How Did These Educators Think Mocking Latin Culture Was Okay?

A group of administrators from the University of Louisville, Kentucky made a really bad call by choosing to wear stereotypical Mexican attire at a staff Halloween luncheon.

Administrators at the University of Louisville clearly just don't get it...

A group of them thought it would be a great idea to exploit Latin culture and dress up in sombreros with thick, fake mustaches while shaking maracas in a group photo. #FAIL

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"It's not just offensive to Mexicans; it's offensive to the immigrant community as a whole," Leonardo Salinas, a freshman at the university, reportedly told the New York Daily News. "Someone thought, 'Oh, this is a good idea.' How did it not click in anybody's mind that it was a very bad idea?"

Even the school's president, James R. Ramsey, got in on the action pictured on the far right wearing a striped poncho.

To add insult to injury, Latino students only make up about 3.6% of the school's undergraduate population, according to Mic. So, they chose the most underrepresented group on campus to mock? 

It's one thing for immature students to perpetuate this ignorance, but it's a whole new ball game when administrators and educators pull these kinds of stunts.

It's no wonder everyone else thinks doing this stuff is okay, no one is TEACHING them that it isn't! 

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The Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal reported that the photo was taken at a recent staff luncheon in which the president's wife, Jane Ramsey, handed out sombreros and fake mustaches for attendees to wear. 

"I am surprised and also hurt," Sarah Nuñez, the school's assistant director of Latino/Hispanic Initiatives, reportedly told Mic. "I work hard to help Latino students feel welcome and supported, and this action seems to trump all our hard work."

The statement below was released by the university president's Chief of Staff in response to the backlash the photo has received: 

"To Hispanic/Latino Faculty, Staff and Students at the University of Louisville

As chief of staff to the president, I write to express a sincere apology for the choice of Halloween costumes at our staff luncheon. We made a mistake and are very sorry. We have met with Sarah Nuñez, UofL's Director of the Office of Hispanic and Latino Initiatives, and shared with her our deep regret for the hurt this experience has caused. We commit to a series of campus conversations with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to further focus on diversity and racial equality issues underpinning the pluralistic society we all support. This event shows we have much more to learn about our community. We pledge to continue to work together to promote an environment that values all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, immigration status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Our office will institute immediate training on diversity and racial equality issues."

Kathleen Smith, Chief of Staff to the President

Why is it that every time an institution or business does something racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, etc. they resort to increasing special "training" for their staff?



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