To: ninonitti
Yes, there is a double standard, yes, it is awfully PC to do this. BUT...you would think that anyone smart enough to get into a college would know they couldn't do this and not create an uproar. The "rules" may be stupid (that's a whole other debate), but these college kids were even more stupid.
22 posted on 11/01/2002 6:06:22 AM PST by BruceS
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To: HennepinPrisoner
it's funny when a black person paints his face white

That's really funny & timely -
Some little kids showed up at my house last night for Halloween in "white face". I wasn't insulted or outraged... But I didn't figure out what they were supposed to be dressed as.

23 posted on 11/01/2002 6:12:08 AM PST by MrB
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To: Ampersand
Blackface has a long, racist history, and it's dishonest to pretend that history doesn't exist. It's also dishonest to pretend there's no difference between what Crystal and Murphy do and a bunch of drunk frat boys putting on blackface.

So what about whether blackface has a history.

Kappa Sigma is a PRIVATE organization that pays the university rental fees to be on campus. If they want to paint their faces ANY color, that's their business, regardless the fact that doing so may offend the sleeveful of emotions that certain groups carry.

24 posted on 11/01/2002 6:29:27 AM PST by A2J
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To: BruceS
My Fraternity at Swarthmore College was a pretty diverse group of football and lacrosse players from all across the country and every social structure. One of the Junior brothers dressed up his pledge little brother as a black person. The pledge was a low-middle class kid from the Pocono Mountians and the big brother was a former gang banger from Houston named Prince. Prince did such a great job dressing up his pledge that nobody but people in the frat even knew that the pledge was not black. (Keep in mind that this was at a dark Holloween party where most of the people were drunk). We did not get in trouble and this is a crazy PC school.
25 posted on 11/01/2002 6:30:00 AM PST by CollegeRepublican
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To: ninonitti
If its racist to put on blackface, can I be offended when Goths and Clowns put on that white face make-up?

If they have a black guy playing Ronald McDonald is that racist?

26 posted on 11/01/2002 6:37:19 AM PST by Godel
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

27 posted on 11/01/2002 6:37:51 AM PST by mhking
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To: ninonitti
What if Michael Jackson belonged to that fraternity? Would they have been suspended long ago for Michael's attempt to turn himself white?
28 posted on 11/01/2002 6:42:13 AM PST by RoseyT
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To: ninonitti
"no longer has standing as a registered student organization and is suspended from participating in university activities, such as Homecoming..."

"Some stupid zombies get to ride a pile of Kleenex down the street. Rah rah."

29 posted on 11/01/2002 6:47:23 AM PST by Petronski
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To: Ampersand
Blackface has a long, racist history, and it's dishonest to pretend that history doesn't exist. Please educate me on this one: what is the racist history behind the blackface?

It's also dishonest to pretend there's no difference between what Crystal and Murphy do and a bunch of drunk frat boys putting on blackface.

Judging from the article, they did not put a blackfacer: thhey dressed as well-known entertainers that happen to black, hence the completeness of image required the change of skin color, much like in the case of Crystal, of whom you do not disapprove.

30 posted on 11/01/2002 7:03:46 AM PST by TopQuark
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To: TopQuark
Did they do the shoe polish and white lips routine or did they just apply brown make-up and put on sequined gloves. If that's the case, it sounds like harmless fun to me. The guys down in MS who were wearing nooses around their necks are a different story.
31 posted on 11/01/2002 7:41:34 AM PST by Callahan
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To: BearCub
They were dressed up as the Jackson Five for a party at Halloween [time]. Would it have been different if they were wearing commerically made masks that happened to be of black people - a group of Colin Powels, for example?

You would think that dressing as a known Black person would be different than dressing in Black face. Obviously not to the PC crowd.

32 posted on 11/01/2002 7:52:19 AM PST by farmfriend
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fraternities are all about "risk management" these days.
33 posted on 11/01/2002 8:05:43 AM PST by KneelBeforeZod
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To: Callahan
The guys down in MS who were wearing nooses around their necks are a different story. I am with you on this: these two sound to me like really different cases.
34 posted on 11/01/2002 8:37:00 AM PST by TopQuark
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To: Godel
If they have a black guy playing Ronald McDonald is that racist? And if in the classic theatre female roles were played by men, is that a denegration of women?
35 posted on 11/01/2002 8:38:47 AM PST by TopQuark
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To: Ampersand
Blackface has a long, racist history, and it's dishonest to pretend that history doesn't exist. It's also dishonest to pretend there's no difference between what Crystal and Murphy do and a bunch of drunk frat boys putting on blackface.

