Culturally insensitive theme parties are apparently a thing now.
Fairfield University in Connecticut is currently investigating a "ghetto"-themed beach party hosted off-campus over the weekend. Although the school is “working to understand the details” and has offered very few details about the incident, it appears that officials initially learned about the party through social media posts.
Students who attended the “ghetto” party reportedly showed up wearing baggy pants, gold chains, cornrows and costume baby bumps.
“The fact that there was even an idea to dress as ‘ghetto’ is an intrinsically perverted issue,” Fairfield University junior Joe Harding told the Connecticut Post. “When a party has a theme, the participants are expected to wear a costume. In this case, the partygoers chose to wear clothing and accessories that portrayed their conceptualizations of what it means to be ghetto ... Ghetto is not a term of endearment.”
The Rev. Jeffrey P. Von Arx, university president, also condemned the theme of the party, claiming that it “perpetuated racial stereotypes that have no place in our community and only serve to offend and devalue people.”
He also said the school's diversity and multicultural affairs office will have extended hours this week, the student association will hold a meeting to plan a student forum, and faculty and administrators will plan an open dialogue for the university community.
While most students and faculty members have expressed their disgust at the blatant racism, some partygoers, who allegedly donned blackface to attend the gathering, are questioning why people are upset with their activities.
“It’s like Halloween,” sophomore Brian Mason countered. “I dressed as a gangster when I was 4, nobody said anything then.”
Some others even went gone as far as to mock the well-founded concerns regarding stereotypical costumes.
“I wore a hot dog costume to this party and now feel that my actions have caused emotional harm to all of the hot dog community,” a student posted on Facebook. “Specifically I would like to apologize to Mr. Oscar Meyer as I did not mean to portray your weiner in a negative fashion.”
While another wrote, “I am offended that the ghetto party was turned into a race issue. I know plenty of ghetto white people. #whitelivesmatter, #ghetto&proud.”
A university representative told The New York Times that 78 percent of Fairfield's full-time undergrads identify as white.