Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Clemson's MLK Day Party

by Paula Neal Mooney

ThePhink.com has broken a crazy and sad story that other news organizations are picking up on now too: Clemson University's MLK Day Party -- a "theme" party held by a few students.

While some thoughtful Clemson University students were no doubt reflecting on the uplifting speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the most-recent holiday weekend celebrating his life, select students at Clemson University were allegedly throwing an MLK Day Party in his honor...or, dishonor.


Missing seemed to be reverence for the man and how far we as a nation have come with race relations at this Clemson MLK Day party.

In its place were allegedly some of the other things (like forty ounces of beer taped to hands) seen at earlier parties like this one: backsides stuffed with tissue to emulate the ample behinds of black women, gold grills on teeth and not just a man in black face, but in black body!

"It couldn't have been that bad," said one student interviewed on the radio today after being shown the pictures of the Clemson MLK Day Party. "There are black people there, too."

"That's a white guy in black face," said the reporter.

"Oh..." he answered.

Some Clemson students found the pics appalling, others didn't believe they were true, while others defended the Clemson MLK Day Party, likening it to any other "theme" party, like those given for lingerie.

This is scary. But thank God a black student did show up in business attire, to show the folks who saw nothing wrong with this Clemson MLK Day Party that it's not very loving to paint an entire race with one broad and mean-spirited stroke.

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16 comments:

Bonnie Calhoun said...

That's why people below 21 aren't allowed to drink...in NY anyhow...their stupid...and drinking makes them stupidier!

Vanessa Byers said...

Wow, I'd heard about this incident but seeing photos made it all the more appalling.

James said...

Being from New York when the age was 18 for drinking,young people knew how to respect our heros. The south esp southern institutions that have a history of hate toward black people, never could admit Dr. MLK is worthy of respect. They are still fighting the civil war and are victims of their racists upbringing Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that those kids weren't drunk when they decided to do the party...so what does the drinking age have to do with it...maybe it's because the students had a HOLIDAY..maybe MLK day shouldn't be a holiday but a day like any other..then you might not have this problem... quit blowing out of proportion...i'm a young college black man and if it were me...I would have shown up in a Klan outfit just for fun!

James said...

The young college age man is right, drinking is not the problem, wearing a klan outfit would have made a hit with the racists, I hope anonymous realizes that racism is very harmful to many black folk, and as a student he has a right to be accepted for who he is. He should not have to clown for white folk to fit in.At Clemson, he would only be accepted if he was timid and ashame of our right as black people to celebrate our own hero's. appearently he is cool with that

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hopefully this incident going viral will teach the kids what they did wasn't right.

Lord knows I wouldn't want pics from my college days going viral!

God love 'em all!

doctorrimulak said...

"These aren't a bunch of hicks in the backwoods somewhere," Randolph said. That's a great racist quote from Lonnie Randolph, leader of a chapter of the NAACP that is "investigating" the parties. But I suppose it's fine for him to say whatever he wants and nobody will care.

Anonymous said...

doctorrimulak your an idiot i do'not like people say stupid things. he wasn't calling them hick. he was saying they are going to "clemson" they should of had alot more common scence to realize that was abad idea and it would offend people. by the way being calld a "hick" is not rascist. do your homework

Anonymous said...

OK, so some people are offended. Big Deal. People make fun of God, Jesus, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, The Queen, Jesse Jackson, The Pope, The Presidents (any of them), Congressmen, Saints, and everyone else. Never has anyone in America been made to apologize for the disrespect heaped upon these men and women except people making fun of black folk. As far as I can tell no one was making fun of Dr. King, they were making fun of "Gangsta's". Dr. King is worthy of respect, deep reverent respect. But guess what? People in this country have the right to disrepect anybody at any time for any reason. They can say anything they like about anyone. Thank God for the First Amendment. None of these people were breaking a law,they were not on school property and the school was not connected with or condoning the party in any way, shape or form. Dr. King would probably have made fun of the people these idiots were imitating. He would have mightily railed against their lifestyles and how they treat each other. Dr. King would have probably said the people being made fun of need to clean their act up and get their butts in church. He would have said the same about the people at the party.

The reason Dr. King was able to turn the entire country against the racist attitudes and laws in effect at that time was because of the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech. Dr. King took alot of abuse and torment for that right, and eventually it cost him his life.