Free speech doesn't mean just speech that doesn't offend anyone. It means just about anything short of inciting a riot or a panic. If Andres Serrano can suspend a cross in a jar of urine, then frat boys can put on blackface. I hope these people sue the university's butt off.

36 posted on 11/01/2002 9:02:56 AM PST by John Jorsett
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To: ninonitti
This is interested. Phi Kappa Sigma, a t.u. fraternity, was not suspended but only put on probation after a DEATH resulting from a hazing incident. Hazing is illegal in Texas, but it appears that t.u. values it higher than making overly sensitive people upset.
37 posted on 11/01/2002 9:13:00 AM PST by 1L
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To: Ampersand
Don't forget Murphy's SNL sketch wherein he disguised himself as a white businessman to discover that "white people act differently when there are no black folks around."

The name of his character was none other than "Mr. White," who mastered the "walk and speech patterns of a white man" to ensure the success of his fact-finding mission....

38 posted on 11/01/2002 9:14:56 AM PST by tracer
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To: MrB
Michael Jackson??
39 posted on 11/01/2002 9:18:50 AM PST by tracer
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To: ninonitti
Why would you need to dress up in blackface to portray Michael Jackson?
40 posted on 11/01/2002 9:20:33 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: DH
Ugh. Now you've done it.......
41 posted on 11/01/2002 9:21:25 AM PST by tracer
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To: tracer
Michael Jackson is a black guy who does his face like a white guy, isn't that racist too?
42 posted on 11/01/2002 9:21:35 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: ninonitti
I really don't see what the big deal is except it's another step in mind control. I could care less if black students put on white face and go to trick & treting or whatever as Al Gore, Lautenberg, Janet Reno, or any other white person.
43 posted on 11/01/2002 9:33:29 AM PST by Dante3
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To: Ampersand
Boo fricken hoo! Tell it to the PC crowd that is currently destroying America. You will get no quarter here, since we at FR are well aware that liberals are dangerous to the future of America.
44 posted on 11/01/2002 9:43:38 AM PST by ohioman
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To: RightOnline
Sheesh...............like that would ever happen............................

........blacks posing as the Osmond Brothers.

They would probably clap on one and three.

45 posted on 11/01/2002 9:50:08 AM PST by N. Theknow
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To: F-117A
Believe me, I'm a UT student, and if they are frat guys, they were most likely drunk. Xo)~
46 posted on 11/01/2002 9:56:26 AM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: ninonitti
An earlier article about this in the News-Sentinel mentions how flabbergasted the administration was of these kid's insensitivity - after all, UT has just completed building a brand new taxpayer-funded $11 Million Black Cultural center.(Which replaces the old Black Cultural Center, by the way)

No word yet on when the white cultural center will be completed. (sarcasm)

In fact, I wonder what the university's response would be if an individual offered $11 Million to build a white cultural center, along with the property to put it on? Would they accept the offer? What would the person making the offer be labelled as? I think I can guess...
47 posted on 11/01/2002 10:14:56 AM PST by Fletcher J
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To: ninonitti
It could have been worse. They could have pretended they were the Jackson 4:


Michael M. Bates: My Side of the Swamp

48 posted on 11/01/2002 11:34:34 AM PST by mikeb704
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To: ninonitti
I know that I'm just preaching to the choir here, but a question comes to mind. How is this even insulting?

I mean, if it's a question of putting someone down for something then I can at least understand what the complaint is, even if I don't find it valid. But I don't even understand what the problem here is.

In America on Halloween, the custom is to dress up as someone else. That's all that they did. And, I mean, how do we even know that they didn't like the Jackson 5? They might have been honoring them for all we know! I personally still like MJ's early stuff.

For an office halloween party one person dressed up as a monk: there were no calls of insensitivity for that, and I'd feel the same if there were as I do about this. Sorry, I know that I'm just venting here, but this is so far our of hand at this point it's not funny.

49 posted on 11/01/2002 12:01:35 PM PST by pupdog
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To: mhking
Don't they have costumes of at least some Black celebrities/characters? Are Whites forbidden to wear them? Sounds like some folks at this school need to hit their books instead of worrying about some Halloween silliness.
50 posted on 11/01/2002 11:11:10 PM PST by mafree
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