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Racist Video Stirs Anger On UC Irvine Campus

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Irvine, CA -

UCI ‘‘PARODY' by Phil Shuman

Is it ignorance or insensitivity ? Perhaps a little of both. Perhaps a lot of both.  Some geniuses at a Frat at U.C. Irvine decided to make a little ‘‘parody'' video of the hit song "Suit and Tie " by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z.  One big problem.. the Jay Z character was in blackface.. the stereotypical caricature of Blacks from the Minstrel shows of the the late 19th and early 20th Century.  When this hit the web, as you can imagine there was outrage, in particular from African American students at UCI, who make up only 3 % of the population of some 30,000 students.

What's worse, it wasn't the first time.. another video surfaced with another kid from the same Frat in blackface..this from a Halloween party few years back.. that was so well done they decided to re purpose the video for last years Frat rush at UCI.  . Do they not get it, they don't realize it ‘s offensive, they think they're so funny ? what.. the President of the Frat is apologizing as fast as he can, but the school isn't ready to accept that and neither are the ladies that are co chairs of the Black Student Union we spoke with today... who say something like this seems to happen every year and enough is enough.  The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs has now launched an official investigation, promising swift action if necessary.  ( He happens to be African American, does that matter ? ) .. They're saying at UCI they want to use this as a teachable moment to show the toxic effects of insensitivity.  Sounds like a good plan.  Obviously you can still have a lot to learn in college.

(FOX 11 / AP) The University of California Irvine is investigating a video that shows a member of an Asian-American fraternity dancing in blackface after the clip sparked outrage on campus, a university official said Thursday.

The video shows members of Lambda Theta Delta dancing to the Justin Timberlake song "Suit & Tie" as they get dressed up in suits and dark sunglasses. About a minute into the clip, a student wearing blackface joins in and pretends to be hip hop artist Jay-Z, who raps on the song with Timberlake.

The fraternity, the university's oldest and largest Asian-American Greek fraternity, and the four students behind the video are under investigation for the "reprehensible" clip, said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Thomas Parham.

If violations of school policy are found, the fraternity, the students or both could face sanctions ranging from a verbal warning to suspension, he said.

Lambda Theta Delta posted an apology on Facebook on Wednesday and said the video was made by individual members and was not approved by the organization.

"This behavior is simply unacceptable and the individuals responsible for the video have already been reprimanded within the organization prior to the public outcry to which this formal apology is responding," the statement read.

The individual students also apologized to the Multi-Cultural Greek Affairs Council and the Black Student Union, Parham said.

Ainaria Johnson, a 21-year-old senior and Black Student Union co-chair, said the group's apology didn't ring true.

"We told them the time to apologize and the time for conversation has passed," Johnson said. "None of that can take back what you did. You're not sorry that you did it, you're only sorry you got caught."

Asian students make up 49 percent of the student body at UC Irvine while black students make up about 3 percent, Parham said.

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