America has become a nation without tolerance. We don't tolerate smokers, perfume wearers, anybody that doesn't think like we do, look like we do, speak like we do or eat like we think they should. All Americans need to get over all this intolerance. Not everyone respects the things we do. We need to understand that and accept it. We need to speak out against sin were we see it. But we need to hate the sin but love the sinner. We need to defend their right to be disrespectful so that the legacy of Dr. King can continue. If you try stopping what people can say about anyone it will only be a matter of time before we can't say anything about anyone. Racism and ignorance will will always exist no matter what happens. People up north think everyone down south is still fighting the Civil War which shows their stupidity and ignorance of southerners. But we tolerate them. There are bad things happening up north as bad or worse as anything happening down south. People are people. We need to protect our constitutional rights, including freedom of speech. We need to be more tolerate and forgiving of those who trespass against us and we need to be slower to condemn those who do not believe as we do. Finally we need to protect others because if we don't we'll be next.

As Pastor Martin Niemöller put it:

"First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me."

Peace...

Anonymous said...

Who cares? They're college students. It was just another themed party and the only reason anybody cares about it is because the NAACP hasn't gotten anything better to bark and moan about lately. GET OVER IT
PS. I'm black... GROW UP

Anonymous said...

great party wish i could have been there!! go tigers

Anonymous said...

the theme of the party was gangsta (gangsta does not reflect all african americans)...

people have this type of party all the time in clemson, not just on MLK day which is what made this a big deal.

This party was in no way meaning to be degrading to any racial group, and everyone can see that that is under 30. There is no social rift between races at clemson; this has all been blown out of proportion because drunk students uploaded pictures before sobering up.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Yeah, I hope there's no racial rift between blacks and whites at Clemson.

I went to FAMU, an historically black college, so I was shielded from issues like this in college in that respect.

Twisp said...

"That's why people below 21 aren't allowed to drink...in NY anyhow...THEIR stupid...and drinking makes them STUPIDIER!" -BONNIE CALHOUN

I think you just lost your license to comment on the intelligence of others. You meant they're not "their." Their would imply that they own the stupid, you wanted to say "they are stupid" or use the contraction "they're." More noticable though is the fact that you took the liberty of inventing the word "stupidier." I can only assume that you felt that another non existent word, stupider, was not strong enough to convey the new degree of stupidity that "drinking makes them." Stupider is not a word, you want "more stupid." I am amazed at the irony of letting slip your own lack of intelligence as you simultaneously call someone else an idiot. Congrats, you have set a new low!

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hey, Twisp. Enable your profile so I can look at you and check out your blog.

And Bonnie's my friend!

I know I type a lot of comments all day and I let a few error slip in. But you get the gist of the message.

So, Twisp -- what'd you think of the Clemson MLK Day Party photos?

Marie said...

I attended Clemson a couple of years ago, and I'm not in the least bit surprised by these pictures. I'm not sure whom posted otherwise but there IS social tension between races at Clemson.

Facts about Clemson:

* It's typical for black students to drop out of Clemson, and shortly afterwards file racial harassment complaints against staff members

* Clemson investigators will not seriously investigate a complaint if it's the first complaint filed against a staff member, although it's common sense that the complaint number will generally be low considering that african americans only make up around 2% of the school's population

* The black dean of the Graduate School will freely state that she isn't wanted in that position due to her race..

* 1 of the very few black instructors at Clemson has filed a lawsuit against clemson because he believes he hasn't been promoted due to his race...

* Clemson will soon release a statement stating that what those kids did represents a freedom of speak although the clemson handbook clearly defines racial harassment as mocking, and racial jokes. If an instructor called a student a nigger, wouldn't that be freedom of speech? please

Clemson will cover up some shit, BELIEVE THAT. I've known people that have had their own words ALTERED, and words put into their mouths in regards to complaints that they've filed. Y'all think that the NAACP has nothing better to do, but they already know that Clemson is one of the most racist schools out there. please this is the door they needed to open up so that they can call Clemson out the way that they should be.

Now, the President of Clemson is holding marches and candlelight gathering in memory of the first black person to attend Clemson when I know for a fact the he and his offices will ignore a student's complaint with a quickness. Some of the teachers showing up at those marches are some of the same ones that were saying "it's sooo unfortunate that we have to miss a day of class because of that mlk day!". y'all just don't know

Paula Neal Mooney